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Best Font For Typed Letters?

typing fonts computers

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#21 Retro-user

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Posted 04 October 2017 - 07:32

I like something typewriter-ish, so instead of Bookman I used Museo Slab 500. It's an update of Courier, but much softer on the eyes. I think Rockwell Light could work as well, or the above-mentioned Cambria.

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#22 Carol_af

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 03:28

Still a novice lurking in the background most of the time, but here goes another post as I gain confidence here on FPN.

 

I use different fonts for different purposes.  Arial I use most often for formal correspondence when required as it has simple plain text that is easy to read with a size of 11 or 12 points.

 

For personal use in spreadsheet and database fields I like to use Arial Narrow as one can fit in a little more visible text to a limited size field. 

 

For decorative stationery I use a variety of fonts depending upon what the finished product will be. Among these are Edwardian Script , Calligrapher, Brush Script, Lucida Calligraphy, Monotype corsiva, with text sometimes further enhanced in bold and/or italic.  Hmm, that does show a penchant for the italic script.



#23 bob_hayden

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 10:22

Some of this is a matter of taste but back when there was actual research done on readability and Century Schoolbook was based on such research.  I do not find it very attractive but I do find it highly readable.  One might think the serifs confuse the eye but in fact they guide it along the line.  One might think about how important readability is.  I use email with the younger generation and my own but some of my parents' generation are still around and if I were to write them letters on a computer I would use Century Schoolbook in a large font size. 



#24 sidthecat

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 20:00

I write scripts, and studios expect them to be in Courier. A strange artifact of the 20th century.

#25 inkstainedruth

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 20:49

I write scripts, and studios expect them to be in Courier. A strange artifact of the 20th century.

 

Probably because it's similar to what you get from a typewriter.  I suspect that publishers might want that as well -- after all it's sort of generic and standard and has roughly a century of history of typewritten manuscripts in its favor (and isn't Helvetica, which while ubiquitous is also really boring, IMO; and Times Roman is just "boring with serifs"). 

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#26 JakobS

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 16:09

I don't generally type letters, indeed I cannot remember the last time I did. But, I prefer Courier when producing something that is typed, as I like to use my Royal Model 10 typewriter and that is its' font. As for computers, I have always liked Bookman Old Style, though I haven't needed to print something I have typed on the computer is a very long while! 


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#27 soapytwist

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 22:03

 

Probably because it's similar to what you get from a typewriter.  I suspect that publishers might want that as well -- after all it's sort of generic and standard and has roughly a century of history of typewritten manuscripts in its favor (and isn't Helvetica, which while ubiquitous is also really boring, IMO; and Times Roman is just "boring with serifs"). 

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

 

 

There are a couple of reasons for Courier to be used. 1) Everyone has it installed so you don't get reformatting problems when opening a document on different systems, and 2) it's monospaced which means there is plenty of space around individual letters to add corrections and changes, and if you're typing dialogue you can roughly guess how long a scene is from the page count.

 

There are lots of lovely typefaces out there to make your letters more personal, inject your personality and still remain legible - I use Doves Type because I think it looks lovely, and because it has an interesting history (I used to work only  yards from the bridge where it was originally 'lost'):

 

https://typespec.co.uk/doves-type/


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#28 ThreadorYarn

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 23:07

the rule of thumb I was given depends on how it's going to be read - if it's on paper, use a serif font, but if it's on the screen use a sans-serif font.  On the other hand....a serif font on paper that gets copied then re-copied then copied again from the copy and on and on.... does lose legibility through the generations

 

I tend to stick to the basics though, and leave the fancy stuff to someone else  :lticaptd:



#29 Astron

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Posted 18 October 2017 - 00:25

I think with modern resolutions there is no problem with serif fonts on screen. If they are properly made.


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#30 MercianScribe

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Posted 18 October 2017 - 00:52

I agree with the people who say it's mostly a matter of preference.

 

I did a lot of research into this (literature review to summarize the research already done - not original research) for work (a couple of reports for my education board into legibility of fonts, and fonts that could be useful in helping EFL students learning to read and write), and found that most of what passes for research into this goes back to received wisdom from designers as opposed to experimental research by psychologists, educationalists etc.

 

For example, I like to believe the point made earlier about serif fonts aiding the eye's flow across the page: there is absolutely zero scientific evidence that this is the case. It has so far proven impossible to tell from eye movement what might cause an increase in reading speed for serif scripts on paper and sans scripts onscreen, and opinion is still neatly divided between oculomotor models and lexical models.

 

Surveys have revealed more people find this script or that script more readable, and other qualitative methods have determined why people think this may be. But, there are still no definite conclusions.

 

That's not to say from a design perspective that some of the truisms are inaccurate. Not using more than three fonts, for example, on one page, seems to be a lot more pleasant and a good rule of thumb. But these may be cultural perspectives and fashions. I've seen a lot of old fliers/ads from the 19th and early 20th century with many more fonts than that that have still been effective in making their impact.

 

 

 

There are a couple of reasons for Courier to be used. 1) Everyone has it installed so you don't get reformatting problems when opening a document on different systems, and 2) it's monospaced which means there is plenty of space around individual letters to add corrections and changes, and if you're typing dialogue you can roughly guess how long a scene is from the page count.

 

There are lots of lovely typefaces out there to make your letters more personal, inject your personality and still remain legible - I use Doves Type because I think it looks lovely, and because it has an interesting history (I used to work only  yards from the bridge where it was originally 'lost'):

 

https://typespec.co.uk/doves-type/

 

Yeah, this. Scripts just don't look right to me if not in Courier! But the monotype and spacing point is right I reckon.


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#31 MercianScribe

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Posted 18 October 2017 - 00:53

I think with modern resolutions there is no problem with serif fonts on screen. If they are properly made.

 

Yeah, this too. On cranky old screens i can see the resolution causing problems, but nowadays, on my phone for example, there's no problem.


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#32 MercianScribe

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Posted 18 October 2017 - 01:16

Forgot to mention what I use...

 

Usually a serif at 14 or so. I find most serifs a little hard-going at 12. I do love my fonts though, so I would have to say, it mostly depends on my mood and to whom I'm writing!

 

I tend to stick to Baskerville or Baskerville Old Face if I'm writing to my Brummie friends and family, as it's a good Brummie font from the days when Birmingham was synonymous with quality rather than tat! Not that they care (about the font - I would hope they care about our hometown! :yikes: ).

 

I wrote a 14 page letter to my granny just before she died, to be read by my aunt, whose eyes aren't the best either. I included an advent calendar of Japanese Christian quotes and haiku (it was last December and she was a lovely Christian), which I'd handwritten in various calligraphic styles, and the font I chose for the letter was Fondamento, which is based on Edward Johnston's modern foundational English roundhand, and is eminently readable. I think that was one of the best fonts I've tried for a long letter, but again it's going to be highly subjective: I read a lot about and practice a fair bit of calligraphy, so Johnston's hand is familiar to me. But then again, one of the points about a lot of these classic fonts/hands (many others spring to mind: Gill Sans, being based on Roman Capitals, or Century Gothic as an equivalent; Forum (serifed), based on Roman Capitals and Carolingian Roundhand; Apple Chancery etc) is that they are based on historical proportions considered by centuries of anecdotal evidence, habit, and design to be pleasing to the eye and easily readable.

 

I have no objections to sans scripts, but I don't find them as easy on the eye on the page for long stretches. And again, I would usually choose a more classically proportioned one.

 

One word on Times New Roman: I use it from time to time, but it's the Comic Sans of the serif world (although, I do think Comic Sans has too bad a rep: everything has its place and time!)! It's a pinched, stingy insult to the aesthetic greatness of ancient Rome and everything that came after!


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#33 Astron

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Posted 18 October 2017 - 06:17

From a professional standpoint Comic Sans ist a well made font. But as it has been used by users for almost everything in every eye-soring way that needed some "handy" font it is not very popular among professionals. You are the laughing stock if you don't use an alternative. Poor Comic Sans. Nowadays users have a greater variety on their systems. Maybe there is hope for Comic Sans in a decade or so. :D


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#34 Retro-user

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Posted 19 October 2017 - 14:10

I've been back and forth on letter formats: block, modified block, modified semi-block (I seem awash in minutiae sometimes). The letter that opened this post was in modified semi-block, meaning the first line of paragraphs were indented five spaces and the date and signature lines were indented to the center. For a personal,letter, that felt right to me. For people I don't know, I use full block, with everything left aligned.

#35 torstar

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Posted 19 October 2017 - 14:14

i convert most Word docs to Garamond 12 for reading, Calibri (Body) 11 seems to be the standard for articles off the internet.



#36 Bookman

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 01:18

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#37 torstar

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 15:05

Still a novice lurking in the background most of the time, but here goes another post as I gain confidence here on FPN.

 

I use different fonts for different purposes.  Arial I use most often for formal correspondence when required as it has simple plain text that is easy to read with a size of 11 or 12 points.

 

For personal use in spreadsheet and database fields I like to use Arial Narrow as one can fit in a little more visible text to a limited size field. 

 

For decorative stationery I use a variety of fonts depending upon what the finished product will be. Among these are Edwardian Script , Calligrapher, Brush Script, Lucida Calligraphy, Monotype corsiva, with text sometimes further enhanced in bold and/or italic.  Hmm, that does show a penchant for the italic script.

 

Thanks Carol, good suggestions.  I've looked into a few in the last paragraph.



#38 Biber

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 15:53

It all depends on what and for whom I am writing. A while back I dabbled in a bit of fiction (distinctly uncharacteristically so!) with a sequel to Casablanca, for which I employed Courier. A more recent research project uses Colisto - I mostly like it for its relative formality and it's density - not as sterile looking as Times NR or Garamond et al. I usually change fonts several times over the course of a project so who knows how long it'll last or what will be next.  There are just too many choices to stick to just one default font for everything.     


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#39 virgilio

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 00:33

Partial to Book Antiqua myself.

#40 inkstainedruth

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 20:28

 and if you're typing dialogue you can roughly guess how long a scene is from the page count.

 

 

That's a good point.  My mother was a writer and she typed everything for years -- first on a Royal manual typewriter, and then on an IBM Selectric.  And because it was uniform, she could estimate word counts pretty accurately.

 

Although that Doves font looks quite nice, I'm not sure it's "$52+ US for a license" nice....  :(  (Although I really need to see about finding Desdemona/Desdemona Black -- or an equivalent font --  again; I had it on my old laptop, I think, and also on the old G4 tower, but the G4 has decided to not talk to flash drives anymore for some reason....  :angry:)

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