The idle ramblings of a Jack of some trades, Master of none

Aug 21, 2007

Numerically Typing

Came across a nifty piece on shifting standards in numerical typesetting.

If your numerals are embedded in text, use what the printers call old-style fonts: variable-width fonts with ascenders and descenders. For example, Georgia: 0123456789.

For standalone numbers, use modern fonts: fixed-width and equally sized. For example, Courier: 0123456789.

Helvetica is abhorred by business card makers because the constant-sized numerals make it difficult to differentiate among them. Check this out: 0123456789.

Interested in a brief history of typesetting? Here is an accessible one.


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