TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Dick Margulis <margulis -at- fiam -dot- net> wrote:
>The reason is that different fonts have different x heights.
>The x height is the height of the lowercase letter x. Some fonts have a
>much larger x height (and consequently shorter ascenders and/or
>descenders) than other fonts of the same point size. This gives them the
>appearance of being equivalent to larger point sizes of the other fonts.
A couple of overnight thoughts on this subject:
First, the set width and the curvature of the bowls (the rounded
parts of a "b" or a "p" or similar letters) also contributes
here. A narrow width or a tight, narrow bowl should make a letter
Second, I've read that designers of digital fonts actually do
make letterforms of different heights, leaving more or less white
space for the point size. I'm not altogether certain that is
true. However, I suspect that it might be true for the digital
versions of Eric Gill's Joanna and many of Adrian Frutiger's
fonts, including Apollo.
Bruce Byfield, Outlaw Communications
Contributing Editor, Maximum Linux
bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com | Tel: 604.421.7189
"The rich coming waving their money, but money's not the price,
Souls that gain admission cannot pay it twice,
Stock exchange quotations, do not list its name,
But behind the walls at Liberty Hall, they're buying just the
- Oyster Band, "Liberty Hall"