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Re: What fonts do you use?

Posted: Fri Dec 12, 2014 9:30 pm
by xiamenese
Anecdotally …

I used to supervise and assess MA dissertations on translation, which included a translation of a 5000 word text accompanied by a 5000 word commentary on the texts, the translation process etc.

One year nearly 20 years ago, there were two students from the same European country who were friends, always in each other's company and working together. I had taught them, but didn't supervise their dissertations. When I received their dissertations to assess, they were identically structured with each section and subsection of roughly the same length, but since they had translated different texts, the content was different.

However, I had these two commentaries to read and assess. At the time, there were no guidelines as to font to use etc. and of the two, one was in TNR, the other was in Arial or similar sans-serif font. I found the one in the sans-serif font took me half as long again to read as the one in TNR; I found it much more difficult to concentrate on. I had to take extra trouble to make sure I didn't mark that student down in relation to the other as it was the content that was to be assessed, not the presentation. Because of the extra effort I had to put in to reading it, my natural inclination would have led me to assume that the commentary was more pedestrian. It wasn't.

So my personal experience has always been that sans-serif fonts on paper are more effortful to read than serif fonts ... with standard fonts that is.

I made no comment to colleagues who gave their students handouts printed in 24 point Arial or Helvetica (depending on platform!). :roll:

Mr X

Re: What fonts do you use?

Posted: Fri Dec 12, 2014 10:00 pm
by PJS
xiamenese wrote:I found the one in the sans-serif font took me half as long again to read as the one in TNR; I found it much more difficult to concentrate on.


I find a similar slow-down — perhaps it's discomfort — reading san serif faces, particularly if it's a long passage. But I wonder if that has anything to do with how we first began to read, and/or how we have read ever since. Memory back that far cannot be relied on, perhaps, but it seems that I never was much aware of san serif fonts at least until I was out of high school. I appreciate them now for things like table heads and footnotes, where my old eyes need help sorting different types of material on the page. But for go-ahead straight through reading, those serifs seem downright essential.

Re: What fonts do you use?

Posted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 7:44 am
by brett
pigfender wrote:I write in the Editor using Courier New.
My Scrivener interface / Menus and Binder are in a bespoke font based on Interstate.
I use Merriweather for the Outliner. This also looks good for the Menus (since Interstate is a paid font).
I also use Merriweather for the Corkboard titles and text, and Sketch Rockwell for the Status

If you don't know it, I'd definitely encourage you to check out Merriweather. It's free, and was specifically designed with being easy to read on a computer screen in mind.


Thanks for turning me on to Merriweather, Pigfender. I was recently editing a document in Google Docs, which offers it and some other attractive fonts as options, remembered your recommendation, and converted the doc to Merriweather-- and it made me Merri indeed! I second your recommendation and will now try to track it down for my Mac system.
Thanks also to troyscrivenerforum for encouraging me to download Courier Prime, which I did and have made my Scrivener body text font.

Re: What fonts do you use?

Posted: Thu Jan 01, 2015 1:00 pm
by nom
Sanguinius wrote:The gist:
Serif fonts are easier to read on paper, sans serif on screens.


Thanks for the study. However, I don't see how you reached that conclusion from their research. In fact, it seems quite contrary to the final statement of Moret-Tatay and Perea (2011, p.624),
The present data demonstrate that serifs do not facilitate the process of visual-word identification; instead, the presence of serifs may (if anything) hinder lexical access. This, together with the growing popularity of sans serif fonts, may be taken as a signal that, as happened with Gothic fonts in the twentieth century, serif fonts may eventually fall into disuse in the twenty-first century...


The infographic also seems to run counter to the published research article.

Having said that, the article itself only measured reaction time for individual words. This would seem to be consistent with the historical (at least in my experience) demarcation between serif and sans-serif typefaces. My memory of the typeface "rules" is that serif was considered best for blocks of text (i.e. paragraphs) and sans-serif was considered best for headings and highlights. This would also be, more or less, consistent with the infographic.

I love the article, and am very grateful you posted it! But even if their findings are replicated, it still leaves open the question whether ease of recognising words presented individually carries over to ease of semantic interpretation of slabs of text. It may yet be that the 1980s claims were right (sans-serif typeface for headers, serif for paragraphs).

I'm looking forward to more.

Many thanks! :D

Re: What fonts do you use?

Posted: Mon Jan 05, 2015 2:39 am
by DaveO
There are many good, easy to read fonts, but for me it's gotta be Palatino.

(For screenplay, I use John August's Courier Prime. Designed specifically for screenwriters, it's free: http://quoteunquoteapps.com/courierprime/ ).

When writing, though, in the rare instance Palatino isn't available, I'll go with what's available. Legibility is all that matters to me in the creation phase.

Considering publication stage (which it haven't reached yet), I'll prefer to work with a professional book designer in selecting a font set.

Palatino. Courier Prime. And for publication: consult a pro designer.

Re: What fonts do you use?

Posted: Mon Jan 05, 2015 2:34 pm
by r6d2
Ibarra Real. Found it, loved it for final drafts.

Ibarra Real.jpg
An old-style Spanish typeface
Ibarra Real.jpg (80.65 KiB) Viewed 4303 times

Re: What fonts do you use?

Posted: Wed Jan 28, 2015 4:47 am
by isabeldorastorey
Garamond, in that it is recommended by Smashwords. Have got used to the look and like it.

Re: What fonts do you use?

Posted: Fri Jan 30, 2015 7:01 pm
by brett

Re: What fonts do you use?

Posted: Fri Jan 30, 2015 8:46 pm
by pigfender
Since we all love fonts with a raging passion (thanks for the link, Brett), here is a font-related game to kern away a few moments... http://type.method.ac

Re: What fonts do you use?

Posted: Fri Jan 30, 2015 10:31 pm
by r6d2
Interesting game!, although I suck at it... 64 out of 100. :oops:

Thank God there's Scrivener!

Re: What fonts do you use?

Posted: Mon Feb 02, 2015 10:08 pm
by Sanguinius
Never heard of kerning games, but that was interesting. 80/100, with 100/100 on three of them!

Re: What fonts do you use?

Posted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 5:36 pm
by Orpheus
For titles and headings a sans serif font like Albertus, Friz-Quadrata or Alberta extra light. These are actually flared fonts and not strictly san serif.

For body text I currently use Baskerville, Palatino and Latin Modern Roman.

Here is another typography site http://webtypography.net

Re: What fonts do you use?

Posted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 5:46 pm
by Orpheus
Regarding serif vs sans serif debate for online use. This series of comments on an Adobe forum covers both sides but the conclusions is that now with higher resolution screens the choice is up to the author.

https://forums.adobe.com/thread/2287559

A relavant point made on that thread:

"Almost all mainstream printed newspapers, magazines, and books use serif type, and thus people are more accustomed to reading long texts in this style. However, given the research data, the difference in reading speed between serif and sans serif is apparently quite small. Thus, there's no strong usability guideline in favor of using one or the other, so you can make the choice based on other considerations — such as branding or the mood communicated by a particular typographical style."

Re: What fonts do you use?

Posted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 9:00 pm
by AmberV
Libertine (of Wikipedia fame) was linked to above, but if you like those kinds of flared hybrid fonts you might like Biolinium, also from the Libertine project, or Optima, free with every Mac. They are low-key and very clean, but have that subtle quasi-serif feel to them. I like these kinds of fonts in my index cards and outliner in Scrivener.

Re: What fonts do you use?

Posted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 2:42 am
by Orpheus
AmberV wrote:Libertine (of Wikipedia fame) was linked to above, but if you like those kinds of flared hybrid fonts you might like Biolinium, also from the Libertine project, or Optima, free with every Mac. They are low-key and very clean, but have that subtle quasi-serif feel to them. I like these kinds of fonts in my index cards and outliner in Scrivener.


The flared hybrid fonts are clean and classy. They are different enough that they can be used in titles and headings to contrast with a serif body font. There is something about the aesthetics of sans-serif that I find disagreeable. de gustibus non est disputandum