The everyday blog of Richard Bartle.

RSS feeds: v0.91; v1.0 (RDF); v2.0; Atom.

Previous entry. Next entry.

3:58pm on Friday, 24th July, 2015:

Typeface Time


For the past several years, I've been gradually putting together another MMO book. It consists of over a thousand articles, ranging from a paragraph to a page in length. Once I had all the articles, I formatted them, connected them in threads, put them in order and have today finished laying them out.

Unfortunately, the document template I started using in 2007 isn't one that's used by the main publishers today. This means I'll have to redesign it all. On the one hand that's bad because it's work, but on the other it means I can make the book's look reflect its content better. When I started out, I went with a sans-serif font (Verdana, but it was just a place-holder); this was because I didn't want people to sit down and read the whole book in one sitting, but to take it a few bites at a time so they could digest it. As sans-serif fonts are harder to read for extended periods, that family of typefaces was just the ticket.

However, the book is actually way too long to read in one sitting anyway, and by overlapping the threads there's a "just one more page" feel to it that I'd like to encourage. Also, the content doesn't feel sans-serif now that I've assembled it. I'm therefore going to use this redesign opportunity to change the typeface.

The question is, what typeface shall I use instead?

The main inspiration for the book is Computer Lib/Dream Machines. I'm hoping to capture for MMOs the kind of lookit-how-wondrous-these-things-are feel that Computer Lib/Dream Machines engendered about computers in the 1970s. As MUD also hails from the 1970s, I want a serif font that hearks back to those days yet which is readable for page after page after page.

The one I've chose is Souvenir. It looks the part and has the right kind of feel for the personality of the book. It also takes up about the same amount of space as Verdana, so I won't have to do much editing up or down to make the pages fit. However, I am aware that some people hate Souvenir with the same passion as they do Comic Sans and Papyrus.

If you're one of those people, do you have any suggestions for a better 1970s-reminiscent serif font that's readable at 10 points?

Latest entries.

Archived entries.

About this blog.

Copyright © 2015 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).