No Time for Times   

Too long has the world suffered with Times Roman: it's a miserable font though, perhaps, okay for beginners doing newsletters which have tons of material crowded into a small space. That's right. Times Roman for all practical purposes is a condensed font; and it's not only condensed in the traditional manner (horizontally) but also vertically. For sure, we have all read again and again that Times has a large x-height (the measure of lowercase characters via the height of the letter "x").


The only reason that it has a large x-height is because its ascenders and descenders have been chopped short, as shown below: it's "large" x-height is only apparent.

The example above has Electra, Times, and Palatino. Palatino's x-height is even slightly larger than Times Roman, but both Electra and Palatino easily rise above and below Times. I'd say the overall difference between Times and the other two is about 15 percent.

Now, while 15 percent may not seem like much, it is also the difference between being elegant and being squat, so ask yourself: Do you really want to go out into the world and look like a lump?


Copyright © 1997, 1996, by Chet Gottfried.     
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