Fonts used in print

Subject: Fonts used in print
From: JB Foster <jb -dot- foster -at- shaw -dot- ca>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 12 Dec 2002 17:24:39 -0700


I have two questions regarding the use of fonts in printed manuals; which
hopefully some list-members have experience in, and could answer:

My first question is about the type of fonts currently popular with
technical manuals. I see lots of Arial, and Times New Roman, as the chosen
fonts for such manuals, and have always wondered if the real reason for this
is due to DTP 'default' settings for fonts. I personally find that
news-print fonts (such as Times New Roman) are over-used and at times
un-appealing in manuals. I have also hesitated on purchasing Helvetica
(which I like), because it seems to be losing its general appeal (maybe
because it's not freely available from Adobe, anymore). As well, I'm a bit
surprised that Palatino Linotype (which is my current favorite) isn't used
at all, considering that I find it pleasing to look at (or read). So I
guess what I'm asking is this - are there any current trends in the use of
fonts for printed manuals, and text books as well (especially with regards
to fonts that cross over the readability barrier of PDF)? Also, is there any
personal favorites of the members of this list?

And the last question has to do with the amount of fonts you can safely get
away with, before your Printer takes a fit? I am considering going from
using two types of fonts, to using three, for a medium-sized manual. Is
there any maximum amount of fonts that a Printer (considering the cost)
would prefer? ... other than one!

Regards,

Bruce


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