I’m in search of the ideal catalog of information-design typefaces.
For sans-serif, I love “FF Meta” and “FF Scala” for their modern personality and wide range of weights, but for pure usability I’m looking at “ClearviewOne” (the new US Interstate typeface) and it’s European equivalent “Euroface” which replaces “DIN-Schrift” (is it even released?)
I’m also interested specifically in faces developed for computer use with optimized, non-aliased raster versions in various sizes.
Anyone have other favorites or other faces to look into?
PS; in design school I was taught “when in doubt, get the Helvetica out,” but this article on Euroface proves otherwise.
*International Standard Recognition Unit
thats good - it took me a while to catch on, I think this gave it away though - “(5.5 ISRU is the absolute legibility world record measured in 1982 in simulated conditions in a research and test centre in Nizhniy Olenek near the Arctic Circle by a team of Russian typographers).”
Parisine is another “designed for legibility” typeface - “developed for the Paris Metro network (RATP) to improve signage legibility and space economy”
Microsoft’s Georgia and Verdana were built specifically for the web. Apparently they were designed as size-specific bitmap fonts and then adapted to work as anti-aliased versions.
there is this too… designed for the partially-sighted
but their testing doesn’t sound too scientific -
“There has been such general approval that the design team is confident that this new typeface will bring a considerable improvement in the legibility of text on screens.”
A guide for visually-impaired-friendly design -
Oh Shit! I’m obviously a bit slower to catch on–should learn to read things!
Technically I’m sure it is possible to optimize a typeface for speed–just elongate the characters and take changing perspective into account, like the elongated letters used on roadways.
Thanks for the great links!
We had a well informed typographer in a graphics design course, here at my school yesterday and he explained some intresting stuff:
Helvetica (as Univers, Arial, Impact ) are all called CLOSED SANS SERIF and are there for not that legible. The “e” and “s” are often very closed in these typefaces, so that, for instance, the S on a computer screen or at distance more gets the for om an 8.
OPEN SANS SEFIF is Frutiger, Lucida, Muriad, Stone Sans, Meta and are thereby more legible.
The TEMPERED SANS SERIF (Gill sans, Scala Sans, Antique Olive (Officina Sans)) are legible also in long text’s (as opposed to short texts, like signs).
Yeh, and also, the eurostile is legible, but the emphasize with this typeface is on screen presentation. It’s more squared shape creates less anti-aliased dither effects, that easily occurs around really round “o”. If the “O” in “low” gets blurry by anti-alias, it will, with the very sharp “L” and “W” (that isn’t affected by anti-alias that much), give an uneven apperance. Sharp “L”, blurry “O”, sharp “W”.
With GEOMETRIC SANS SERIFS like eurostile the “O” will be less blurry and give the words a more even appearanece. Verdana is a middle path, trying to combine the more squared shape, but still keeping a more soft appearance.
OCR:series is also recommended for signs.
Legibility varies. It’s what the user is used to. At one time, “Black Letter” was legible.
Legibility is like beauty. It’s all in the eyes of the beholder.
I think for web design, Verdana and Tahoma are great. Tahoma is more condensed than Verdana and is good in certain situations.
These type faces are pretty common also. I don’t think I’ve ever used anything else for copy text on the web.