Best practices in typography for email newsletters


I design and develop quite a few email newsletters, however one of the reoccurring issues I come up against is the problem of applying print design typography rules to the web.

For example:
In a 2 column newsletter, orphans (1 word on the last line of a paragraph) are quite common, but in the print design world it is a complete "No No".

How can I control where a line breaks in a newsletter so that instances such as orphans don't appear on any of our subscribers computers?

I have heard that using <br/> can cause issues on some computers depending on size of text etc.
How about using <&nbsp;> to join words and control where they fall in the paragraph?

Does anyone have an solid research or references that may help? 

Thank you so much.

BThies BThies, 8 years ago

align="justify" or place lines of text in <DIV>'s

Brian Thies
Professional Email Developer
Thies Publishing
normandesign, 8 years ago

Line breaks (<br />) are probably your best bet.  But whatever you do, if the user enlarges their font size, or if they experience any sort of font substitution, then you can expect all your text to re-flow anyway.  My philosophy is just don't bother with orphans: this medium simply does not allow for that level of design control.

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