Re: font question: character height-to-stroke ratio

Subject: Re: font question: character height-to-stroke ratio
From: Peter Neilson <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>
To: jopakent <jopakent -at- comcast -dot- net>
Date: Wed, 07 Oct 2009 20:27:48 -0400

A quick bit of research with Google, yielding only three hits, leads me
to the conclusion that the metric is normally associated with sign
making and with license plates. There's a study from about ten years ago
that bemoans the poor quality of type appearing on computer screens, and
says that ten to one is appropriate.

If I were putting something up for bid and I had a preferred vendor, I
would specify something like this, making sure that my golden boy had
previously arranged his product to match the specs, and that other
vendors couldn't even figure out how to get near it.

Is there anything to be lost by proclaiming that the typefaces in
question actually meet the guidelines, without having to produce proof?
What if your buddy simply fakes the proof, referring to a handy web page
that refers to another web page that refers to a study that
unfortunately wasn't quite published by Springer Verlag? It costs money
to get copies of those academic papers, and nobody wants to shell out.
Instead they believe what they see in the abstract on the (faked)
Springer web page.

jopakent wrote:
> 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.

Free Software Documentation Project Web Cast: Covers developing Table of
Contents, Context IDs, and Index, as well as Doc-To-Help
2009 tips, tricks, and best practices.

Help & Manual 5: The complete help authoring tool for individual
authors and teams. Professional power, intuitive interface. Write
once, publish to 8 formats. Multi-user authoring and version control!

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-unsubscribe -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
or visit

To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

Please move off-topic discussions to the Chat list, at:


font question: character height-to-stroke ratio: From: jopakent

Previous by Author: Re: audience analysis resources
Next by Author: Re: Punctuation lists- an exhaustive scenarios list
Previous by Thread: font question: character height-to-stroke ratio
Next by Thread: Re: font question: character height-to-stroke ratio

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads