Re: To Serif or Sans?

Subject: Re: To Serif or Sans?
From: "Susan W. Gallagher" <sgallagher -at- STARBASECORP -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 13 Apr 1995 11:49:16 -0700

I've stayed out of this debate so far, but it's time for
me to get my $.02 into the pot...

Personally, I don't have a problem reading body text in
sans serif fonts. I think they're OK. Some of them lack
the personality a font acquires from the contrast of
thick and thin strokes -- but then again, some serif'd
fonts go *way* too far in this direction.

The *only* time I have a problem with sans serif fonts
is when it attempts to convey highly technical information
(particularly computer or mathmatical/scientific stuff).
Using sans serif fonts, it's *usually* very difficult to
tell a 1(one) from an l(small-ell) from an I(cap-eye).

In "straight" body text, this is usually not a problem.
In a math formula or a programming language, this can
be a real bear! Also, in some "off-the-wall" programming
combinations (such as the Smalltalk class SmallInteger),
sans serif fonts can make the "word" almost impossible
to read. SmallInteger, set in helvetica narrow 10pt!
Try it yourself! Butt-ugly by anyone's standards!

So, sometimes it isn't only the audience that dictates
the choice of fonts... It's the type of information you
need to convey that tells you what you have to use.

Sue Gallagher
StarBase Corp, Irvine CA
sgallagher -at- starbasecorp -dot- com


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