👓 One space between each sentence, they said. Science just proved them wrong. | Washington Post

Read One space between each sentence, they said. Science just proved them wrong. by Avi Selk (Washington Post)

“Professionals and amateurs in a variety of fields have passionately argued for either one or two spaces following this punctuation mark,” they wrote in a paper published last week in the journal Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics.

They cite dozens of theories and previous research, arguing for one space or two.  A 2005 study that found two spaces reduced lateral interference in the eye and helped reading.  A 2015 study that found the opposite.  A 1998 experiment that suggested it didn't matter.

“However,” they wrote, “to date, there has been no direct empirical evidence in support of these claims, nor in favor of the one-space convention.”

I love that the permalink for this article has a trailing 2, which indicates to me that it took the editors a second attempt to add the additional space into the headline for their CMS. And if nothing else, this article is interesting for its layout and typesetting.

I’ll circle back to read the full journal article shortly.1

 

References

1.
Johnson RL, Bui B, Schmitt LL. Are two spaces better than one? The effect of spacing following periods and commas during reading. Atten Percept Psychophys. April 2018. doi:10.3758/s13414-018-1527-6
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👓 Smelvetica | Tims Curious Creations

Read Smelvetica by Tim Holman (tholman.com)
Smelvetica is an experimentation in taking one of the worlds most beloved fonts, and turning it into a morbid monstrocity.

We need more fonts like this so people appreciate the good ones a bit more.

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👓 A brutal redesign | Duncan Stephen

Read A brutal redesign (Duncan Stephen)
When I started to experiment with different ways of blogging, I realised what I was doing was a bit off. So I decided to redesign the blog.

I appreciate that others are grappling with these design ideas as well. I need to get back to some of my own work and experimenting in this area. It’s also a bit reminiscent of Dries Buytaert’s recent post Reclaiming my blog as my thought space in which he contemplates some of these types of issues and questions, though from a slightly different perspective.

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📕 Read pages 220-356 of Just My Type: A Book about Fonts by Simon Garfield

📖 Read pages 220-356 of Just My Type: A Book about Fonts by Simon Garfield (Gotham Books, , ISBN: 978-1592406524)

Highlights, Quotes, & Marginalia

Chapter 16: Pirates and Clones

But type designers were more like apple growers cultivating unique fruit without protective fences; whenever someone stole them, they could argue that apples were the result of the sun and rain and God’s own fair intervention.

Highlight (yellow) – 16. Pirates and Clones > Page 227

Added on Sunday, December 31, 2017 morning

… and font-editing software such as Fontographer.

Highlight (yellow) – 16. Pirates and Clones > Page 228

Might be worth playing around with this program?
Added on Sunday, December 31, 2017 morning

A recent example concerned Segoe, created by Monotype and licensed to Microsoft, which bears a close relationship to Frutiger. Their common usage is different (Segoe for screen display at small sizes, Frutiger for signage), …

Highlight (yellow) – 16. Pirates and Clones > Page 229

Added on Sunday, December 31, 2017 morning

Chapter 17: The Clamour from the Past

There are hundreds of small presses in the Uk, Europe and the United States. One of the newest is White’s Books, which in the spring of 2010 had just eight titles in its list, …

Highlight (yellow) – 17. The Clamour from the Past > Page 246

I’m curious to look at some of these.
Added on Sunday, December 31, 2017 morning

Your choice may often come down to “Has it got a small caps italic?” So few of them do.

Highlight (yellow) – 17. The Clamour from the Past > Page 250

Ha! I have in fact actually made this very decision before.
Added on Sunday, December 31, 2017 morning

There is another rare feature that places his [White’s] books among the remnants of a type museum–the setting of a catchword at the bottom of the right-hand page.

Highlight (yellow) – 17. The Clamour from the Past > Page 250

I did always appreciate this vestige of publishing.
Added on Sunday, December 31, 2017 morning

Sabon

Sabon was developed in the early 1960s for a group of German printers who were grumbling about the lack of a ‘harmonized’ or uniform font that would look the same whether set by hand or on a Monotype or Linotype machine. They were quite specific about the sort of font that might fit the bill, rejecting the modern and fashionable in favour of solid sixteenth-century tradition–something modeled on Garamond and Granjon. They also wanted the new font to be five percent narrower than their existing Monotype Garamond, in order to save space and money.

Highlight (yellow) – Sabon > Page 251

Added on Sunday, December 31, 2017 morning

Chapter 18: Breaking the Rules

Here are the rules as [Paul] Felton considers God intended them:

  1. Thou shalt not apply more than three typefaces in a document.
  2. Thou shalt lay headlines large and at the top of the page.
  3. Thou shalt employ no other type size than 8pt to 10pt for body copy.
  4. Remember that a typeface that is not legible is not truly a typeface.
  5. Honour thy kerning, so that white space becomes visually equalized between characters.
  6. Thou shalt lay stress discreetly upon elements within text.
  7. Thou shalt not use only capitals when setting vast body copy.
  8. Thou shalt always align letters and words on a baseline.
  9. Thou shalt use flush-left, ragged-right type alignment.
  10. Thou shalt not make lines too short or too long.
Highlight (yellow) – 18. Breaking the Rules > Page 255-256

Quick synopsis of Felton’s book The Ten Commandments of Typography / Type Heresy
Added on Sunday, December 31, 2017 morning

Or this observation on digital type from the design critic Paul Hayden Duensing: ‘Digitizing [the seventeenth-century typeface] Janson is like playing Bach on synthesizer.’

Highlight (yellow) – 18. Breaking the Rules > Page 258

Added on Sunday, December 31, 2017 morning

… type was like painting and architecture: an elitism prevailed, and what you produced was only half the story, and what you said about it counted just as much.

Highlight (yellow) – 18. Breaking the Rules > Page 259

Added on Sunday, December 31, 2017 morning

But he [Sebastian Carter] also championed the not-such-a-great-job, the pieces of design and printing that didn’t turn out to be beautiful or clear, merely interesting. He illustrated his talk with some items that were ‘pretty cruddy’, and suggested that these too had a place in our world. ‘I would not want to live in a world of exclusively good design at the bus-ticket level,’ he said.

Highlight (yellow) – 18. Breaking the Rules > Page 261

delivered mid-October 2004 Beatrice Warde Memorial Lecture at the St. Bride Institute
Added on Sunday, December 31, 2017 morning

Thus armed, ‘the designers of tomorrow will not look back; we give them the chance to fail abjectly and completely; they’re all in the typographic gutter and some of them are looking at their scars.’ The result, of course, would bring forth more failure, but also types of originality and brilliance.

Highlight (yellow) – 18. Breaking the Rules > Page 262

This sounds to me like statistical mechanics at work in design. Many will be in the median, some will be three signma out and either be truly great or out of the game altogether. The question is how to encourage more at the higher end, knowing that evolution is a very strong selector. In fact what does the distribution over a few generations look like with evolution in play? How strong is it?
Added on Sunday, December 31, 2017 morning

Peace

Highlight (gray) – 18. Breaking the Rules > Page 265

Why wasn’t this used in it’s actual face like the other examples? Was it not available? Or too expensive for one word?
Added on Sunday, December 31, 2017 morning

‘Where is the language of protest now?’ he asks. ‘We have been led to believe that culture was only there as a financial opportunity.’

Highlight (yellow) – 18. Breaking the Rules > Page 265

Quote from Neville Brody
Added on Sunday, December 31, 2017 morning

The key, Brody said, in a strange echo of Morison, was ‘to change a newspaper entirely, but to make sure no one noticed. […] When we first showed it to focus groups they didn’t notice it had changed, but when we told them it had changed, they hated it.’

Highlight (yellow) – 18. Breaking the Rules > Page 266

Sounds like America’s racial culture in the last 60 years. The question is did they hate it because they’d been lied to and it was a psychological effect after-the-fact when they obviously otherwise didn’t know?
Added on Sunday, December 31, 2017 morning

Buffalo and Popaganda

Highlight (gray) – 18. Breaking the Rules > Page 267

again, no exemplars of these faces
Added on Sunday, December 31, 2017 morning

The Interrobang

the @ […] may be almost as old as the ampersand. It had been associated with trade for many centuries, known as amphora or jar, a unit of measurement. Most countries have their own term for it, often linked to food (in Hebrew it is shtrudl, meaning strudel, in Czech it is zavinac or rollmop herring) or to cute animals (Affenschwanz or monkey’s tail in German, snabel-a, meaning “the letter a, with a trunk,” in Danish, sobaka or dog in Russian), or to both (escargot in French).

Highlight (yellow) – Interrobang > Page 269

Added on Sunday, December 31, 2017 evening

Chapter 19: The Serif of Liverpool

… and we were sucha funny family, a little bit Alan Bennett.

Highlight (yellow) – 19. The Serif of Liverpool > Page 271

Who is Bennett? Curious cultural reference that doesn’t play in the US…
Added on Sunday, December 31, 2017 evening

Chapter 20: Fox, Gloves

Rather than ten letters of each new typeface showing in Handgloves and the rest of the alphabet shown beneath it, each font now comes with words unique to its character, style and possible use.

Highlight (yellow) – 20. Fox, Gloves > Page 291

Kind of similar to the quirkiness of paint chip color names, somewhat useful, but meant to help sales too…
Added on Sunday, December 31, 2017 evening

Coles introduced me to Chris Hamamoto, who had a long list of Handgloves alternatives on his computer. Anyone in the office could add to it,
butthere were certain guidelines:

The key letters, in order of importance, are: g, a, s, e. Then there is: l, o, I. And of lesser importance but still helpful: d (or b), h, m (or n), u, v.

Verbs or generic nouns are preferable because they don’t describe the font (like adjectives) or confuse the sample word with a font name (like proper nouns).

Avoid tandem repeating letters unless showing off alternatives.

Use one word, as spaces can get too large and distracting at display sizes.

Highlight (yellow) – 19. The Serif of Liverpool > Page 293

This could actually be a rather interesting information theory problem.
Added on Sunday, December 31, 2017 evening

Chapter 21: The Worst Fonts in the World

‘Real men don’t set Souvenir,’ wrote the type scholar Frank Romano in the early 1990’s, […] ‘Souvenir is a font fatale … We could send Souvenir to Mars, but there are international treaties on pollution in outer space … remember, friends don’t let friends set Souvenir,’

Highlight (yellow) – 21. The Worst Fonts in the World > Page 301-302

Souvenir bold evokes 1970’s porn and Souvenir Light evokes the Love Story movie poster, romance novels, and maybe the poster for Flowers in the Attic for me.
Added on Sunday, December 31, 2017 evening

Chapter 22: Just My Type

… you can fire up one of a number of software programs — TypeTool, FontLab Studio and Fontographer are the most popular — and begin your quest.

Highlight (yellow) – 22. Just My Type > Page 320

I want to look at how these work.
Added on Sunday, December 31, 2017 evening

He [Mathew Carter] replied, ‘Some aspects get easier. But if you’re doing a good job you should feel that it gets harder. If you think it’s getting easier, you ought to look out. I think it means you’re getting lazy.’

Highlight (yellow) – 22. Just My Type > Page 321

Carter on whether computers have made the life of a type designer any easier.
Added on Sunday, December 31, 2017 evening

In 1968 the influential graphic design review The Penrose Annual asked exactly the same things: ‘Aren’t we done yet? Why do we need all these new fonts such as … Helvetica?’
The answer, than and now, is the same. Because the world and its contents are continually changing. We need to express ourselves in new ways.

Highlight (yellow) – 22. Just My Type > Page 322

Added on Sunday, December 31, 2017 evening

‘There are only thirty-two notes on a tenor saxophone, and surely to god they’ve all been played by now.’

Highlight (yellow) – 22. Just My Type > Page 322-323

Matthew Carter on Why New Typefaces?
Added on Sunday, December 31, 2017 evening

… there is a lavish app called TypeDrawing, which takes even the plainest fonts to exciting new heights; it may be the tool that teaches children about type–the modern version of the John Bull printing kit.

Highlight (yellow) – 22. Just My Type > Page 323-324

Added on Sunday, December 31, 2017 evening

…a set of Type Trumps–the designer’s version of the kids’ card game, with each font card rated for legibility, weight and special power.

Highlight (yellow) – 22. Just My Type > Page 324

an interesting set of “trading cards”
Added on Sunday, December 31, 2017 evening

Guide to highlight colors

Yellow–general highlights and highlights which don’t fit under another category below
Orange–Vocabulary word; interesting and/or rare word
Green–Reference to read
Blue–Interesting Quote
Gray–Typography Problem
Red–Example to work through

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📖 Read pages 143-192 of Just My Type by Simon Garfield

📖 Read pages 143-192 of Just My Type: A Book about Fonts by Simon Garfield (Gotham Books, , ISBN: 978-1592406524)

Highlights, Quotes, & Marginalia

…[Jock] Kinneir and [Margaret] Calvert did something else important: they established that it is a lot easier to read lower-case letters than capitals when travelling at speed.

Highlight (yellow) – 10. Road Akzidenz > Page 143

Added on Wednesday, December 27, 2017 night

… and cows becoming part of the proceedings at any time.

Highlight (blue) – 10. Road Akzidenz > Page 144

Just a lovely quote nestled within this page…
Added on Wednesday, December 27, 2017 night

…the iPhone has an app for font identification named WhatTheFont.

Highlight (yellow) – 12. What the Font > Page 175

Added on Wednesday, December 27, 2017 night

[Erik] Spiekermann’s blog, which is called Spiekerblog, contains acerbic comments on the type he sees on his travels.

Highlight (green) – 13. Can a font be German, or Jewish > Page 186

Added on Wednesday, December 27, 2017 night

Guide to highlight colors

Yellow–general highlights and highlights which don’t fit under another category below
Orange–Vocabulary word; interesting and/or rare word
Green–Reference to read
Blue–Interesting Quote
Gray–Typography Problem
Red–Example to work through

📖 Read pages 89-142 of Just My Type by Simon Garfield

📖 Read pages 89-142 of Just My Type: A Book about Fonts by Simon Garfield

The flowery language continues apace almost as if this were a love letter to the typographic arts.

There is seemingly no solid narrative thrust throughout the book, which easily makes it something that one can read a chapter or two of every day. One needn’t swim along linearly, but could dip in to sections here and there without much loss based on my reading thus far.

Highlights, Quotes, & Marginalia

Chapters 6-9

Ironically, the first full Baskerville biography, published by CUP in 1907, was printed in Caslon.

Highlight (yellow) – 6. Baskerville is Dead > Page 103

This is just painful to read, particularly as in the sentence before it was noted that Baskerville’s original punches and matrices are housed at the Cambridge University Press. Oh, the horror! It’s one thing if you’re Vincent Connare, but Baskerville?!
Added on Monday, December 25, 2017 evening

Highlight (yellow) – 8. Tunnel Visions > Page 109

I did quite like the section on Johnston Sans which I hadn’t previously known any history about.
Added on Monday, December 25, 2017 evening

In 1916, the same year that Johnston’s work appeared, Lucien Alphonse Legros and John Cameron Grant published their exhaustive study of the optical adjustments that were required of a typeface to aid readability and achieve visually balanced characters (this was the study that observed that a lower-case t often has to lean backwards, and the dot over the i has to be offset a little to the left.)

Highlight (green) – 8. Tunnel Visions > Page 119

I’m curious to read more about the scientific research of perceptions in this areas, particularly if they’ve been updated in the last century.
Added on Monday, December 25, 2017 evening

Guide to highlight colors

Yellow–general highlights and highlights which don’t fit under another category below
Orange–Vocabulary word; interesting and/or rare word
Green–Reference to read
Blue–Interesting Quote
Gray–Typography Problem
Red–Example to work through

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👓 The New Familiar Quanta | Quanta Magazine

Read The New Familiar Quanta by Thomas Lin ( Quanta Magazine)
Today Quanta unveils a completely re-engineered and redesigned site to better serve our readers and the journalism we produce.

I’m not quite sure I’m a big fan of the new site either. The other one was a bit crisper in look and feel. The typography and readability has improved a bit though. I think it’s almost a travesty that they’ve begun using Disqus.

While nice for some, I don’t think the bookmarking functionality is worth it for me; I’ll continue to bookmark articles on my own website to read for later. Other than gaining people’s email addresses, I’m not sure what Quanta gets out of the functionality. Readers have to be regulars to even consider bothering with the functionality.

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New Look for Boffo Socko

Boffo Socko has a whole new look...

For a while I’ve been contemplating a change in the look of the site, particularly given the changes in the internet for the past several years.

I generally wanted something that has the following attributes:

I’m sure there will be some hiccups and problems in the transition, but I hope to get these ironed out shortly. If you notice something bothersome, please don’t hesitate to drop me a note.

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An Asterisk Does Not Denote a Hard Problem†

Richard Millman & George Parker in Elements of Differential Geometry

 

Dagger Graveyard by Natalie Slack
Dagger Graveyard by Natalie Slack

 

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