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>They also say that mileage may vary depending on your audience. For highly
>technical types (especially engineers), some studies show that they read
>sans serif type as easily as serif. One theory was that engineers are very
>familiar with block lettering because that's what they're taught to use in
>their drafting courses-ever notice when engineers start scribbling on
>napkins, they all write the same? ;-) If I remember right, the studies also
>showed that with the newer type families, in general there wasn't as great a
>difference in readability between serif and sans serif.
>At any rate, it lends support to making typography decisions based on your
It's also a good idea to consider the type of information
you need to present and how it's most effectively conveyed.
The SmallTalk programming language was invented when a
programmer's spacebar broke -- it consists of a series of
"english" words strung together with initial caps and no
spaces in between. The original doc set (written by a
native german) was set on a 7.5 inch line in 10pt helvetica
narrow!!! Picture, if you will, the uniquely SmallTalk word
"SmallInteger" set in helvetica narrow and the words "wrong
font" immediately spring to mind (unless, of course, the
words "wrong typeface" do) %-o.
In general, when I know I have to produce documents that
contain lots of programming code, I look for a typeface that
provides lots of distinction between _ones_ and _ells_ and
_uppercase_eyes_ and _ohs_ and _zeros_.
Sue Gallagher |
Sr. Technical Writer | "Updating a manual
Easel Corporation | is like changing tires
Enfin Technology Lab | on a moving car."
San Diego, CA | -- Edmond Weiss
Susan_Gallagher_at_Enfin-SD -at- relay -dot- proteon -dot- com |