Sunday, May 30, 2004

Topical Typography

On certain ARA pages I've taken more time to format: for legibility? of the characters; and readability? of whole paragraphs. "Compare and Contrast" Tom's obiit page with Grahame and Martin's report on Thruxton. Then see my quotation from Daniel Will-Harris below which is one hundred per cent correct.

I have specified Verdana font in some places. (Verdana, interestingly enough, was developed via London Transport experiments, from the classic work of Gill/Johnstone in the 1930's. As you can imagine there is much similarity between one's perception of a passing bus and the transitions of a computer screen ! - book-reading is a totally different affair.). Verdana has proved to cause less eye-strain and less reading-error. A lengthy job for next winter might be to standardise a font thoughout the website and unify our ARA brand ? . . might switch to Georgia font?

"Optimal readability depends on lines of text that aren't too long. Yet as . . screens are getting "wider" many sites are setting lines of text that run from one side of the screen to the other; dramatically decreasing readability. eFuse.com sets type at an optimal width of approximately 60 characters (at the default 12 point size, this translates to around 450 pixels wide). This leaves a lot of blank space on the screen, but it's not a waste because blank space makes text easier to read." - Daniel Will-Harris, in efuse, 2001.

2 Comments:

At 31 May 2004 at 06:55, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about text _size_?

 
At 2 June 2004 at 01:54, Blogger Daniel said...

In terms of size, it's best to use the browser's default size, which is akin to 12 point, or no smaller than approximately 10 point.

Remember, though, it's not good to spec type size in points or pixels, because if you do, Internet Explorer users cannot change the size of the text to make it easier to read (Mozilla users _can_).

It's best to spec type in percentages, with 100% being the browser default. In that case, try to avoid going smaller than 80%.

A lot of young web designers think teeny tiny type is cool, and routinely set it at 60% and less for body text. That's nice if your 19, but people in their 30s or older will find this too small, too hard to read, and in many cases, simply too annoying to bother with.

 

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