domingo, 10 de agosto de 2008

Serious Sans

A Ombuds (a Lívia) atentou para um blog que comenta uma notícia engraçada.

O texto em inglês segue abaixo, mas ele se resume no seguinte:

A blogueira diz que leu neste link ( que alguns pesquisadores criaram uma versão nova da fonte Comic Sans para ver se dessa vez as pessoas que não gostam da fonte passam a vê-la com outros olhos.

A "nova" fonte chama Serious Sans ( e é uma releitura mais séria das formas "irregulares, aleatórias e mal-ajambradas" da Comic Sans, que a torna tão odiada.

Os tais pesquisadores descobriram que a CS é uma ótima fonte para pessoas disléxicas conseguirem ler mais facilmente. O que eles se "esqueceram" de dizer é isso acontece devido à falta de serifa na fonte e que a maioria desse tipo de fonte (como Avenir, Helvetica, MS Sans Serif, Verdana, Arial) são mais fáceis de serem lidas por quem tem dislexia.

Por fim, a dica, referendada pela Associação Real para os Cegos (Royal National Institute for the Blind), é usar a Arial, que é uma fonte de boa leitura e que não causa tanta revolta.


Realmente, não sei se o melhor da matéria é o fato que ela relata e toda a pesquisa e discussão em torno de uma "simples" fonte ou a recomendação da organização de Cegos para usar Arial. Será que a fonte é tão boa que até Ray Charles pode ler esse blog?

Are You Serious?

Thursday, 10th July 2008
Type Design

I found this article (via Kottke) about Serious Sans, yet another attempt to produce yet another version of Comic Sans, one that maybe this time people will like; one justified by a bunch of vaguely defined supposedly academic advantages. There is a particular belief about Comic Sans that always seems to come up as a justification why it's actually not that bad, and that people who hate it are horrid type snobs in ivory towers (or should that be lead towers?) who really don't get how the common man or woman perceives type. It is summed up rather well in this quote:

Struggling to understand what could possibly be good about Comic Sans, Valerio together with partners Hugo Timm, Filip and Erwan Lhussier found that the doggedly goofy irregular forms made it one of the easiest typefaces for dyslexics to read.

Now, this is to many intents and purposes, quite true. However, it is also true of almost every other sans-serif face out there; Avenir, Helvetica, MS Sans Serif, Verdana, Arial, and so on. There is nothing unique or special about Comic Sans that makes it particularly good for dyslexics, except in the case of "you read best what you know best" - a dyslexic used to Comic Sans may well find it easier to read, but others may not. The trick is to find a happy medium; something that works best for most people (i.e. your audience of, say, dyslexics) and reasonably well for the rest; something that does no harm*. I have done a lot of work designing UIs with accessibility as a primary requirement, and in one of the largest projects an 'expert' demanded that the interface and all instructional graphics be set in Comic Sans. Later, after consultation with real experts at the Royal National Institute for the Blind, we ended up with the following advice, summed up in this rather pithy quote from the RNIB website:

Avoid highly stylised typefaces, such as those with ornamental, decorative or handwriting styles.

The RNIB consultant basically recommended Arial: it is commonly available, people are well used to it, and is an unornamented and regular sans-serif with clear letterforms. It also has a clear advantage of not being incredibly insulting to adults who were using the learning programme, and believe me, they did find it insulting. I'd know - I was there.

Oh, and as for Serious Sans, well, there's not much to say. It's not very good, but I don't think it's really meant to be. If you'd like to see the results of a genuine and serious project to produce a legible and accessible face, have a look here.

I have ranted on this subject before.

* Of course, if accessibility is a serious issue, you need to allow the user to specify the display type, if you can

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