Re: Fonts for Online documents

Subject: Re: Fonts for Online documents
From: David Jones/KSBEISD <David_Jones/KSBEISD -dot- KSBEISD -at- DATAHUB -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 19 Jun 1996 12:56:21 HST

Just a small, quick, correction ...
>The answer to the question of serif versus sans-serif fonts for online
documents is actually technology driven. On paper, using printing technology,
serif fonts are measurably more legible, because in tests people can read
serif fonts more quickly and with fewer errors. This advantage has been
grasped since before the Middle Ages (hey, would you carve serifs on your
granite monuments if you didn't have to?). The theory is that the serifs help
the eye recognize the shape of letters more quickly and accurately.<
Reading studies have shown that people read by recognizing the shapes of
words, not the individual letters. (The only time individual letters are
usually decoded is the first time a reader encounters a new word.) Serifs make
reading words easier because they help group the letters into the shape of the
word.
BTW, there are sans serif fonts that are almost as easy to read as serif
fonts -- Stone Sans, one whose real name I forget, but a clone ships with
CorelDraw under the name of "France." They all look better than Arial.
One good thing about using Arial as an online typeface -- you pretty much
don't have to worry about whether or not the reader has it installed on his/her
system ...

David Jones, Technical Writer
David_Jones/KSBEISD -dot- KSBEISD -at- Datahub -dot- com
Kamehameha Schools Bishop Estate

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