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


Question

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.

So:

Heading

Body text, body text is always body text.

Or:

Heading:

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.

2014/09/03
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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

vs.

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.

4
8/25/2014 9:57:00 AM