Fine typography does not require using an illustrated letter. But should you choose to use one, use your eyes, too. Pay attention to spacing around the letter. Too tight, and the letter will look like it’s been crammed in. Too loose, and the letter will look like it’s floating away from the rest of the text.

Use a margin-top to place the illustrated letter where you want it. Traditionally, the top of a drop cap lines up horizontally with the text block. Use a padding-right to create space between the illustrated letter and the text. Use a good line-height on the p tag, so as text wraps around the illustrated letter, you don’t end up with a big gap between the image and the text.

Thanks to illustrator Bruce Maddocks for permission to use his illustrated letter F.