[scribus] font usage

Gregory Pittman gregp_ky at yahoo.com
Fri Aug 14 14:19:49 CEST 2009

On 08/14/2009 06:32 AM, CLIVE CATTERALL wrote:
> jjj wrote:
>> If you are new to DTP I would also suggest reading up on
>> the different
>> classes of fonts (text, display, and so on). For example,
>> it is
>> generally acceptable to use a sans-serif font for
>> headlines, but not
>> for body text. Learning all the rules for proper font usage
>> will make
>> your work look more professional.
> While this is sound advice, perhaps the most useful thing to do is to specifically look at font usage in other publications in your area.
> Many, many manuals, particularly car manuals (I believe every single Haynes Manual), many adult "how-to" books, and children's craft and how-to books usually have sans body text.
> This seems to be an increasing modern trend. For example Delia Smith's original cookbook (my edition from 1989) was set in Baskerville (very nice and legible, even at small size), but the much later DS Vegetarian collection (2002)is set in a *condensed* Helvetica. (Both BBC Books)
> If you have nothing else to go on then do the sans/heading serif/body thing, but do look at what everyone else is doing.
The most important thing is legibility, somewhat subjective, but in 
general a serif font will be more easily readable at small size than 
sans-serif. Some people, I think, get lost in the idea of wanting a 
"modern" look to the font, and sans-serif seems more sleek and modern. 
As your eye scans across text, it can have a hard time differentiating 
the number 1 from small letter l from capital I with some/many 
sans-serif fonts, which means that your brain then must use the context 
of surrounding letters, slowing the reading process and bringing about 
some cognitive distraction. The result is subtle visual and mental fatigue.

Using sans-serif for headings helps them stand out from body text, so 
there is a rhyme and reason for the usual recommendations.


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