NRSI: Computers & Writing Systems
Balancing typeface legibility and economy: Practical techniques for the type designer
Typeface legibility and economy—are they adversaries or can they work together? Their relationship is filled with tension. Common wisdom says that efforts to increase legibility can reduce the amount of text on a page, whereas techniques used for efficient use of space can jeopardize legibility. Is this the real situation? This essay looks at some of the variables that affect legibility, particularly those under the control of the type designer. From this foundation, it continues with a summary of techniques used in the design of economical typefaces throughout type history and evaluates their impact on legibility.
Please note that this paper was written in partial fulfilment of an MA in Typeface Design at the University of Reading, UK.