have a balanced, clear, and simple table. The majority of the time, this
process requires you to make several rough drafts.
Do not forget to
consider the illustration ratio of the table. If it is a master for a
35mm slide or view graph, you would then use a 2 to 3 ratio. You must
consider each component of the table when constructing it.
When constructing a table, you must organize the body of the table so it
presents the data simply, clearly, and emphasizes the important data in
the table. Because Western cultures read from left to right and top to
bottom, this is the first place the eyes go to when reading the table.
Therefore, the top left of the table is the best place to position the
data that the table emphasizes.
Additionally, you should design the
entire table so all data, stub heading, and boxhead caption read
Take a moment and review figure 1-54.
As you can see, this table
emphasizes the total number of major aircraft accidents. Therefore, the
designer placed the totals in the top left corner of the table. There
are many other instances when you could design the table with the totals
at the bottom, which is perfectly acceptable.