As designers we are all taught to never have only one word on the last line of a paragraph. You may have heard
“Remove all the widows and orphans!”
Do you really know what a widow & orphan is or are you just taking your professor’s word for it, that it is a one-word line?
During my internship at Workbench Magazine in Des Moines, IA last summer, I learned a whole lot about typography, editorial design, and Indesign (thanks to Doug Appleby). One thing I learned was what widows and orphans really are.
Let’s get down to what a widow is first:
And now let’s look at what an orphan is:
An even better explanation is found on Wikipedia
You may wonder why I’m bringing this up a year after I ended my internship… It’s because I recently read an article about how to avoid ‘widows’. It was referring to a one-word line in your blog post headlines (not widows at all).
If you don’t believe me, read through The Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurst (especially pages 43-44).