Are questions along the lines of the following one on topic here?

Have look at these 1-3 sample pages of my document.

    <sample pages as images>
    <maybe some TeX code>

 1. Is this good typography?  
 2. Would you change something?
 3. Do you also think that part xyz of this document looks bad? How could I improve it?


  • Another possible place to ask this would be graphicdesign.SE or the typography.BETA. However, those can only tell you what is bad about your TeX genereted document, but not how to fix it.


  • This question is too specific, nobody else would benefit from this question and your bad typography
  • It is not listed in the official "On Topic", hence close the question because it is off-topic
  • Especially 1) and 2) are too broad, hence close the question
  • Good typography is totally opinion-based and subjective, hence close the question
  • If you have no idea what you are doing, you should not mess around with all those beautiful classes and templates

What do you think about this?

Maybe related:

  • 2
    What I think is that review like this might be too broad and opinion based, so off-topic. It is also unlikely to help other people, except for the questioner.
    – Matsmath
    May 26, 2016 at 0:28
  • 4
    Given what this community is like, just post a question about how to implement your design and you're likely to get comments about the typography. We get a lot of answers like, here's how to do this, but you shouldn't. Try asking a question about how to improve the vertical rules in your tables and see how long it takes for someone to tell you to use booktabs instead. May 26, 2016 at 2:08
  • 5
    You're question is interesting. I'm not sure that "Good typography is totally opinion-based and subjective". (Isn't there some kind of schools of thought in design? I loved the movie Helvetica) However, it'd be really cool to develop a connection between typography-design-TeX!
    – nilon
    May 26, 2016 at 3:34
  • 2
    Your non-meta question might have an answer here: Are there any good general typesetting books / references?.
    – Matsmath
    May 26, 2016 at 5:13

2 Answers 2


I think there are three different kinds of questions which could be considered relating to typography. One kind is inherently subjective and opinion based and therefore off topic, while the other two I think are usually on topic. Unfortunately the tag is a bit of a mess in terms of what kinds of questions it picks out.

Document layout questions

Questions regarding document layout are generally opinion based: some (made-up) examples below:

  • Should I use the default document class margins or should I change them?
  • Should floats be placed at the top or bottom of page?
  • It it better to use margin notes or footnotes?
  • Should fonts for headings be different from the body text?

In almost all cases these questions will be a matter of opinion and therefore off-topic.

Typographical practice questions

More fine-grained questions about best practices in implementing certain things are a bit of a grey area. To a certain extent, best practices questions are also opinion based, but in many areas there is a good deal of wisdom and consensus from the user base here to the point that these questions really have fairly definitive answers. In particular, questions relating to best practices in typesetting particular aspects of mathematics, for example. Of course in some areas, different typographical practices are in place, (there are numerous differences across languages, for example) but as long as these constraints are made clear, most questions of this sort should be on topic. Some examples from the tag are given below:

Questions about implementing particular aspects of typography

These questions are definitely on topic. Some sample (real) questions of this sort from the tag are given below:

  • 2
    How can the second category be both definitely on topic and a grey area?! Aren't you saying that most of these should be (are?) on topic, but some aren't? So is the grey area the ones which are, the ones which aren't or the ones which should be but aren't?
    – cfr
    May 27, 2016 at 2:06
  • 6
    They're Schrödinger questions. :) But I've changed the wording a bit in the beginning. This answer started with only two categories, but then I realized I needed a third.
    – Alan Munn
    May 27, 2016 at 2:16

No, since it solicits mostly opinion-based answers, which may not be fact-based.

This site is more about the code than the visuals or output. While the latter does matter, the former is something that this site is geared towards. As such, typographic questions are inherently questionable.

  • 3
    While I agree with your statement, perhaps it would be worthwhile to address the presence of the [typography] tag.
    – Matsmath
    May 26, 2016 at 5:12

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