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Work Health and Safety Blog

There's so much happening in the world of health & safety. Changes in legislation and requirements, changes in best practice, changes in ... you name it. Here's my take on making it simple. Simply Genius WHS - stop guessing... manage with confidence.

Eye Strain - change your font

Maralyn Kastel - Thursday, September 16, 2010

Serif fonts (fonts with ornaments on the end of strokes, eg Times New Roman) were advocated in the 1960s scientific literature as it was thought that the serifs increased the legibility of individual letters. More recent studies have shown that the uncluttered letter structure of san-serif fonts (non-ornamental fonts e.g. Arial) are easier to read and subjectively preferred when the font size is small. Reading performance as measured by the ability to search and retrieve information within documents appears to be unaffected by the presence or absence of serifs.

UPPERCASE or lower case
Reading combines being able to see detail (ie that the font is large enough to be legible) and recognising the shape of the word.  While upper case font subtends a larger visual angle and is advantageous when reading small font, lower case assists with word recognition. Studies have shown for reasonable size fonts, lower case is just as legible as upper case font.

Contact details for Jennifer Long
jlong@visualergonomics.com.au
www.visualergonomics.com.au
Address: PO Box 645 • Katoomba NSW 2780 • AUSTRALIA
Telephone: +61 2 4782  3472

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