Tuesday, April 23, 2019

A to Z Challenge - T for Tombstoning

Theme - Journalism jargons
There are multiple meanings for 'tombstoning' depending on which context you are referring to.

In newspaper design, when two headlines, especially of the same width (like two double-column or two three-column items), are adjacent to each other, it's called tombstoning.

In olden days, there were very few varieties of fonts, and if two headings of the same font and size appeared side by side, it would have not only looked ugly, it would have also confused the reader, who might read one heading into the other.

Even after mechanical typesetting gave way to electronic typesetting, tombstoning was discouraged and I remember trying to redo placement of news stories on a page so that one multicolumn headline wasn't beside another.

The general practice is to separate two multicolumn items with a single column item.

A single-column item separates two three-column items.
(From today's edition of The Hindu)

In today's computer era, tombstoning is allowed, and occasionally we do see it. In such cases, care is taken to have different fonts for each of them, so that they look different.

A two-column item is beside a three-column item, but the fonts are different.
(From today's edition of The Times of India

(This post is a part of the "Blogging from A to Z Challenge April 2019".)


  1. I am learning many things from this series of posts of yours.
    Thank you.

  2. Something new to me. Never heard of this before. Thanks.

  3. Oh. I don't think I've ever seen it, but it makes sense why not. I can see how that wouldn't look good.

  4. Interesting - I can appreciate that it might not look good. Not aware of the term tombstoning, learnt something new, thanks. Wonder what the origin of the term is?

  5. @ KP - Thank you.

    @ SG - Thank you.

    @ Darla - Thank you.

    @ Liz - Yes, Thanks.

  6. @ Nilanjana - No, I have clue how the word 'tombstoning' originated.