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Definition of Ragged Edge / Rag in Graphic Design

A ragged edge, commonly referred to as “rag,” in graphic design, refers to the uneven or irregular alignment of text along the right or left margin of a block of text. A ragged edge occurs when the line lengths in a paragraph vary, resulting in varying lengths of whitespace between words, creating a visually uneven edge.


Ragged edges are often intentionally used in graphic design to create a more organic or informal appearance in text blocks, providing visual interest and enhancing readability. Designers may adjust the rag of text manually or through text formatting options to achieve the desired aesthetic effect in print and digital layouts.

Related Terms

  • Justified Text: Text aligned evenly along both the left and right margins, creating a straight edge on both sides of the text block, achieved by adjusting word and letter spacing.
  • Flush Left: Text aligned along the left margin, creating a ragged edge along the right side of the text block, commonly used in body text and paragraphs for readability.
  • Flush Right: Text aligned along the right margin, creating a ragged edge along the left side of the text block, less commonly used due to potential readability issues.
  • Hyphenation: The process of dividing words at the end of lines to improve the appearance of justified text and reduce the amount of raggedness in the text block.
  • Alignment: The positioning of text or other design elements relative to a reference point or margin, including options such as left, right, center, and justified alignment.

Related questions about the terms Ragged Edge / Rag

  • Why do designers sometimes prefer using a ragged edge in text blocks instead of fully justified text?
    Designers may prefer a ragged edge for its informal and visually appealing appearance, which can enhance readability and create a more relaxed or organic feel in design layouts.
  • What are some techniques for adjusting the rag of text in graphic design software?
    Designers can adjust the rag of text manually by adding or removing line breaks, adjusting word spacing, or utilizing software features for hyphenation and text alignment.
  • How does the choice of typeface and font size affect the appearance of the ragged edge in text blocks?
    Different typefaces and font sizes may result in varying degrees of raggedness, with some fonts and sizes producing a more pronounced ragged edge due to differences in character width and spacing.
  • What considerations should designers keep in mind when using a ragged edge in design layouts?
    Designers should consider the readability, visual balance, and overall aesthetic of the layout when using a ragged edge, ensuring that it complements the design theme and does not detract from the readability of the text.
  • Are there any accessibility considerations related to using a ragged edge in text blocks?
    While a ragged edge can enhance visual appeal, designers should ensure that it does not compromise readability for users with visual impairments or reading disabilities, making adjustments as needed to maintain accessibility.


Creatopy Team
Creatopy is the AI-driven creative automation platform that enables brands and agencies alike to build, optimize and personalize creatives at scale for various markets, channels and digital platforms.

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