Re: Font size for headings (was:Font size)

Subject: Re: Font size for headings (was:Font size)
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: "ghart -at- netcom -dot- ca" <ghart -at- attcanada -dot- ca>
Date: Mon, 04 Sep 2000 16:50:00 -0700

Geoff hart wrote:

> You have to be careful about what you read; a lot of typography books make
> recommendations based solely on the author's personal taste rather than on any
> consideration of the reader's needs, and those suggestions often don't check
> out in the real world.

This is one reason why Bringhurst's"Elements of Typographic
Style" is so useful. Bringhurst is dogmatic on a few points, but
he generally does a good job of explaining the conventions and
the considerations without imposing his own. This generalization
is especially true of the second edition. It's not perfect, but
it's a very good reference.

>In my response, I suggested that a minimum difference of 20% in font size is necessary (in the absence of >other changes such as color, boldfacing, position, or underlining) to clearly distinguish between body >text and a heading in the same font.

This rule is a good argument for multiple indictors of use, not
just point size.

One reason that I hesitate to agree with the idea of a 3 point
difference between the sizes on your font palette for
tech-writing is that it tends to result in outrageously large
fonts. If you have a body text of 12, then your headings
(starting from Heading3) would be 15, 18 and 21 points in size,
while your title would be 24. On a 7 x 9 page, which is very
common for manuals, these sizes usually look ridiculous. YOu
could also have trouble the other way if your captions were
smaller than the body text.

--
Bruce Byfield, Outlaw Communications
Contributing Editor, Maximum Linux
bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com | Tel: 604.421.7189




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