Re: Font choices

Subject: Re: Font choices
From: "Dick Margulis" <margulis -at- mail -dot- fiam -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>, "David Berg" <dberg -at- dmpnet -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 14 Sep 2000 20:28:19 -0400


What is your favorite flavor of ice cream. Okay, you can pick two. How about your all-time two favorite movies? If you had to spend the rest of your life in just two rooms, which two would they be (careful, now)?

All right. That was a cheap shot. Let me try again with a better analogy. What are your two favorite herbs?

Why is that a better analogy (he asked rhetorically)? Because the natural response would be: First tell me what I'm supposed to be seasoning. Next tell me how far I can go to shop for the herbs and what my budget is. Then tell me who is going to eat the dish I'm preparing, and under what conditions. THEN I'll tell you what my two favorite herbs are. Maybe. If I can decide.

Different fonts are appropriate for different applications. Of the tens of thousands available, you need to pick a large handful to cover different situations. Use a condensed font with a large x-height (such as Times Roman) if you are working with a narrow measure and paper cost is a consideration. Use a more normal font (Baskerville) for a wider measure and more open feel, or something like New Baskerville as a compromise if you need to keep the page count down. Use something vertical and mechanistic (a scotch roman, perhaps, or Helvetica, to convey a sense of technicality. Use something graceful and flowing (Bembo) to convey a sense of romance, perhaps, or maybe just a literary sensibility. Use period fonts for period works--Futura is evocative of the Bauhaus; Goudy types are evocative of the Arts and Crafts movement. Use something severe, like Bodoni, to convey elegance. I could go on, but I think I've made my point.


"David Berg" wrote:

>With apologies to Deborah, I have a little survey of my own.
>What is your favorite body text font?
>What are your favorite sans-serif heading fonts?
>I'm mostly curious about what fonts people pick when a document is going to
>be multi-sourced. It should read well on the screen, especially when PDF'ed,
>and look good in print.

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