Re: UBS4 vs NA27 vs UBS3

From: Maurice A. O'Sullivan (
Date: Tue Feb 23 1999 - 07:44:05 EST

At 11:29 22/02/99 -0500, Edward Hobbs
>though nowhere nearly as bad as the UBS4 font-cum-thin->cheap-paper.

That point about the kind of paper being used is a _most_ important feature
when it comes to choosing fonts.

AFAIR, the original Gill Sans font was designed by Eric Gill for London
Transport for their station boards, which in the style of the thirties were
highly glased baked enamel plates.
So it is a commonplace since then that glossy ads, brochures require sans
fonts. But in the nature of things -- laziness, unthinking, or whatever
label you put on it -- sans fonts get used in all sort of inappropriate ways.

And some fonts, well designed for a particular purpose, have a limited life.
One example is in a family of fonts, called Lucida, specifically designed
for computer use. Included in the 'family' is Lucida Fax; designed in the
days when almost all fax machines produced the text on that awful curling
shiny paper that turned yellow within days. So the designers utilized even
more of the space between lines than normal -- because the old physical
limitations imposed by metal type no longer existed.
And it works fine on those old fax machines. But now that fax messages are
either printed on plain paper or displayed on computer screens, the font is
harder to read than a conventional face, either serif or sans, in the same

With the increasing amount of out-of-copyright material being printed by
photo-offset these days, it is very easy to see how a font that was
eminently suited to being banged hard into soft, thick paper reads
considerably less attractively when reproduced by a totally different
technique on a very different sort of paper.

My thanks to you and to Rod Decker for the recommendation of the Grossdruck
NA27 edition.
I have been using the standard size edition for some years, but detiorating
eyesight means that I ordered the larger print editiont the moment I read
Rod's posting.



Maurice A. O'Sullivan [ Bray, Ireland ]

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