Lynn Gold (figmo) wrote,
Lynn Gold
figmo

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Font Geekery

Today a memo came across at KLIV that dictated that "the font we use in the newsroom is 11 or 12 point Ariel." (sic)

Luckily for me, there's no such font as "Ariel" (emphasis on the one letter mine), but....

It's impossible to tell an uppercase "I" from a lowercase "l" in Arial. Take the following sentence:

Ilana Il Ibrahim met Ilano by the llano.

In Times you can read it. Now to show it in Arial:

Ilana Il Ibrahim met Ilano by the llano.

Ludicrous, isn't it? There's only one font that's worse, and that's Helvetica:

Ilana Il Ibrahim met Ilano by the llano.

Let's show it in Courier for comparison:

Ilana Il Ibrahim met Ilano by the llano.

I actually think Courier is best for news copy because, when set at 65 characters per line, it takes around four seconds per line of text to read the copy. You can't do that kind of guestimating with a variable width font.

If you like the Arial "look" but want something readable, a better font is Verdana:

Ilana Il Ibrahim met Ilano by the llano.

I wrote my boss a memo to this effect. IMHO Arial had become the default font for most of the department because it was set up as the default font on all the computers. "Default" does not mean it's the right font to use.

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