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Friday, December 03, 2010

Fonts and spacing and justification, oh my!

I did think about the hyphenation, justification and spacing...  Is it true that what is entered into a reader is only a text file, without all the spacing and visual cues that are included in the book versions?

"In fact, [Matthew] Carter doesn't own an iPad, Kindle, or other reading device, as he is waiting for them to mature. (He does own an iPhone.) He frets that, as things stand, reading devices and programs homogenize all the tangible aspects of a book, like size or shape, as well as font. They are also poor at hyphenation and justification: breaking words at lexically appropriate locations, and varying the spacing between letters and between words. This may sound recondite but it is a visual imprint of principles established over the entire written history of a language. 'Maybe people who grow up reading online, where every book is identical, don't know what they're missing.' "

--From an Economist profile of legendary type designer Matthew Carter, headlined: "The most-read man in the world."


patrysia said...

No, not true. Some books I've read do have issues, but since I read a lot of older OOP texts, it's probably a digitiziation issue. If I have time, I'll put up a photo of a page from an Elizabeth Peters (so you know it's recent) and you'll see that there are no problems with justification, indenting, etc.

cookiedough66 said...

And the horrors I've seen on book covers & sell sheets & publisher memos ugh!