Re: document design: I don't know what I don't know

Subject: Re: document design: I don't know what I don't know
From: Chris Morton <salt -dot- morton -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Wed, 29 Aug 2012 10:35:09 -0700

Just set everything in comic sans.
Steadmanesque<http://www.fonts4free.net/steadmanesque-font.html>is
another great choice. ;<)

> Chris

On Wed, Aug 29, 2012 at 10:03 AM, Lynne Wright
<Lynne -dot- Wright -at- tiburoninc -dot- com>wrote:

> Ok. Fred.
>
> You have a point; it was a broad generalization...
>
> ....which I think is appropriate, given this venue.
>
> If you want to get into the variations within typefaces, across different
> weights, etc etc.; well, that really IS fodder for a full course. But I
> don't think that level of knowledge is required for your average tech
> writer putting together a design template.
>
> Let's just agree that script and novelty fonts are to be avoided, at all
> costs, in life in general.
>
>
> From: Fred Ridder [mailto:docudoc -at- hotmail -dot- com]
> Sent: Wednesday, August 29, 2012 12:52 PM
> To: Lynne Wright; gps03 -at- health -dot- state -dot- ny -dot- us; becca -at- di -dot- org
> Cc: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> Subject: RE: document design: I don't know what I don't know
>
> Lynne Write wrote:
>
> > The fundamentals of which fonts are most readable on-screen and/vs in
> print are pretty basic (hint: non-serif faces look more modern and display
> better at all resolutions because the stroke width of the letter components
> don't vary from thin to thicker as they do in serif fonts)
>
> I'm sorry, but I think what you have stated is incorrect unless I'm
> misreading it. Were you saying that sans-serif faces don't have strokes
> that get as thin as serif faces? That I can agree with as a broad
> generalization (although there are some obvious exceptions). But what you
> seemed to be saying is that sans-serif faces don't vary the strike width,
> and that I have to disagree with.
>
> If you look closely at the most commonly used sans-serif faces you'll see
> some variation in the stroke widths. Even Helvetica, which is often cited
> as a no-contrast face (meaning that there is no variation in the width of
> the main strokes that form the letters) has some narrowing of the rounded
> strokes where the bowls of lower-case letters like d, p, and q, and the
> shoulders of letters like m, n, and r join the vertical strokes.
>
> And on the other hand, there are some slab-serif typefaces (Courier being
> the most common example) that are true monoweight designs with no variation
> at all in stroke width
>
> As far as readability goes, it is true that typefaces with extreme
> contrast (e.g., Bodoni) can be fatiguing to read. It is also true that
> some faces with very low contrast can be hard to read, but in many cases
> that appears to be due to other factors (e.g., extremely geometrical
> letterforms) in addition to the lack of contrast. Readability studies of
> sans-serif vs. serif have been inconclusive, but there does appear to be
> some cultural and/or familiarity effect involved with European readers
> seeming to prefer sans-serif slightly and North American readers seeming to
> prefer serif faces slightly, but even this seems to be changing as people
> spend more time reading hand-held devices, which typically use sans-serif
> faces.
>
> -Fred Ridder
>
>
>
>
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Follow-Ups:

References:
document design: I don't know what I don't know: From: Becca
Re: document design: I don't know what I don't know: From: Gregory P Sweet
RE: document design: I don't know what I don't know: From: Lynne Wright
RE: document design: I don't know what I don't know: From: Fred Ridder
RE: document design: I don't know what I don't know: From: Lynne Wright

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