Re: Fonts and Point Sizes

Subject: Re: Fonts and Point Sizes
From: Newton Vasconcellos <mendv -at- AX -dot- APC -dot- ORG>
Date: Thu, 24 Oct 1996 06:47:13 -0200

Hi, there:

I have just finished struggling with a client of mine over the look of a
finished paper manual.

He required an A4 page. That is a lot of paper to cover. I suggested a blank
column on the left to place subtitles, boxes and other attention-attracting
He said no.

I then tried to break subjects vertically. He said maybe.

Finally, we went for a very long line length, occupying the whole page minus
the sides. Some 18 cm. of lines.

The text was extremely technical. The reader would probably be irritated by
so much material in lines so long. What to do?

The font used was good old Times. Font size: 12. Interline spacing: a hefty
17 pt (so the reader can end one line and manage to find the following one
without getting lost in the process).

This was the solution for drastic requirements. In your case, you should
consider font size and interline spacing together, for one can make up for
the shortcomings of the other.

There is a myth that for online use fonts must be 12 point. This is not so.
We all realize that 12 point fonts read reasonably well on the screen and
that making them smaller might make reading more difficult. For some fonts,
11 pt is an acceptable alternative, however. But, in this case, give a
little more air between the lines. The reader will thank you.

On the other hand, readers of type on screen can always increase the size of
the message by reading the material at 120, 150, 200 or even 400 magnitude.
They may mumble as they do it, but they do have that possibility.

So, if cost is one of your restraints (and is there any place where it
isn't?), by all means go with font 11. Your paper costs will come down
(probably your bigger chunk of expense) and the screen will be readable.


Newton D. Vasconcellos
mendv -at- ax -dot- apc -dot- org
Rio de Janeiro

At 15:28 23/10/96 -0500, you wrote:
> We are redesigning our template and have tentatively picked Garamond 11 point
> for the body text. Some of our writers have concerns about the readability of
> both the font and point size. We ship our doc as hard copy and PDF files, so
> resolution online is a consideration.

> Suggestions? Altneratives?

> Thanks!

> Danna
> dlcardwell -at- softart -dot- com

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