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182

It's a legal compromise really. From an article on the New York Times: The design of modern billing blocks illustrates the tension between two intersecting interests: studios want uncluttered marketing materials, and industry organizations want their members prominently and fairly credited. Thus, it is neither accidental nor for aesthetics that the ...


71

This question probably belongs on Graphic Design. That said: Good visual design is about a lot of things, one of them being that it should be appropriate for the particular message one is trying to communicate. Comic Sans was designed for MS Bob, a failed UI concept of MS's back in the day. It was created to be informal, but legible at low-resolution. MS ...


49

Yes, it matters. In many fonts the italic period has a different shape than the normal period. It might not be visible at small sizes, but at large sizes the difference is hard to miss. In order to find out which fonts italicize the different punctuation marks, you would have to investigate each. However, in most fonts everything, even quotation marks and ...


46

It really depends on a lot of factors such as what is the frequency of certain characters that you expect and what fonts are available to you. I did a rudimentary by creating a program that iterated through all of the available fonts I had installed on my Windows box at the time and printed a line containing each printable ascii character on to the screen ...


33

Can anyone tell just by looking at the example which one is italicised? At 100% zoom, it's virtually impossible. But at 500%... As stressed, such italicization has substantial influence when at a larger size.


32

Italicized? Depends. You first have to understand what an italic is. There is a true italic where letterforms are based on handwritten letterforms. There is oblique or fake italic where the roman letterform is slanted. There is a faux italic when a browser needs to render a italic, but a true italic is missing, than the browser can create a faux italic by ...


28

Comic sans is a good font, if used correctly. It's for comic book situations like below. (usually all CAPS) It's not meant for emails or web page text. My suggestion is to show them the proper use of the font and ask them if they want comic book characters commissioned for the site. Then it will look correct. Sometimes, trebuchet MS or Tahoma will make ...


26

Italics are a known problem for some people with dyslexia and the general advice has been to avoid italics (particularly large blocks of italic text) and instead use bold for emphasis. The British Dyslexia Association says: Avoid underlining and italics: these tend to make the text appear to run together. Use bold instead. UX Movement touches on ...


25

Old style figures are used in titles and paragraph text. According to Fonts.com old style is suitable for title and paragraph text due to the fact that this gives the text uniform look. The 'modern' style numbers should be used for tables and graphs, since these modern numbers align better when used in these contexts. There are fonts that support both old ...


24

It depends. It depends mainly on how users will be locating the data they are interested in. Numerical Stats in a Row If the page is repeating the same stats groupings in the same order, then positional memory will be used, and the numbers themselves also cue the reader in to positioning - Best bowling 5/45 has a different form to Economy Rate 1.51 and ...


20

Like any normal web design, it's worth staying away from pixel sizes so if a user really needs larger text they can still use your site. Unless you're targetting a specific group of phones that you can test, it's best to let the OS and browser handle the size. font-size: medium; should be fine for content, and then you should be able to make em based ...


19

The principal problem to my eyes is that I'm scanning column wise instead of left to right. Any marks that appear towards the bottom of the character indicating 'b' or 'd' would not be enough for my eyes to quickly determine the character. I suggest you make a change to one of the character's top strokes. Maybe a one pixel dot towards the 'inside' (left if ...


19

Monospaced typefaces do reduce legibility, albeit by a margin. In Universal Principles of Design, the entry on legibility states: Proportionally spaced typefaces are preferred over monospaced. One famous research on this is Beldie I. P., Pastoor S. & Schwarz E, 1983, “Fixed versus variable letter width for televised text”, Human Factors, 25, ...


18

Read this article on font legibility. At least look at this graph of on-screen reading times (shorter line = faster/better): The differences aren't that large, but it's worth noting that Times (a serif font) came in second place. For medium-large text consider ClearType (or whatever Apple's alternative for it is). For very small text (~<= size 10.5, ...


18

I don't deal in print, but I have read quite a bit about fonts in the past. Recent studies have shown that serif vs. sans serif on a computer display is not really what affects readability, even at lower resolutions. Print, however, is a different matter. The studies consistently indicate that in print, serif based fonts are easier to read. That said, some ...


16

You may be able to play around with the idea of drawing them both using a single stroke, and differentiating by a small gap in between the vertical and the c curve. For "b" you could leave a gap at the top point where the c meets the l, and for "d", the gap could be left at the bottom instead. This effectively makes it appear as 1 stroke, or 2, and might ...


14

Considering your content is like most where the user will be reading the data more often. For example consider where your eyes go first: - Bowling Pins: 32 and now the opposite: - Bowling Pins: 32 - They user will come to the page for the first time and: See the bold data, than look at what they represent. The user will return to look up the data ...


14

I think a user using an app like that (text rendered with no accents when accents are expected) would find it to be very unprofessional. As the accents play an important role in the language, leaving them out could: Cause users to just passed off as bad grammar. Change the meaning of what you are trying to convey. Look like gibberish. As for languages ...


14

How well a font displays on the web depends on how much hinting information it has had: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Font_hinting Font hinting takes a tremendous amount of time to do as the font must be adjusted at each size. The reason Arial, Verdana and other older fonts always display well is because they have been meticulously hinted. Verdana has a ...


14

As I mentioned in a comment, I don't think 'b' and 'd' are necessarily two characters that are confusing to most people. So there may be of limited interest/use in such a typeface. one and I and lowercase-L are confusing because they are often the exact same glyph in a lot of typefaces. Zero and O, thought usually slightly different are often seen as the ...


14

There is no evidence that serif or sans-serif significantly impacts readability. Alex Poole conducted a study on Which Are More Legible: Serif or Sans Serif Typefaces?. His conclusion: What initially seemed a neat dichotomous question of serif versus sans serif has resulted in a body of research consisting of weak claims and counter-claims, and study ...


13

The biggest problem is the visual emphasis lost by the bright colour (in this case green). You can say "ignore the other colour", but it's the biggest problem with the readability! So it's hard to successfully improve the readability without working on that colour. The menu on the left is very high contrast, causing it to distract the reader from the main ...


13

Having your cursor slanted would be a UX improvement over a permanently vertical cursor. Many word processors already do this. Here are some examples from MS Word: It gives additional feedback to a user that the text they enter will be italic, and it is visually less confusing when selecting text. At the same time, I can't think of any reason that it ...


13

I think that the closest answer is: a compromise between visibility and legibility (which of course created some standard with time, or even: best practice). The main purpose for that is the need to fit as much text as possible, while still keeping the letters quite big (this is why the letters are almost always capital here as well). Fonts used here are ...


13

A typeface is a distinct design of glyphs, a font is a specific variant therof, consisting of a full set of glyphs. Helvetica is a typeface, as is Courier. They are different typefaces, and by definition different fonts. Helvetica condensed bold is a font, as is Helvetica italic. They both belong to the Helvetica typeface, but they are different fonts.


13

I like to compare old-style numbers to lowercase, and new-style to capitals. Some typographers even talk about 'lowercase' and 'uppercase numbers'. To my eyes, using UPPERCASE in the middle of a sentence seems odd, also when using numbers in the text. old-style numerals just 'flow' better with the rest of the lowercase letters in a sentence. When available, ...


12

Coda Sometimes a smaller font is a good way out of a tight spot. In this particular case, at least for the part of the problem shown, there is a better solution which is both clearer, and takes half the space, like so: I'm using a large enough font, 18pt Tahoma (open image in new tab to view full size), that the negative letter-space is OK.


12

I think the best explanation I have found was in this article which explains how fonts constitute a typeface. To quote the article A typeface is a family of fonts (very often by the same designer). Within a typeface there will be fonts of varying weights or other variations. E.g., light, bold, semi-bold, condensed, italic, etc. Each such variation ...


12

The study list linked to in the blog mentioned by Matt Obee is here http://dyslexiahelp.umich.edu/sites/default/files/good_fonts_for_dyslexia_study.pdf It's an interesting paper and the conclusions are worth working through: The main conclusion is that font types have an impact on readability of people with dyslexia. As they do on readability with ...


11

Headings may use the same font as the body, but they are not required to. Plenty of great typography uses different fonts for the body and headings. In fact, there are fonts specifically designed for each purpose -- "text" faces for the body, and "display" faces for headings, titles, posters, and so on. If you have a single good font, it is acceptable, ...



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