RE: Good font combination story

Subject: RE: Good font combination story
From: Fred Ridder <docudoc -at- hotmail -dot- com>
To: <hamonwry12 -at- hotmail -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 19 May 2010 12:45:55 -0400

Ed hamonwry wrote:

> I don't claim to be an expert on typography, but I am a huge fan and try to
> pay attention to it. Secretly, I really want to be a graphic designer. I
> think that fonts definitely have their own personality.
> Helvetica and Arial will be hard to discern differences, as Arial is
> basically Microsoft's version of Helvetica. However, you can see differences
> between Arial and Verdana, I'd call Arial a bit 'friendlier'; Verdana is
> less rounded.
> Things to look for: individual characters. How does the letter y terminate
> at the bottom (descender)? Does the letter a have the ascender or not? Are
> they tall and skinny, or wide and narrow? Are the characters mono-spaced,
> such as Courier and other typewriter-style fonts? Are the serifs short or
> long?

Your statement about Arial perpetuates several myths and is simply not correct. Arial is not Microsoft's intellectual property, even though they have distributed it (under license) with all recent versions of the Windows operating system. It is actually the IP of Monotype, who designed the face in 1982. And Arial is *not* in any sense a clone of Helvetica, although it is a sans-serif face that is very similar in weight and overall proportion to Helvetica. Arial is actually a variation of the of the Monotype Grotesque typeface that was designed for an IBM laserxerographic printer under the name Sonoran Sans Serif (the Arial name came into use when Microsoft licensed the font). But beyond the weight/proportion similarity (and the fact that line lengths/breaks stay nearly the same when switching between the two faces), there are obvious differences in the forms of quite a few letters and characters. Among the characters that are most distinctly different are:

a, g, G, R, 1, @ (it's *huge* in Arial), and %.

-Fred Ridder

The New Busy is not the too busy. Combine all your e-mail accounts with Hotmail.

Gain access to everything you need to create and publish documentation,
manuals, and other information through multiple channels. Choose
authoring (and import) as well as virtually any output you may need.

- Use this space to communicate with TECHWR-L readers -
- Contact admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com for more information -

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:


Good font combination story: From: Ed
RE: Good font combination story: From: McLauchlan, Kevin
RE: Good font combination story: From: Ed

Previous by Author: RE: Style guide recommendations for trademark placement
Next by Author: RE: Good font combination story
Previous by Thread: RE: Good font combination story
Next by Thread: RE: Good font combination story

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

Sponsored Ads