[Edprof] Bigger type size

Gene Foreman gene.foreman at verizon.net
Mon Feb 25 16:32:59 PST 2008

I think it's a good decision by Dennis to increase the point size.
            However, I disagree with him that fonts and point sizes are
arcane terms today. A generation ago, yes. But most readers now are familiar
with fonts and point sizes, thanks to the computer. I remember first
learning the term font, which then was an arcane printer's term. When I got
to the classroom after retiring as an editor, I was impressed that students
used the term casually.



From: edprof-bounces at editteach.org [mailto:edprof-bounces at editteach.org] On
Behalf Of Deborah Gump
Sent: Monday, February 25, 2008 5:22 PM
To: edprof
Subject: [Edprof] Bigger type size


Some of you may have read that the Indianapolis Star is increasing its type

If you, like me, read Dennis Ryerson's column online, you may be scratching
your head at this graph (added emphasis mine):

"I'll not bore you with the arcane world of fonts and point sizes and the
mechanical aspects of retrofitting our printing presses.
Here's the important information: Our new type will be the size of this and
the next sentence. I hope you will agree that it is a big improvement."

I'm kind of fond of arcane info, so I asked Dennis for details. Here's his

"We're now using Mercury Text, 9.6 pt on 9.8 pt. leading.  We're moving to
9.8 on 10.0.  Not much you say?  Right, until I tell you that when we went
from a 50-inch web to 48-inch a couple of years ago, we optically reduced
the width of the page 5%.  We're not going to be doing that now, so the net
effect for readers will be a noticeable increase in type size."

I used to tell my students if they really cared about their aging print
audience, they'd make their type bigger. This means I have to move to
Indianapolis when I retire.

Deborah Gump, Ph.D.

Director, Print/Online
Committee of Concerned Journalists
529 14th St., N.W., Suite 425
Washington, D.C.  20045
202-662-7159 | dgump at concernedjournalists.org

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