TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:Typeface selection From:David Tietyen <tietyen -at- PICARD -dot- MSOE -dot- EDU> Date:Fri, 5 Nov 1993 20:04:27 EST
Readability is the key to type selection. I saw some research that
noted when we read, we see the shapes of words rather than the letters
themselves. The shapes are actually what we "read." From this, the
author suggested that serif typefaces should be used when you had
lengthy documents, multi-pages of text versus a single page. The serifs
provide a more distinctive shape to a word, which enables us to read it
better, faster, etc. That's why, according to the author, we have
difficulty reading text in all upper case, in italic, or in bold face.
We also have problems with hyphenated words appearing at the end of
lines since we now have to recompose the shape of the two halves. And,
this concept continues to suggest that's why we detect misspelled words,
because the shape of the word does not fit our "library or data base" of
I'm going to dig through some old files and hopefully find the original