No, it’s not a form of corporal punishment, but any designer worth their weight in umlauts should be punished if they don’t remember this basic rule of typography.
What does hanging punctuation accomplish? Quite simply, it creates the illusion of a uniform edge for a block of text. Hanging punctuation positions the marks outside of the margins; most notably outside the left or right alignment of the body of the text. The marks float or hang in the margin creating an optical and visually pleasing type alignment (see the example below).
The end result? A subtle, but professionally executed appearance to your type treatment.
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