Monday, April 19, 2010

The Best and Cheapest Fonts

When I got my first PC, there was nothing cooler than Courier, which is this font. Then we all discovered Times on the Mac and soon Times New Roman in the Window's world. For a while I thought Times was the perfect font. So nice and even and round. 

I remember how mad/frustrated I felt when someone told me that electronic documents looked better in Arial, because it did not have the thin and thick of Times New Roman. 

Of course, he was right, and soon I loved Arial. I do almost all my documents in Arial.  Although I still think it looks like Helvetica. 

Now I learn that Microsoft is promoting Calibri and Cambria because they think they look best on screen. They do look pretty good -- except I like the "g" in Arial best. I don't care for the backwards "g" in many fonts. I like the smaller serifs in Cambria over Times. 

The folklore is that people read serif fonts faster than non-serif. Wikipedia claims that children read both the same. 

Now comes the word that we need to use Century Gothic to save money, and I suppose, to fight global warming. This originally comes from University of Wisconsin -- Green Bay. Below is their data.

The idea is the thin spindle-y fonts use less ink. I suppose they can be harder to read, but maybe not.

Note that Century Gothic beat "Ecofont," by a few cents. Ecofont is a set of proprietary fonts that creates white dots inside the letters to make the printing lighter. The brain sees the edges better, and ignores the dots.  Ecofont is the winner of a recent design award.