Interrobang?! — Interrobang!?

One of the least heralded, but arguably most important new features of the new ClearType font collection is the support for a previously little used character—the interrobang. This character was developed in 1962 by Martin Speckter with the intention of conveying additional information for advertising text. People have many different opinions on this character. The…

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ClearType = Clear Mind

In a previous post I talked about the ClearType improvement in word recognition. Lee Gugerty and Rick Tyrrell at Clemson University found that ClearType improves word recognition accuracy by 17%. One of the other studies in the same publication looked at the effect of ClearType on reading sentences. If ClearType improves the accuracy of word…

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Typography Tip #2.

Typography Tip #2. When justifying text in Microsoft Word use the hyphenation feature to improve the look of your page. Notice in the text block on the left, there is a lot of unnecessary “white space” distributed throughout. When hyphenation is turned on the overall typographic color of the page is much more even. To…

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Rscheearch Shmecsearch

In September 2003, the following paragraph thundered its way around the internet, and has been an urban myth ever since. Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteres are at the rghit pclae. The rset…

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Why is Courier New so Thin?

The Courier typeface, designed by Howard “Bud” Kettler, has an interesting history which has been discussed in other places so I won’t cover that here. But, a question that sometimes gets asked is why the Courier New font that ships with Windows is so thin? The Courier typeface was originally designed by IBM for their…

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Where does 96 DPI come from in Windows?

Most Windows systems are shipped with the display DPI set to 96 PPI. (I’ll use the term PPI in this blog entry as it more accurately reflects usage for computer screens while DPI is more common for print usage. Windows tends to use the DPI acronym.) This setting is sometimes also called “Normal Size” or…

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Fontblog Typography Tips

Typography Tip #1. When writing your email, or documents, only use one space after a period. period!

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ClearType improves our accuracy at recognizing words

Most people agree that ClearType makes text look nicer, especially when tuned. But does it help us read more efficiently? This is a difficult question because adult readers can read at a very fast rate – good readers can read 250-300 words per minute, which is a word every 200-240 milliseconds on average. Measuring something…

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The burden of locked grids & blooming dots

Stuck in a rut, boxed in by restraints, griddled by grids? You know what I love? Beautiful type. Gorgeous books, letterpress, ink and the swish of the pen. The flow of thought communicated through the way words are placed on a page, and the artistry and design intent hidden behind a functional form. You know…

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You can tune a font but you can’t tuna fish…

My name is Greg Hitchcock, and I’m a software architect in the Advanced Reading Technologies team. One of the purposes of this blog is to show the passion we have for improving the reading experience on-screen, and I hope that through the postings of different members of this team, this passion will show through. I…

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