croton blog for croton-on-hudson new york


Saying Goodbye to Verdana

November 27, 2007

We hope you like our new look. After more than a week of experimenting with permutations and combinations of type fonts, Crotonblog has fixed on what we believe are the most readable fonts and point sizes for text, heads and subheads.

The text is set in Garamond, and it’s the last word in dignity and class. You are reading it right now. Garamond has long been preferred for use as what typographers call a bookface because of its ease of reading and popularity with book designers. One of the oldest of fonts, it takes its name from that of Claude Garamond, a French typecutter active in the 16th century.

The heads and subheads are set in Times Roman, another handsome face. Its most distinctive quality, the chiseled points on the serifs, is often lost by using it in reverses (white on black) and, or printing it on coarse paper stock. The capital letters come right out of the Roman stonecutter’s art, and the lower case maintains the chiseled effect.

We think you will agree that our blog is now more readable—oops, more legible than the former puny sans serif font, Verdana, we were almost forced to use. Please feel free to offer your comments and suggestions. Just don’t suggest that we go back to Verdana, the font that Bill Gates and Microsoft imposed on the computer community. It’s Garamond and Times Roman for us from now on.

On December 2, 2007 10:21 AM, TeaDrinker said:

We are grateful to eagle-eyed reader Robert Scott for calling our attention to our incorrect identification of the type now used in the text of Crotonblog as Garamond when it is actually Times Roman. Our bad.

We are happy to acknowledge that the text, heads and subheads of Crotonblog are all set in Times Roman, a truly handsome face. This is one typeface forced on computer users that Bill Gates got right. Its most distinctive quality, the chiseled points on the serifs, is often lost by using it in reverses (white on black) and, or printing it on coarse paper stock. The capital letters come right out of the Roman stonecutter’s art, and the lower case maintains the chiseled effect.

We think you will agree that our blog is now more readable—oops, more legible with Times Roman than with the former puny sans serif font, Verdana, we were almost forced to use. Please feel free to offer your comments and suggestions. Just don’t suggest that we go back to Verdana, another font that Bill Gates and Microsoft imposed on the computer community. It’s Times Roman for us from now on.

On December 2, 2007 9:07 AM, TeaDrinker said:

As a former book publisher who has designed many a book page, I regret to inform Crotonblog that the typeface used in your new text is not Garamond as you claim but is good old reliable Times New Roman. Almost everything you say about Garamond, however, is true of Times New Roman, except its age and its designer.

All typefaces have characteristic letters that help to identify them. The uppercase T in Times New Roman is flat-topped; the uppercase J matches the baseline of the other capital letters and has a pronounced hook like a fishhook. Here is Times New Roman:

In Garamond, on the other hand, the uppercase T has two serif slapped on the ends of the crossbar. The serif on the left is slanted and the one on the right is vertical. The uppercase J in Garamond descends below the baseline and has less of a hook. Here is Garamond:

As typefaces go, Times New Roman is not old at all, having been commissioned by the London newspaper, The Times, in 1931 and designed by Stanley Morrison of the English branch of the Monotype Corporation. An older font named Plantin was used as the basis for its design, with revisions for legibility and economy of space. Because the old font used by the newspaper had been called “Times Old Roman,” the revision became “Times New Roman.” Although no longer used by The Times, it is still widely used for book typography for good reason.

Microsoft distributed Times New Roman with every copy of Microsoft Windows since version 3.1. As with Times on Apple’s Macintosh, it is used as the default font in many applications, especially web browsers and word processors.

In 2004, the U.S. State Department announced that on and after February 1, 2004, all U.S. diplomatic documents would use 14 point Times New Roman instead of the previous 12 point Courier New.

Instead of going through the labor of changing to Garamond, I suggest that you stick with tried-and-true Times New Roman, a typeface with which you cannot go wrong.



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