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Old 02-12-2014, 07:01 PM   #1
johnnyboy
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I have just completed a series of transcribed newspaper articles written in the 1880s which I intend to publish in some form or other. There are 115 articles in total and the book length, including the index, is 562 pages. I used Times New Roman 12 for the font

I now want to add brief comments at the end of various articles. The purpose of the comments is to bring readers up to date with the places as they are now.

I am unsure how these comments should be structured within the book. It seems logical they should be at the end of the article but guidance as to font etc. would be appreciated.
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Old 02-13-2014, 07:57 AM   #2
don Arnoldy
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Johnnyboy-

It depends...

What is the page size of your book? 12-point type is larger than is usual for book type.

Depending on the nature of your comments, they could be fin at the end, or you could put them in a separate outside column, and place the comment next to the point in the original article to which it refers.

A very traditional way to set brief comments would be to put them the italic of the main typeface. Another approach (but the comments would have to truly be brief) would be to set them in a casual script face—maybe in dark grey—so they look like handwritten margin notes that a reader would make.

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Old 02-13-2014, 09:52 AM   #3
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I agree that 12 points is large for book type. Some courts and other entities require that documents be filed in 12-point Times, but those are on letter- or legal-size paper, and even then the type looks large to me.

On the other hand, some years ago I worked at a university where I was told that the president had a "special font" for his correspondence. It turned out to be CG Times (resident in a LaserJet printer) at 14 points. It was startling, but not in a good way.

As for the actual question: if the comments are extensive--more than two or three sentences each--I would prefer to read them in a contrasting type, meaning a sans-serif type that is compatible with the serif type of the main text. Long passages in italics can be difficult to read, especially if the italic is one that is especially narrow, slanted, or florid.

This is not a recommendation of Times New Roman and Arial. If I had the budget for it, I might use one of the families, such as Stone or Legacy, that includes both serif and sans designs. I would also consider using a serif face that was available in the 1880s, with the comments in Franklin Gothic book.
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Old 02-13-2014, 10:34 AM   #4
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The page size is A4. I agonized over the size and perhaps I should reduce it but I was conscious of the fact it would be read mainly by old people. But then they usually have spectacles so my thinking might be wrong on that.

I thought of italics but somehow reading something in that grates with me.

I would prefer to stick with black and white so that probably rules gray out.

Placing them where the point arises is interesting. I hadn't thought of that.
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Old 02-13-2014, 11:05 AM   #5
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Thanks Paul.

I haven't started on the comments yet so I don't know how long they will be.

It was my intention to just put out the articles for interest and reference but a friend suggested adding comments as a way of personalizing. I would be interested to hear what you or anyone else thought about this.

An example of the comments would be in relation to the town of Devonport. When the articles were written it was called Torquay so a comment about when it was changed would be appropriate. However in 115 articles a myriad of comments could be added but I will need to be careful to avoid going overboard. They will certainly need to be brief but on occasions more than two or three lines.

I looked at different fonts but although TNR seemed a bit boring I kept coming back to it. I didn't think of using an older one in keeping with the time the articles were written but that seems sensible. Franklin Gothic Book, as you say, for the comments would fit but perhaps a more modern one might work.
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Old 02-13-2014, 12:48 PM   #6
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jb: It was my intention to just put out the articles for interest and reference but a friend suggested adding comments as a way of personalizing. I would be interested to hear what you or anyone else thought about this.
I like the idea of comments which update the articles and I think that it would be easier for the reader if the comments were placed near the original article.

If the comments are longer than say a sentence or two, then you definitely want to choose a font that reads easily--I think a san serif would be good to differentiate from the article text but would read more easily than italic.

I think 12pt is a bit large also. If possible, maybe you could pull out a few pages and downsize the font just a tad, say 11, 11.5 or even 11.75 and see how it reads?

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Old 02-13-2014, 03:11 PM   #7
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An A4 page does make a difference. One additional consideration with that size is that a wide measure can make it possible to fit too many words on each line. In general, text is most readable if there are only nine to eleven words on each line. On such a wide measure, you can improve the readability slightly by increasing the leading (space between the lines).

One of my current projects is a pilot version of a textbook. The finished book will have typical book pages, but the preliminary version is printed on American letter-size paper, which is very close to A4 size. I am using a line that is only 60% of the width of the page, with sidebars in the wide right margin. That's pretty much what Don was describing.

My experience with designing for older readers is that they say they want the type to be as big and as black as possible, but beyond a certain point that does not actually contribute to legibility. However, typefaces with open counters (large, obviously round openings in letters like o and c) and a large x-height are the ones that older readers prefer.

For example, Century Schoolbook will seem more legible than Garamond, unless the Garamond is set at a larger point size. Times, in any version, is slightly too narrow for best legibility, especially on a wide measure. It's unfortunate that software has trained us to think of it as the default font for everything.
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Old 02-13-2014, 03:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyboy View Post
The page size is A4. I agonized over the size and perhaps I should reduce it but I was conscious of the fact it would be read mainly by old people. But then they usually have spectacles so my thinking might be wrong on that.
Reading glasses don't necessarily fix all the problems of increasing age, hence the increasing popularity of large print books. New titles even come out in large print within weeks of their launch dates in standard format these days. But there are more readable typefaces you could use if you are wanting to make the articles readable for older people.

I agree with Paul that the wide measure of A4 will allow too many words on the page with Times, unless you have very wide margins.

   
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Old 02-13-2014, 08:10 PM   #9
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ann: hence the increasing popularity of large print books.
I've gotten a few large print books when buying from Better World Books (didn't realize that the particular copy I ordered was noted as being a large print book) and while, I do certainly understand how wonderful they are to those with visibility issues, for me--worn glasses all of my life--I found the font size too big making it, interestingly, more tiring to read.

Guess it's hard to strike a happy medium...'-}}

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Old 02-14-2014, 07:39 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by annc View Post
Reading glasses don't necessarily fix all the problems of increasing age, hence the increasing popularity of large print books. New titles even come out in large print within weeks of their launch dates in standard format these days. But there are more readable typefaces you could use if you are wanting to make the articles readable for older people.

I agree with Paul that the wide measure of A4 will allow too many words on the page with Times, unless you have very wide margins.
Wide enough margins, perhaps, to allow for comments, eh?

   
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