Is there any good reason to use title case?

The convention followed by many British publishers (including scientific publishers, like Nature, magazines, like The Economist and New Scientist, and newspapers, like The Guardian and The Times) is the same used in other languages (e.g., French), namely to use sentence-style capitalization in titles and headlines, where capitalization follows the same rules that apply for sentences. This convention is sometimes called sentence case where a term is desired to clarify that title case shall not be applied. It is also widely used in the United States, especially in bibliographic references and library catalogues. Examples of global publishers whose English-language house styles prescribe sentence-case titles and headings include the International Organization for Standardization.

(via en.wikipedia.org)

I’ve developed the habit of using sentence case for headlines, but now I’m facing a situation where I’m probably going to have to adapt to a new style guide and start using Title Case at work. I’ve developed a strong preference for sentence case, and now find title case to be ugly and tabloid-esque.

It seems likely to me that title case is a hangover from the days of more primitive typesetting, when you would need to distinguish between BIG HEADLINES, Important Headlines, and regular text.

In these days of HTML and CSS, is there really any good reason to use title case?

Link

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Citing usage from 1949, the OED calls this mark the dog’s bollocks, which it defines as, “typogr. a colon followed by a dash, regarded as forming a shape resembling the male sexual organs.” This is why I love scrounging around the linguistic scrap heap that is the OED. I always come across a little gold. And by “gold,” I mean, “vulgar, 60-year-old emoticons.”

(via The Secret History of Typography in the Oxford English Dictionary – bygonebureau.com)

A great article for budding archetypists and palaeotypographists!

Retro cassette icon freebie #Daily365

Today’s daily design is an icon of an old cassette tape. I’m making the actual SVG vector file available with this post in an attached ZIP file (I think Posterous does something sensible with those!)*. I consider it free to use for any non-profit reason.

It generally follows the principles of the Tango icons, commonly used on Linux’s Gnome desktop, but I haven’t exactly paid close attention to their guidelines.

* Note 2011.10.13: This post was written at a time when this blog was hosted on Posterous, who offered hosting for small data files like this. Leave a comment if you want a copy of this icon, and I’ll Dropbox it for you.

Password incorrect #Daily365

Conceptually this one is a bit weak, but this is a technique I’ve been wanting to try for a while. I wish I had put a bit more personality into the poses, especially the 6 who should at least be shaking his fist!

The robots already existed, but the rest of the composition and rendering took exactly an hour.

Bath time #Daily365

Today’s daily design makes use of my earlier penguin cartoon, and adds another little guy who looks like he wanted a bath. I’ve tried to reference a little of the style of old-school animations, by making it look like the background was painted on a separate layer. Sadly, the direction of light is inconsistent on these two because I drew the smaller chap facing the other way and flipped him at a later stage, when I didn’t have the time or inclination to redraw the shadows.

I know: excuses, excuses.

Welsh Twitter dragon #Daily365

A bit of a cheat today – this design wasn’t created entirely this evening. In fact, it’s about three evening’s work (see other posts from last September).

Tonight, I changed the eyebrow so he looks less angry (I actually preferred that look, but had several negative criticisms), finalised the palette using a nice scheme from Colour Lovers and added a bit of canvas texture in GIMP.

Of course, I’m not the only one doing these daily designs – check out ‘Of Science and Beauty‘ for some really nice science themed illustrations.