[scribus] font usage

avox avox at arcor.de
Sat Aug 15 14:46:35 CEST 2009

>>> 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.
> This thread has covered some interesting stuff. Personally I think
> legibility has as much to do with familiarity than with anything inherent
> in the font design, but my opinion is not based on any evidence.
> I wonder if the claims of legibility are sometimes based on little
> evidence. For example, in UK secondary school classrooms I have noticed
> that a great many teachers use comic sans on handouts and presentations.
> They swear that this is for reasons of legibility. Wow.
> The point I was trying to make was much simpler - if you are designing
> anything  you need to do some research. Find out what others are doing and
> then, if you choose to go your own way, you are at least doing that with a
> full understanding that your work will stand out.
> Another Example: I note that Sony are using a sans font on their manuals
> where it mixes nicely with the pictures, and a serif font in the "serious"
> section of the guarantee... I honestly think that for shorter documents
> font choice is rarely to do with legibility ...

Well, if it was all down to legibilty we'd only need one font ever...

In my view legibility depends most of all on
1. font size
2. leading and spacing
3. letter form

Most serif/sans serif fonts use well-known letter forms so that familiarity
shouldn't be a problem.
Old black letter fonts, cursive script or more exotic modern display fonts
are more difficult to read without (and maybe even with) practice.

Serifs help if you have long blocks of text with small leading. They also
help to make letter forms more distinct (eg. "1" vs. "l" or "nn" vs. "rm")
Fortunately, as another poster pointed out, the overall shape of a word is
more important than individual letters (except in computer manuals).

Sans-serif fonts like Delicious or Calibri should be fine even for longer
text if you use a decent leading.


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