Sketchnote Tip #2

Write for stacking! Adjust your ascenders and descenders.

The “descender” is the part of the letter that goes below the baseline. Think the “tail” of the lower case y, g, j, and q. The “ascender” is the tall “stem” that goes above the top of the letters. Think lower case l, f, h, b, etc.

  • Change your descenders from “down” to “side.” Making your descenders curve or go horizontal underneath the word saves vertical room when stacking your lines of text:
  • Shorten your ascenders: Making your ascenders too tall makes stacking lines of text difficult because the ascenders and descenders run into each other:

Why do all of these changes? To make writing stacked text look better!

  • The first example on the far left has tall ascenders and descenders
  • The second example has shortened descenders only
  • The third example has shortened ascenders and descenders
  • The fourth example shows how allcaps stacks the best

Last tip: Writing in allcaps makes stacking easy, but allcaps letters have been proven to be more difficult to read. Think about your audience and try to avoid making the entirety of your notes allcaps!