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The verdana 'problem'.

 
 
Jim Moe
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      02-21-2008
On 02/20/08 05:57 am, Mike Barnard wrote:
>
> Am I correct in thinking that the main problem with verdana is only if
> the page designer reduces the body size below 100%? (This reduces
> other fonts if the user doesn't have verdana, yadda yadda.) Therefore,
> if I use verdana but leave the body font at 100% there really is no
> problem.
>

The "problem" is not specific to Verdana. Many sans serif fonts have an
x-height that is greater than 50% (of the capitals height). Verdana in
particular appears to be close to 70%. For many deezynerz this look just
too damn big; being full of themselves they reduce the font-size instead
of trying a different font.

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Jukka K. Korpela
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      02-22-2008
Scripsit Jim Moe:

> The "problem" is not specific to Verdana.


The problem is not specific to Verdana, but for Verdana, it's a very
real one, whereas for many other fonts (except Tahoma, which is
essentially just horizontally condensed Verdana), it's tolerable.

> Many sans serif fonts have
> an x-height that is greater than 50% (of the capitals height).


Virtually all sans-serif fonts have an x-height larger than 50% of the
font size, which is probably what you mean by "capitals height" (which
is smaller than the font size). In CSS terms, 1ex (as defined by specs)
is larger than 0.5em. For serif fonts, it's generally smaller. (IE does
not use real ex values but interprets 1ex as 0.5em, for all fonts, but
that's clearly against the specs.)

> Verdana in particular appears to be close to 70%.


Verdana's x-height is about 0.545em, see
http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/x-height.html
(It might be 70% of the capital height; I haven't studied that.)

> For many deezynerz
> this look just too damn big; being full of themselves they reduce the
> font-size instead of trying a different font.


There's more than just the x-height that affects the visual impression,
but indeed the point is that fonts of the same size may look rather
differently sized. This is a general problem, of course, but it becomes
much worse when a font greatly differs from the properties of other
fonts.

--
Jukka K. Korpela ("Yucca")
http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/

 
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Harlan Messinger
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      02-22-2008
Jim Moe wrote:
> On 02/20/08 05:57 am, Mike Barnard wrote:
>> Am I correct in thinking that the main problem with verdana is only if
>> the page designer reduces the body size below 100%? (This reduces
>> other fonts if the user doesn't have verdana, yadda yadda.) Therefore,
>> if I use verdana but leave the body font at 100% there really is no
>> problem.
>>

> The "problem" is not specific to Verdana. Many sans serif fonts have an
> x-height that is greater than 50% (of the capitals height).


I thought that was normal whether for serif or sans-serif. It's true for
Times Roman, Rockwell, and Century. Only some "elegant" and novelty
type faces have upper-case letters that are more than twice the height
of the ascender- and descender-less lower-case letters, no?
 
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Chris F.A. Johnson
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      02-24-2008
On 2008-02-20, Andy Dingley wrote:
> On 20 Feb, 12:57, Mike Barnard <(E-Mail Removed)>
> wrote:
>
>> Therefore,
>> if I use verdana but leave the body font at 100% there really is no
>> problem.
>>
>> Right or wrong?

>
> Wrong. The size will still be wrong if Verdana does come into play.


There is nothing wrong with the size of Verdana any more
than there is with the size of (e.g.) Helvetica. They both have
larger X-heights than many other fonts (e.g. Times Roman).

It is like saying that the size of Times Roman is wrong because it
is smaller than Helvetica.

> However this is now just "wrong" as in "not what was intended", rather
> than "wrong" as in "not what was intended and also unreadably small".



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