font question: character height-to-stroke ratio

Subject: font question: character height-to-stroke ratio
From: "jopakent" <jopakent -at- comcast -dot- net>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 7 Oct 2009 15:20:04 -0700

A colleague is working on a user interface and the human factors design
guidelines specify that the font used must have a character height-to-stroke
ratio of between 6:1 and 8:1.

I'm embarrassed to admit that I don't know where this statistic is recorded.
We checked Wikipedia and a number of other "fonts" of knowledge (sorry,
couldn't hep myself), and learned a lot about various aspects of font
design, but so far, nothing that talks about this ratio.

I guess we could take some representative samples and blow them up to 144
points and physically measure them, but this seems silly (and error prone).
Aren't these stats readily available somewhere?

Seems like the manufacturer could provide this info, but who makes fonts
these days? We're using the fonts that are part of the standard XP install,
but who provides the fonts to Microsoft? Kind of a long way to go to answer
what seems like it should be a simple question.

Thanks in advance, and plz cc me directly as I'm digest.

J. Paul Kent

Technical Writer

PaR Nuclear-Ederer Nuclear Crane Division

Westinghouse Electric Company

Lynnwood, WA 98087

Phone: +1 (425) 741-5043

Fax: +1 (425) 743-5609

Email: kentjp -at- westinghouse -dot- com

Home Page:


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