re Usability: Serif and Sans-Serif font faces?

Subject: re Usability: Serif and Sans-Serif font faces?
From: "Mark L. Levinson" <nosnivel -at- netvision -dot- net -dot- il>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 15 May 2004 16:38:00 +0200

Dick writes:
> The conceit that serifs are there to "guide the eye" is ahistorical
> nonsense. It is on a par with the silliness about two spaces after a
> period making monospace type more readable.

I don't find it impossible that serifs help guide the eye
regardless of whether their original purpose was to guide
the eye, to stop stone from cracking, or to pre-plan the
line for the stonecarver. The guidance for the eye may be
helpful even if serendipitous.

(Oh, and monospaced type is more readable with two spaces
between sentences. Wait till your eyes are as old and weak
as mine, and you'll see.)

Bruce writes:
> If you look a line analytically, you'll observe that this
> uniformity provides a frame regardless of whether the font has
> serifs or not. It is perhaps more noticeable with a serif font,
> but it's there with sans serif fonts, too.

If it's more noticeable, then perhaps it's more helpful?
Isn't that the name of the game?

Mark L. Levinson
Herzliya, Israel
nosnivel -at- netvision -dot- net -dot- il


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