Re: Readability---initial c

Subject: Re: Readability---initial c
From: Tony Rocco <tony_rocco -at- NAVIS -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 14 Jun 1996 16:42:15 U

RE>>Readability---initial caps? 6/14/96

Somebody has to stand up for capitalisation. In my last job, the format for
my manuals included using small caps for all chapter titles and headings,
with large caps beginning each word (exept for articles and prepositions).
The font was Avant Garde, and it looked very elegant and readable, IMHO. Of
course, for body text this would never do. It probably depends on the font
and the context. Experiment, I say, and use your own judgement. Of course, I
don't really know if my style made anything easier to remember. But it made
it a lot prettier to look at. - Tony

Date: 6/14/96 16:17
To: Tony Rocco
From: Lars_Jensen -at- mktplace -dot- com
>The graphic artist on the project believes that projected text (overheads
>and computer displays) is remembered better if -all- significant words
>(everything except articles and short prepositions) have initial caps. He
>bases this on many years of experience designing and presenting visual
>materials to diverse audiences.

I don't know of any research on this, but a heretofore unmentioned angle,
may be particularly relevant for live presentations, is that whenever I see
effect described above, my immediate reaction is "I am looking at the output
someone unlearned in ways of the written word."

Of course this is a flaming generalization and I have no right to make it,
nevertheless it is there, and whoever makes the presentation might want to
think about the issue in that light as well as the recall-performance one.

As a matter of design, I hate all those initial caps myself (I call it
"capitalization disease"; engineers seem especially prone to it), and ban
from our products, even in menu item text (unless the menu item is a title
itself, not an imperative; for instance, I'd use "Credit Report" instead of
"Credit report", and "Save a copy as..." instead of "Save A Copy As...". The

line can get real fuzzy; sometimes you have to consider the appearance of
neighboring items to get the best balance).


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