Monday, May 11, 2020

Mistakes in Card Layout - Centered Text

Centered text is harder to read, especially in a block. It slows down people's interpretation slightly, and that adds to the inelegance of the game and to the cognitive load and eye strain. Don't do it, except maybe in one line titles of cards or headings.

Indentations from the left justification line cause a pause in the flow of the reading. That is why new paragraphs are started that way. An empty line between text lines also causes a pause. You don't want a pause in the middle of your sentences or paragraphs.

Here are some good examples of left-justified text:

Lightning Bolt from m10 Edition of Magic the Gathering.

Thunderstone Advance card. They fixed the text alignment! (See old card in bad examples below.) I don't like other things about this card, but that's another blog entry.
Here's some examples of center-justified text:

Lightning Bolt from m11 Edition of Magic the Gathering. What happened?

Older Thunderstone card.

A card from Mage Knight. That game has enough going on! It would be a little easier to process if the card text was left justified. I think it is a great game, despite layout flaws.

From Love Letter. It seems it is a common mistake, even with prominent publishers and games.

From Smash Up. This card suffers from many other mistakes I will cover in other blog entries, including hard to read fonts, lack of whitespace, and full bleed graphics (usually a flaw, really, the way it is done).