Is a colon needed after a (sub)heading when the latter has it's own formatting


I tried checking style guides and online articles but couldn't find any reference to the following:

When the heading or subheading looks visually different from the body text (either font-size, -weight or -family) is it always better to leave out a colon after the heading? Usually in unformatted text I use a colon to show that what precedes is the heading to the following text.



Body text, body text is always body text.



Body text, body text is always body text.

To confirm, my question is whether there is ever a situation where the colon becomes mandatory after a (sub)heading that's already standing out through formatting.

Context: I am working on a children's book where the last page has the headings moral and keywords.

9/3/2014 5:22:00 AM

Accepted Answer

I think this is more about writing than design.

If the word in the header begins a thought or sentence and the body text after it completes that sentence, use a colon.

If the header is just a stand-alone headline and the body text a new thought, you don't need a colon.

When arriving at a convention, you should:

  • Check in
  • Pick up the welcome kit
  • Pick up brochures on local attractions


First Steps

When you arrive at a convention, you should check in, get your welcome kit, and check the displays in the lobby for brochures on local attractions.

I don't think Moral and Keywords require colons, so your other headers shouldn't either.

8/25/2014 9:57:00 AM