Font choices

Subject: Font choices
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: techwr-l digest recipients <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>, dberg -at- dmpnet -dot- com
Date: Fri, 15 Sep 2000 10:37:52 -0700

"David Berg" <dberg -at- dmpnet -dot- com> wrote:

>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.

Oh, boy: a chance to talk fonts! You really don't know what you

I have about 40 megabytes of fonts, so my favorites keep
changing. However, the ones I keep returning to for body text
fonts are mostly from the classics: Baskerville for formal,
Caslon for all-purpose, and Joanna for elegant simplicity.
Bookman makes for high-readability. I'm just starting to
appreciate Frederick Goudy's serif fonts, too; I'm about to send
for Kane, a version of Goudy's Hearst from the P22 foundry. On
the more modern side, I also like Adrian Frutiger's Meridien and
Sumner Stone's Stone Serif.

My all-time favorite sans serif is Gill Sans. I've heard some
people call it old-fashioned, but it's the most versatile sans
I've seen. Stone Sans is another favorite, as well as Frutiger's
Avenir, an updating of Futura that looks less retro-modern
("avenir" is French for "Future"). Dax is a current favorite, but
I don't know how long it will last.

For single-sourcing, I choose fonts with on-line viewing in mind.
That usually means using sans serif for the body. Some people
would immediately chant the mantra that North Americans would
find that hard to read in a printed manual, but I figure that
most people are scanning rather than reading large stretches of
the manual, so that that is a non-issue. My choices are based on
the fonts: I look for large x-heights and regular strokes for
serifs, or slabs for serifs. Frutiger, Verdana, and Myriad are
all good choices for sans, while Joanna and Chaparral are two
slab serifs that work well on-screen.

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

"Monday morning, 6 AM, the clock rings off the wall,
I'm standing to attention with my bare feet in the hall,
I've got one leg down my trousers, can't find no socks at all,
But I'm a coiled spring of industry responding to your call."
-Andy M. Stewart, "Monday Morning"

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