[scribus] font usage

Gregory Pittman gregp_ky at yahoo.com
Sat Aug 15 16:10:10 CEST 2009

On 08/15/2009 07:29 AM, CLIVE CATTERALL wrote:
>>> 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 ...
In the end, you have to make your own judgments, and base them on actual 
layout of whatever you're making. For our manual, Christoph and I went 
back and forth with some various font choices he came up with. I printed 
some on paper to remove the barrier of reading from a monitor. A font 
may seem attractive or interesting as you see an alphabet of glyphs, but 
as you apply that to whatever text you have created, you can quickly see 
pleasing or displeasing results. Some serif fonts are just disturbing 
when you see them applied to pages of text. Another important feature is 
the weight, and having a choice between light, medium, and regular can 
be an advantage.

I think there is some science to legibility, but I would agree that it 
may be impossible to remove personal preferences from the design of a 
scientific study. What's important is getting beyond the initial impact 
of attractiveness to deciding how easily you can absorb the content of 
the material -- not as important for a single page flyer or a few-page 
newsletter, but definitely important for a book. Sometimes the 
attractive features end up being a distraction. It's a personal 
decision, but shouldn't be a whim.


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