Re: Fonts used in print

Subject: Re: Fonts used in print
From: "Michael West" <mbwest -at- bigpond -dot- net -dot- au>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 16 Dec 2002 08:51:12 +1100



----- Original Message -----
From: "Bruce Byfield" <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>

>
> Also, technology can be a factor. For instance, I seriously doubt that
> any degree of skill would render Linotype Didot readable on-screen (at
> least with the present level of technology). Its strokes are simply too
> thin in too many places to be rendered decently on-screen.
>

Can it ever.

A simple experiment will show convincingly why
typefaces on paper and typefaces on screen are
two very different things, and cannot be spoken
of together.

>From any graphical application (HTML page, word-
processor, etc.), make a screen capture of any
body-text sized (between, say, 9 and 12 points)
group of characters. Then take it into a bitmap editor
and blow it up 300%. You will see a very ugly arrangement
of square blocks. This is what you actually see on screen,
although mercifully your visual processing facilities fill
in the gaps and convince you that you're actually seeing
a real printed character--with nice curves and everything.
The smaller the point size, the fewer the blocks available
for drawing the character.

This is a very different array of visual information from that
presented to your eye by printed type at the same size. To
compare the two, use a magnifying glass on a printed page.
Notice the contrast between thin and thick strokes--a defining
characteristic of any typeface suitable for body text. You won't
see that contrast on screen--it's impossible to render at
text sizes.

In fact, most significant differences between typefaces begin
disappearing when rendered on screen at body-text sizes.
There simply aren't enough little black squares available
to distinguish one from another.

This is why professional designers of Web pages are forgetting
their old ideas and prejudices about type that were based on
the print media, and are making good use of fonts that have
been expertly designed and optimized for their screen appearance--
typefaces like Georgia, for example.

--
Mike W
Melbourne




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References:
RE: Fonts used in print: From: JB Foster
Re: Fonts used in print: From: Dick Margulis
Re: Fonts used in print: From: Bruce Byfield

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