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#lang pollen
(define-meta title "who is typography for?")
hanging-topic[(topic-from-metas metas)]{Readers, not writers}
Typography is em{for the benefit of the reader}, not the writer.
Other kinds of professional writerssay, novelists and journalists dont have to worry about typography. They can pass their work to professional designers who optimize the typography for the intended audience.
But you cant. You have to handle your own typography. So you must also negotiate the conflict of interest between your perspective as a writer and that of your future reader.
But every writer is also a readerI end up reading the text several times while Im editing it. True, but you dont have the same goals as your future reader: to learn and possibly to be persuaded.
In fact, your reader is quite different from you:
 | Writer | Reader
Attention span | Long | Short
Interest in topic | High | Low
Persuadable by other opinions | No | Yes
Cares about making your client happy | Yes | No
Legal writers, unfortunately, often imagine that the comparison looks like this:
 | Writer | Reader
Attention span | Long | Whatever it takes
Interest in topic | High | Boundless
Persuadable by other opinions | No | Barely
Cares about making your client happy | Yes | Of course
The only reader who might match that description is your mother.
Typography has to be oriented to actual readers, not idealized ones. Writers often get attached to idealized readers because theyre easier to please. Of coursethey dont exist. Dont fall into that trap. Set aside the wishful thinking and try to see your document from your readers perspective. You wont get it perfectly right. But a rough approximation is better than none.