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Should I Align to the Left or Right?

Illustrations for Left-Aligned (Ragged Right) vs. Full Justification - Rules of Desktop Publishing

Below: Perhaps the designer wanted to intentionally slow down and disrupt the reading of this direct mail piece by using fully justified text with poor word spacing. If that's not your intent and you want to use fully-justified alignment, pay attention to word spacing.

example of poor use of full justification

Below: This design has plenty of white space. The fully-justified paragraph blocks don't necessarily need the extra breathing room offered by left aligned text. Additionally, the rectangle of text created with the full justification echoes the rectangle illustrations on the facing pages (not seen here) throughout the book.
example of good use of full justification

Below: This book uses left-aligned text. The serious topic (business) is made friendlier, easier to understand through both the tone of the writer and the more casual text alignment. Rules between columns allow the layout to use smaller gutters between columns without having the lines of text run together - something to watch out for with either type of text alignment.

example of good use of left aligned text

Below: This layout uses full justification for the bulk of the text. But this portion of the book uses both paragraph indents and a change in text alignment to set apart some blocks of information. This illustrates that mixed alignments can work if used with a specific purpose.
example of mixed use of left aligned and fully-justified text

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