Monday, May 23, 2011

Font Size Challenged

Code in Licorice Script.
I'm a basic font type of guy. I remember working at Westwood Associates (aka Westwood Studios) back in the late 80's. Word processors weren't exactly new, but actually many companies still used type writers. Every designer, writer and programmer at Westwood was using their own particular font. The more dramatic and stylish the font the better. Imagine trying to parse code written in -- "Licorice Script".

Finally Brett Sperry, one of the owners had enough and established a Westwood style guide. All documents were to be written in Times Roman 14pt., later reduced down to 12pt. I still have old Westwood documents with this giant font. It was ugly, but you could certainly read it.

When I established  Elvis in My Basement I did some hard thinking about which font to use and how to display it. My last blog was simply black Times Roman 12pt on white background, but I really wanted something a little more dramatic.

I tried all kinds of colors, fonts and textured backgrounds. Nothing really worked. It seemed the more creative I got the harder it was to read. Finally, I ended up with Times Roman white letters on a solid dark green background. My initial 11pt font was upped to 13pt after one of my friends said it was too hard to read.

I was using Stumble Upon and came across a site with the had a number of short stories - Short Story Knots. The stories are written in the smallest Ariel font and they're tan on dark brown. I had to press my eyeball against the screen to see the story. Finally, I had to write him an email just explaining that he, like I, was font size challenged.

Look I have MS and my eyes are a bit off – so it was impossible to read your story. It’s like 9pt. Ariel tan on dark brown. It’s stylish and clean I give you that, but not enjoyable and no matter how good the content is, it turns readers off when you’re – well, font size challenged. I suffered from the same – smallness problem .. but now I’m Times Roman 13pt and considering upping it to 14pt.
When it comes to fonts – form follows function.
So the lesson is: Be a man use your big font.

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