Brainstorms and Raves

Notes on Web Design, Development, Standards, Typography, Music, and More

Mon

19

AUG

2002

Nielsen’s Latest: Font Sizing Issues

Jakob Nielsen has joined the band wagon about browsers and font sizing issues in his latest alertbox issue. Jeffrey Zeldman’s Daily Report already states much of what I think about all this, and I agree that Nielsen’s heart is in the right place even if a few of his facts are a bit amiss.

Speaking of font sizing issues, Usability News published an interesting survey/study just over 2 years ago, So, What Size and Type of Font Should I Use on My Website?

Note that the Usability News survey and Nielsen’s column above both refer to font sizing points rather than pixels for webpages. Don’t be confused into thinking that using points in your CSS for webpages is OK, as points are best reserved for print. See Eric Meyer’s insightful tutorial on that at A List Apart, CSS Beyond the Browser: Going to Print. I also recently wrote about CSS and media types.

Not long ago Owen Briggs created 264 happy screenshots showing browser renderings of text sizing. Quite an eye-opener to see what these browsers do all lined up next to each other. If you have clients who don’t get it, just show them a few of those screenshots!

This time last year I wrote here about Ralph Wilson’s fonts and readability poll results. While it was an informal survey from his readers and not a formal usability study, it’s nonetheless interesting and insightful.

CodeStyle has an ongoing font sampler survey of common fonts on various platforms in addition to a site packed with fascinating and helpful information.

For more, there are plenty of tips and links in the archives here, at Jeffrey’s Daily Report, at css-discuss, the invaluable new css-discuss archives, and WebsiteTips.com’s cross-browser, cross-platform font issues section.

Addendum:

See also Jeffrey’s follow-up post 08-20-2002.

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