Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Printing and Journalism


For several decades every conceivable cost item in newspaper production has been scrutinized to squeeze out a few pennies of savings here and there. Page shrinkage has been increased, column measures reduced, margins out, composing machines speeded up, teletype setters and computers introduced all for the purpose of cutting costs. Concurrently with the need for reduced costs, some editors feel the need for increased readability and a change in the appearance of their newspapers. Experimentation has been taking place in using the unjustified line (uneven right hand margins) as a means of moving toward the objectives of lower costs and “new” appearance. Then why do newspapers retain a typesetting style established centuries ago? Why must every line be the same length without regard to the number of characters in the line? The many questions simmer down to two which appear to be most relevant; would there be any cost-saving in setting type in unjustified lines? The second, could readers accept the unjustified line? This paper will attempt in some measure to present an answer to the second.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Newspaper layout and typography


Includes bibliographical references



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University