Typography and Layout
The Helsinki University Press can take care of the layout of your dissertation, if desired. To facilitate this process, we will provide a template for the text of your dissertation. Then our graphic designers will carry out the final layout process according to the layout of your choice.
You can choose from two different layouts, 1-column and 2-columns.
For a better picture of what the finished dissertation will look like, you may also download and review PDF examples of the four available layouts.
The font sizes used in the layout can also be changed; for example, you may prefer to have a smaller font in the one-column layouts.
This layout has one column. The text body contains Georgia (size 10 pt), a sans-serif font that is widely used in official University of Helsinki documents. The headings are Gotham Narrow. Download a PDF example of the one-column layout.
This layout has two columns. The text body contains Georgiar (size 10 pt), a sans-serif font that is widely used in official University of Helsinki documents. The headings are Gotham Narrow. Download a PDF example of the two-column layout.
General information about fonts:
The choice of font influences the impression given by a publication. Well-chosen fonts enhance the message of the doctoral dissertation and make it easy to read.
In any typographical work—in a dissertation, for example—more than two different fonts should not be used. For instance, a sans-serif design (e.g. Helvetica) could be used for headings and captions, and a serif design (e.g. Times) for the text body. If one chooses to use only one font design, the difference between the text body and headings should be emphasized using a bold typeface or similar means.
Margins and Readability
In dissertations, the left side margin of an A4 page must be at least 2.5 cm, since, when the pages are reduced to A5 or another smaller size, the margins are reduced, too. Binding reduces the inner margins even further. The top and bottom margins may also be set to 2.5 cm or more. These same principles also apply to pages with two columns.
Bear in mind that the longer a line of text is, the smaller the margins become, and thus the text becomes harder to read. In order to make reading easier, a line of text should not exceed 11 cm. In dissertations, the typical text size is 10–13 pt, depending on the font. A second opinion about the font and its size should always be sought prior to having the dissertation printed. This helps reduce any problems of readability.
The Effect of Paper Size on Typography
The final paper size of a publication affects the font size, line spacing and margins. Dissertations are usually laid out in A4 size but printed in either B5 (84% of A4 size) or A5 size (72% of A4 size). Because of this, font size, line spacing and margins should be set in a way that the text remains readable even after size reduction. The effects of the size reduction can be tested by using a regular copy machine to shrink the pages of the manuscript.
The example below shows the following typography:
- Helvetica Bold, 18 pt, is used for the level 1 heading.
- Times, 10 pt, line spacing 12, is used in the text body.
- Helvetica Bold, 12 pt, is used for the level 2 heading.
- Helvetica Italic, 8 pt, line spacing 10, is used for the caption.