Re: Font Size(s)

Subject: Re: Font Size(s)
From: Peter Gold <peter -at- knowhowpro -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 21 Sep 2005 00:00:09 -0500

Hi, Kelly:

In addition to any typographic guidelines, consider the age and visual ability of your audience, and perhaps even the conditions in which the materials are read. I once taught a writer whose audience was maintenance technicians at a nuclear power plant, who used the materials at the sites of troubleshooting and repair operations.

The "reading conditions" were often in dimly-lit maintenance spaces, and the "reading positions" were often cramped, perhaps kneeling, or even on one's back. This writer wanted to specify large type for most of the text, and even larger sizes for headings.

There's some thought that sans-serif faces like Verdana are rendered better than serif faces for on-screen viewing, but serif faces like Times are easier for the eye to "tie" letter forms together. The serifs don't work well on screen, but are suited to paper.


Peter Gold
KnowHow ProServices

Just curious of how small is too small with a print document. I have
in the past at my current job used Verdana for a vast majority of my
documents--except for special cases, i.e. call-outs, hints, warnings,

Anyway, I typically use a 10-pt for test, and 15 for major headers,
12.5 for subheads.

Could I get away with dropping the 10's to 8's, 15's to 12.5's, and
the 12.5's to 10's?


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