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…


Introducing the Irony Mark

Despite the less than positive comments for the Interrobang, I would like to advocate for more sentence-end punctuation options. I spend a lot of time communicating in writing with email and IM, and wish I had more options for expression. Take the following example: Friend: Britney is planning to have another baby to save her…


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…


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…



One often finds the colophon at the end of a book, but in the case of this blog it is only right to bring it out first thing As this blog will be discussing fonts and screen readability—it only makes sense to take advantage of a feature in Internet Explorer called font embedding. This feature…


Word jumble hoax debunked

I’ve previously talked about the Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde uinervtisy hoax. The study described in that hoax has recently been carried out by a team at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and the University of Durham. The data conclusively demonstrates that the hoax is incorrect. The hoax claimed that transposing letters within a…


Fontblog Typography Tips

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


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…


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…


Missed Opportunity for Ligatures

In 1916 Legros & Grant published their classic printers handbook Typographical Printing-Surfaces. In a small section in the middle of the book they advocate spelling reform for a different reason than most. There have been many calls for spelling reform for the English language. The problem is that there are roughly 45 sounds in the…