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Old 11-27-2006, 09:34 PM   #1
Andrew B.
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Default Linotype Office Alliance

Linotype reworked four typefaces for use in use in office settings, either on screen or from a laser printer. Within a typeface, all characters have the same capital letter height and the same x-height. Also, the character widths are the same across weights. For example, a line of text does not change length when switching from regular to bold. The characters are also optimized for an open easy-to-read look.

Sound great for tables and charts, where the visual impact of evenness is more important than readability. I could have used this more than a few times. But for memos and manuals, I think the evenness would make it tiring to read.

http://www.linotype.com/3132/linotyp...ealliance.html
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Old 11-28-2006, 06:18 AM   #2
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And I am surprised at how good the fonts look. You would think the bold would look compressed, or the italic loose, but they fit nicely.
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Old 11-28-2006, 06:36 AM   #3
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Linotype reworked four typefaces for use in use in office settings, either on screen or from a laser printer. Within a typeface, all characters have the same capital letter height and the same x-height. Also, the character widths are the same across weights.
Gaaack! Shades of early Linotype machine type, in which the italic — normally narrower and tighter fitting — was forced to the same set width as the roman.

While the examples there do not look too bad, considering, this is a big step backwards. What does it solve? Does any real application call for switching from roman to bold without changing any line breaks?

Maybe tables, as you say. But we have a long convention of using condensed sans for tables — not sure I see any need to abandon it.

   
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Old 11-28-2006, 08:59 AM   #4
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KT:

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While the examples there do not look too bad, considering, this is a big step backwards. What does it solve? Does any real application call for switching from roman to bold without changing any line breaks?

Maybe tables, as you say. But we have a long convention of using condensed sans for tables — not sure I see any need to abandon it.
You scarcely ever need to switch from regular to italic or bold in tables, and if you do, you generally adjust column width or type size (if there's no room for an increase in column width) to take the widest setting font. And there is generally no call for a condensed face either, in my opinion; often a sans serif font is advisable, but it doesn't make much difference for Arabic numerals.

   
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Old 11-28-2006, 10:06 AM   #5
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I've been thinking about this more, and I think I found a use for this typeface. In office settings, most columnar reports come from spreadsheet or database software. Often, some of the columns have repeating values until a break-on point is reached. And sometimes, specific conditions in the data need to be flagged.

Programming the report to use bold or italic might not be great DTP, but in an office it can be more practical than automating the addition of an asterisk or check mark. And it would look better for repeating data.

OTOH, I don't like the equal x-heights. It is difficult enough to scan a lot of data, and this just makes it harder.
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Old 12-01-2006, 12:08 PM   #6
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I can see it being useful in books, as editors detest it when a change makes line breaks. Being able to add bold or italic, or remove it, without breaks changing would be welcomed by them.
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Old 12-20-2006, 07:41 PM   #7
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I can see it being useful in books, as editors detest it when a change makes line breaks. Being able to add bold or italic, or remove it, without breaks changing would be welcomed by them.
As a book editor, I detest the idea. 95% of the time changing a few words to bold or italic won't flow outside of the one paragraph. If I change a large block of text I really want the font to be nice and legible, and twitching the breaks is a small price to pay.

So "Office" use maybe, general typesetting, not so much.
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Old 12-21-2006, 12:45 AM   #8
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I really want the font to be nice and legible, and twitching the breaks is a small price to pay.
Indeed. It's generaally pretty easy to contain such changes within the papragraph but even when that's not the case it's seldom a problem. Even where it causes a text flow over a page break it's generally a simple matter of pulling a line back on the next or previous page.

Gone are the days when it was costly to move a word or two across a page boundary.

The problems occur when editors allow an author to insert a whole new paragraph into a short chapter at final proof stage and there's just no room and the chapter's final page.

   
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Old 12-21-2006, 06:56 AM   #9
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As a book editor, I detest the idea. 95% of the time changing a few words to bold or italic won't flow outside of the one paragraph. If I change a large block of text I really want the font to be nice and legible, and twitching the breaks is a small price to pay.

So "Office" use maybe, general typesetting, not so much.
Agreed. In fact, I think the whole concept of identical set widths is lame.

   
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Old 12-24-2006, 11:26 AM   #10
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Sound great for tables and charts, where the visual impact of evenness is more important than readability. I could have used this more than a few times. But for memos and manuals, I think the evenness would make it tiring to read.
Agreed. I can think of times when uniform character widths would have prevented problems in PowerPoint presentations. Even so, I don't think I could have persuaded my department to spring for expensive fonts for everyone involved in creating presentations. There were too many people and too few problems to justify the expense.

I wonder how much of a market there is for high-end fonts in office environments.
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