Re: Font size?

Subject: Re: Font size?
From: "Michael West" <mbwest -at- bigpond -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 5 Sep 2000 08:01:21 +1100

Geoff Hart wrote:

> This may simply be me committing psychobabble, or it may be a legitimate
> extension of Miller's research. But I've found in other areas (e.g., picking
> shades of grey for use in labeling graphs), a difference of at least 20% is
> required for the difference to be easily detectable.

I'm lost. Can we back up here and specify exactly what it is
we're talking about?

First of all, the original question had to do with "odd" font
sizes, and I'm still in the dark as to which of several possible
meanings of "odd" was intended.

Secondly -- are we talking about headings and
subheadings? If so, I've often read that three points is the
minimum recommended differential for showing
subordination of headings --particularly if size is the *only *
marker. (Most designers will use colour and placement as
supplementary markers.) I doubt that a two-point size
difference -- by itself -- would be effective for this purpose. In
fact, I * know * it wouldn't.

Third, I've often seen (and used) layouts that use a one-point
difference in body text size depending on whether the text is
set in a normal column or a narrow column (e.g., in a table
column). The one-point difference is, in this case, not
* meant * to be noticed, but it works just fine.

So where are we with regard to this peculiar notion of "using
odd sizes" anyway?

Michael West
Melbourne, Australia

Freud said something very original and very profound about
fetishism. If we could fathom the depths of its profundity,
we might either discover it to be meaningless or to answer
all of our economic woes and moral dilemmas.
--Bruce Chatwin, "The Morality of Things" (1973)

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