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Subject: Re: Loose extenders, light color,and a warm place to read (was RE : S haw's Shoice)
From: "Nguyen, Phan" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Discussion of Type and Typographic Design <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 6 May 1999 17:04:36 -0700

text/plain (35 lines)

> Yes. I'm not saying "the lighter the better"; there are limits.
> I'm saying that a good text face needs to be lighter than you might
> think. References: TNR is too light, but only slightly. Plantin is
> a little too dark; and a little too wide. But otherwise it's a
> man among boys.
Okay, so we agree.

> > I'm inclined to think (without any research to back this up)
> > that generous extenders actually destroy the bouma shape.
> Huh?
> Forget research (which I myself have been doing), just
> use "thought": a bouma's information is contained first
> and foremost in its protrusions; by definition.
True, but the bouma shape is generated from a cohesive 'magnetic field'
around the letters. The bouma becomes apparent because the letters are close
to one another. When an ascender is too long, it breaks up this cohesive

If I had time I'd illustrate an example.

> As for x-heights, the only time they should be somewhat big
> is for very small text, where legibility -as opposed to
> the generally more relevant readability- is important.
I think the average text size in use today is small enough to warrant a
happy x-height. Not to the extreme of Plantin, necessarily.

> > x-heights of early ITC faces don't work is because they're too wide.
> But even the narrow versions are hard to read.
Well, we can blame that on ITC.

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