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You will find there is a difference between legibility and readability. 
Legibility deals with how easily recognizable given letters are. 
However, when we read, we don't read individual letters. Rather, we read 
words or, more accurately, groups of words, at a time. When reading, 
word shapes are more important than letter shapes.

Thus, a sans-serif typeface can be very legible, but not necessarily 
readable. The serifs add visual information to word shapes. For example, 
in a sans-serif type, there is little visible difference between the 
word "Ill" (that's "ill" as in "sick.") and a roman numeral 3 (III). 
Serifs make the two distinguishable.

So, if you're creating a street sign, a sans-serif type in all upper 
case letters might be most legible, but I would hate to read a book in 

Likewise, Bookman Old Style is very legible, but it wouldn't be my first 
choice for a novel length book. It's very legibility could work against 
it for long-term reading.

If you want to dive into this world (let me warn you, it's addictive and 
can feed obsessiveness), I would recommend Robert Bringhurst's excellent 
book, "The Elements of Typographic Style."


On 06/10/2017 01:18 PM, charles meyer wrote:
Ahoy my esteemed and steamy mates,

I'm looking for your experienced suggestions of which font(s) have you
found to be most clearly legible?

There are fonts you can see clearly even though they're in size 8 or
smaller or from a great distance.

I've noticed this as well on street signs. Some characters, even though
larger, are less legible because of style and not size than others.

I often use Bookman Old Style for that reason. I find Times New Roman
blends so it's less legible.

Anyone work ( or have a life partner, relative or fried) who works at an ad

Ad agencies go to great lengths in determining which font style and size to
use on consumer products as well as which colors are most alluring,
calming, friendly, inviting, etc.

Admittedly, there are personal preferences but there is also empirical
evidence gleaned from focus groups and studies re: which font styles/size
and colors affect people in what ways.

So, let's have our own focus group, shall we?!

What's your choice for most legible font style/size/color - and why?

Thank you - Merci- Gracias - Grazi - Domo!


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