RE: General writing question

Subject: RE: General writing question
From: "Martinek, Carla" <CMartinek -at- zebra -dot- com>
To: "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 26 Jan 2017 15:40:43 +0000

What I learned eons ago was that Europe migrated earlier towards Sans Serif fonts, while the US clung to the old reliable TNR. Readibility wasn't so much the issue as it being "what you were used to." In today's modern digital world, Sans Serif fonts dominate the online world. That comfort/used to it issue is long since gone for most people.

That said... an easy option to go all Sans Serif without out figuring out which fonts you can pair together is to use variations from the same type family. With Arial, you have the options of Narrow, Bold, Black, Rounded, etc.

With Proxima Nova (I especially like this font, available through Adobe - https://typekit.com/fonts/proxima-nova), you have all the styles such as Thin, Thin Italic, Light, Light Italic, Regular, Regular Italic, Medium, Medium Italic, Semibold, Semibold Italic, Bold, Bold Italic, Extrabold, Extrabold Italic, Black, Black Italic.
Then there's Proxima Nova Condensed. And Proxima Nova Extra Condensed, Proxima Nova Soft, and Proxima Nova S (Small Caps), also with multiple weights and styles.

A bold condensed font, a Black version, or a Small Caps font can work well in headings, and be enough of a difference from the body text to work well.

You can also use a different color on the headings... or if printing in b/w, you can reverse headings out with a shaded gray background behind them. Or underline the headings.

With that many options (and Proxima Nova is only one example of a font with many variations), you should be able to figure out something.

-Carla


-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+cmartinek=zebra -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+cmartinek=zebra -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of Tammy Van Boening
Sent: Thursday, January 26, 2017 9:20 AM
To: 'Wright, Lynne' <Lynne -dot- Wright -at- Kronos -dot- com>; lonewriter-discuss -at- mailer -dot- stc -dot- org; techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: RE: General writing question

Because these are PRINTED docs., and they want Sans Serif font for both headers and body and it makes the body text very hard to discern from the headers, especially since all the paragraph styles are In Column as well. I am trying to do something to enhance readability and keep the text from competing with bold headlines in sans serif typefaces.

It's very, very hard to read as it is laid out right now.

TVB


-----Original Message-----
From: Wright, Lynne [mailto:Lynne -dot- Wright -at- Kronos -dot- com]
Sent: Thursday, January 26, 2017 8:15 AM
To: Tammy Van Boening; lonewriter-discuss -at- mailer -dot- stc -dot- org;
techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: RE: General writing question

Speaking from the perspective of an ex-typesetter, using serif for text and sans serif for headings was never a standard for the publications we produced.

If anything, over the 30 years since I was in the typography/publication production biz, the trend has been away from serif fonts. Sans serif is definitely the standard now; its considered more modern and easier to red, and the fine strokes in serif fonts used to be an issue in terms of display and readability on computer monitors.

Look at pretty much any company's website or on-line documentation; I bet you'll be hard-pressed to find one that doesn't use a Helvetica-like sans serif.

When I see a doc that uses Times or similar font, I actually get a bit annoyed. It seems so old-fashioned.

Everyone is entitled to their preference, but I wouldn't say that fighting for Times is worth the effort. If your client wants sans serif, why on earth wouldn't you give them what they want?

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+lynne -dot- wright=kronos -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+lynne -dot- wright=kronos -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of Tammy Van Boening
Sent: January-26-17 9:59 AM
To: lonewriter-discuss -at- mailer -dot- stc -dot- org; techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: General writing question

All,

Since the cows have come home, I have always, and I mean always, used Times or another serif font for body text and san serif for headings and I know that this is considered the "norm" or "standard" for tech. docs. That said, a new client is insistent on using sans serif fonts for both headings and text and it isn't pretty when you're trying to read this manual.

Does anyone have any hard references/links to sites that you could point me to that stipulate why this is the norm/standard for writing manuals? Right now, my client considers everything that I offered as an explanation as simply anecdotal and not worthy of consideration.

Yea, I am about to punt. . . .

Thanks,

TVB


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References:
General writing question: From: Tammy Van Boening
RE: General writing question: From: Wright, Lynne
RE: General writing question: From: Tammy Van Boening

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