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226

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 ...


72

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 ...


60

No - there is no "friendly font" for all. Dyslexia is not a hard and fast condition. Different people who are dyslexic will exhibit differently. As a result a particular font that helps one individual does not necessarily help another. io9.com actually has a recent article which cited several studies on the subject: A Special Font to Help Dyslexics? More ...


59

Not only is Helvetica not safe, but it is also a copyrighted font, so you need a license to use it if you load it as webfont. As a matter of fact, there are no 100% safe web fonts, since it will depend on the fonts the user have on his/her device, and different operative systems have different font sets. Hence, you need to do something like this: p{font-...


51

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 ...


40

You're doing it wrong. Generally, there's an "other way". The answers to this question are all great, but honestly, you should look at all the different option. Squeezing as much text in as little space as possible always means you've botched a previous design choice. Perhaps you should have flipped them to be horizontal bars, giving you WAY more space to ...


36

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 this ...


34

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.


34

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 ...


30

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 ...


29

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 ...


28

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, pp.273-...


28

The point is a measurement system inherited from traditional print typography. It has had various definitions, much like the inch and foot. With the introduction of PostScript, it has been defined to be 1/72 inch. I don't recall the specific history, but the use of certain font sizes long predates computing. They continue to be used because they work, and ...


27

Having two fonts, one for headers and one for body text, is generally accepted. Do not use more than two fonts. Three's a crowd. What's important for you is to create visual hierarchy. You can do this by having contrast between font size, weight and color for your header and body text. If you find that using one font for both is not creating enough contrast ...


22

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 ...


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

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 ...


18

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, ...


18

Apart from the answer given, I would like to mention one very important Use Case where the solution is nothing BUT shadows. Text on an image When you don't have control over the image on top of which you are writing text, you have to ensure proper contrast for best readability. A Big hero Image seems to be rage these days. A dark shadow is added behind ...


17

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 ...


16

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 ...


16

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 ...


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 ...


15

Presuming you're referring to on-screen use on a conventional display (~96 DPI) as opposed to something like a Retina display, and you have a system with sub-pixel anti-aliasing, what you're looking for is a font with terrific pixel hinting. Hinting is the art of taking the vector curves designed for print use and customising their shape for different point ...


15

First of all 13px Arial isn't a standard. Arial is commonly used for, I guess, couple of reason: It's decent when it comes to readability (though people tend to disagree, as in this Typophile discussion) It's a plain sans-serif font treated often as wider spread equivalent of Helvetica It's quite old (early 80s) It's packaged on Windows since the early ...


15

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 ...


15

To add to the answer above, Amazon UX studies have led them to understand that with every 100ms delay to their website load time, they lose 1% in sales. For example, in their case, if theres a 500ms (half a second, mind you) delay, there's an increase of 5% in site abandonship. Thats a huge price to pay for load time delays. So in the pursuit of ever ...


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

In some situations a drop shadow or stroke can be used to maximise accessibility and maintain the contrast ratio between text and the background. I have used this method once or twice when dealing with strict brand guidelines that demanded non-conforming colour combinations. It is mentioned as a technique for meeting the SC 1.4.3 (Contrast) criterion of WCAG:...


14

Highlighting is more relative than absolute Non-designers often don't realize that the style of highlighting is much less important than the relationship between the highlights and non-highlights. There are all kinds of approaches to creating highlights. One might use font-color, background-color, size, font variation (e.g. italics, underlining) and ...


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