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

Subject: RE: font question: character height-to-stroke ratio
From: "Pinkham, Jim" <Jim -dot- Pinkham -at- voith -dot- com>
To: "voxwoman" <voxwoman -at- gmail -dot- com>, "Peter Neilson" <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>
Date: Thu, 8 Oct 2009 09:15:01 -0500

Some quick googling provided these further interesting hits:

http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/x-height.html

http://www.designertoday.com/Articles/663/A.Closer.Look.at.Typography.as
px

http://dbaron.org/css/fonts/aspect_results

https://developer.mozilla.org/En/CSS:font-size-adjust

http://tinyurl.com/ydoyklx

http://tinyurl.com/yb3rosz

http://tinyurl.com/yc5wjbx

HTH,
Jim

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+jim -dot- pinkham=voith -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+jim -dot- pinkham=voith -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On
Behalf Of voxwoman
Sent: Wednesday, October 07, 2009 8:18 PM
To: Peter Neilson
Cc: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com; jopakent
Subject: Re: font question: character height-to-stroke ratio

I think you may find some relevant information from this book, which I
found in my local library:

"Exploring Typography: An in-depth guide to the art & techniques of
Designing with Type" by Tova Rabinowitz, Thompson / Delmar Learning,
2006

I've since returned it, so I can't look up anything specific in it, but
she goes into great detail about the various metrics used in font
design.

IIRC, the "stroke" is the width of the line used to make the font, and
there's some rule of thumb for variable stroke fonts (like Optima and
calligraphic-style fonts) to arrive at a nominal and/or perceptual
stroke width (which may not be the same number).

Fonts outside this would appear "fat" or "thin"

in this example, a 12 to 16 point font should have a stroke width in the
neighborhood of 2 points.

If I had to determine this metric, and it wasn't published somewhere,
I'd open a drawing program, display a grid behind it and put in some
sample characters, and measure the font widths

-Wendy


On Wed, Oct 7, 2009 at 8:27 PM, Peter Neilson
<neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>wrote:

> 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.
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

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.
http://www.doctohelp.com/SuperPages/Webcasts/

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!
http://www.helpandmanual.com/

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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.
http://www.doctohelp.com/SuperPages/Webcasts/

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! http://www.helpandmanual.com/

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References:
font question: character height-to-stroke ratio: From: jopakent
Re: font question: character height-to-stroke ratio: From: Peter Neilson
Re: font question: character height-to-stroke ratio: From: voxwoman

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