Circle + Co.

Single or double?

What a single or double space after a period says about your branding.

Branding and user experience are a major focus for companies of all sizes. Your branding can help your business generate sales, gain trust and lead to recurring sales. However, a lot goes into a business’s branding, including something that’s overlooked by almost everyone: single and double spacing after a period.

Should you add just one or two spaces after a period or full stop?

When to use single or double spacing after a full stop.

For a long time, it was acceptable to use a single or double space after a period, but style guides have since changed to just a single space recommendation. Even Microsoft Word started flagging double spaces as an error in 2020.

(Photo credit: The Verge)

If you learned to type on a typewriter or are over 40, you might be adamant about the double space after a full stop.

In fact, the consensus is that you should only use a double space after a period if you’re using a typewriter.

Honestly, you should keep it to a single space for:

Why double spacing is obsolete.

Double spacing adds a lot of white space on a page, and it was a technique that helped make pages more readable when monospaced fonts were common. Today, modern fonts adjust letter-spacing based on the letter’s size, so the double space isn’t necessary.

What spacing says about your branding.

Branding is the cornerstone of your business. If you want to create a modern brand, you’ll want to use a single space after a period. Despite learning that a double space is correct, times have since changed.

If you use double spacing, it’s an indicator that your brand may be:

Proportional typesetting ensures that an “m” receives the proper spacing and is not the same as an “I,” for example. In the past, monospaced fonts would put the same spacing for these two letters. Double spacing allowed for a cleaner page and made the text easier to read.

Now, the additional white space looks out of place and will do more harm to your brand than good.

Plus, your marketing team will save a lot of time using a single space.

Are there any benefits to using a double space after a punctuation?

Yes, but not for your brand. A study found that the main benefit of having two spaces was reading speed increases. Two spaces led to a 3% increase in reading speed, but that doesn’t mean that reading comprehension increased.

Aside from a boost in reading speed, the only benefit of a double space after punctuation is when using a typewriter.

Wrapping up.

So, the verdict is out: single spacing is best. Double spacing can make your marketing materials and website look clunky. White space is a good thing, but a double space will leave too much white space and even make your brand look old or out of touch.

If you’re tempted to give the double space a try, don’t. Double spaces are antiquated.

Instead, go with a single space, which is the most widely accepted spacing norm and will remain so for the foreseeable future.