RE: Fonts used in print

Subject: RE: 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: Sun, 15 Dec 2002 14:15:20 -0700

Dick, I've been listening-up, and you're points are all quite valid.
However, the reason I'm having a hard time digesting (accepting?) the whole
thing, is likely due to my being a newbe w.r.t. to the skills of selecting
fonts. The thought of all the possible variables to consider (such as
x-height, leading, weight, etc.) makes my head spin. Add to that, the fact
my bosses would have a hard time understanding the need to select a font for
the text, in the first place. That's enough to make me want to scamper right
back to Arial and Times New Roman, and hide (Hmm, maybe that's why they're
used so much).

Also, I definitely want to try and avoid doing a 'thermodynamics text in
Bembo' mistake. And by just selecting something I like, could put me at
risk - by not knowing any better. What makes this even worse is, that unless
the text's font is totally unreadable (such as in Dauphin), only a few
people (such as on this list) will pick-up on it being out of place for the
chosen application. I guess I should also have a talk with the Printers we
use, about this.

One thing about this discussion: I have to say that my prejudices towards
sans serif have been somewhat reduced, considering that 70% of Europeans
prefer that style of type. That gives me an internal argument for rethinking
towards the use of a sans serif for the text. I still like the looks of
Palatino, but maybe I'll end up selecting something close to the likes of
Optima or Stone Sans; or maybe Caslon (which I like, but don't own)! I
always like to know what has worked for others, and this thread has given me
several ideas on fonts for 'tech manuals'. I appreciate the advice everyone
has so far given!

One last thing: I still don't know why I hate Arial, yet I like Helvetica;
especially if they are similar. Maybe it's a subconscious thing (like the
hatred - of all - that is Microsoft)? ;-)


Dick Margulis wrote:

> What I am saying remains true; you just don't believe me yet. Pay
> attention this time!
> In the hands of a skilled typographer--not necessarily in the hands of
> any randomly selected compositor or randomly selected tech writer--serif
> faces and sans serif faces, printed on paper, can be equally readable.
> (On a monitor, serif faces should be used with care.) ...

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Re: Fonts used in print: From: Dick Margulis

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