10 pt vs 12 pt?

Subject: 10 pt vs 12 pt?
From: Geoff Hart <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 17 Nov 2004 14:20:12 -0500

John Posada wondered: <<I'm having a "discussion" with my manager over some style conventions. First...body text must be Times New Roman.>>

There are worse choices. I know it's not a fashionable font, and that there are more esthetic choices, but Times is eminently readable, particularly at larger sizes. It's also an efficient way to fit lots of text on the page without sacrificing legibility. Speaking of which:

<<With that said, how does anyone feel about going to 10pt for the body text vs 12 point. I prefer 12 pt for readability (hey...I'm 51 tomorrow and the eyeballs ain't what they used to be) and he prefers 10 pt for it's layout aesthetics.>>

I've had this fight with graphic artists for years; since most of them refuse to actually read the layouts, they seem to universally aim for the smaller size unless strongly opposed. I'm with you on the legibility issue, and find that Times is actually a nicely esthetic font at 12 point--but somewhat fussy and cramped at 10 point. Have you considered a compromise? 11 pt strikes a reasonable balance between legibility and esthetics.

<<Does anyone know of any studies that address one over the other?>>

Don't trust any studies you find. Type is heavily multifactor when it comes to legibility, and any study that controls these many factors enough to be valid also constrains the context enough that the study may not be valid for your particular audience or layout.

--Geoff Hart ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca
(try geoffhart -at- mac -dot- com if you don't get a reply)



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10 pt vs 12 pt: From: John Posada

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