Re: Fonts and Point Sizes

Subject: Re: Fonts and Point Sizes
From: "John A. Lord" <jlord -at- LIVINGSTON -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 24 Oct 1996 15:03:24 -0700

At 03:28 PM 10/23/96 -0500, Dana 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?

You just opened Pandora's box. There are probably more opinions on this
topic than there are writers. What follows is just one person's opinion.

I happen to like Adobe's version of Garamond, it has an elegant design, and
I use it for personal letters. However, it may not be the best choice for
body text in a technical document or book, especially when converting to PDF
files (which are often read on-line), because it is not so readable in small
screen fonts as some other choices.

Many people still cling to Times for body text, but I prefer Palatino (some
claim that it is overused like Times), Stone Serif, or Goudy Old Style. If
you want to use a sans serif/serif combination, the following go well
together: Optima with Palatino, Stone Sans with Stone Serif, and Gill Sans
with Goudy Old Style.

There are several "rules of thumb" for determining the optimum body text
point size, none of which I remember; 11 points sounds a good compromise.

Good Luck

John Lord Technical Publications
jlord -at- livingston -dot- com Livingston Enterprises, Inc. Phone (510) 426-0770


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