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Fonts and size

Fonts and size

Fonts and size

(OP)
In our professional life, we have to quite often submit engineering reports, briefs etc. What is the popular/recommended fonts and size followed? Any style books on this topic?

RE: Fonts and size

We have fonts, font sizes and other "standards" given to us from above. Something about projecting a unified corporate feel/identity. I don't know where "they" get it from, but it's one thing I never have to think about. This is probably common in engineering companies.

- Steve

RE: Fonts and size

While this might not be exactly what you're looking for, it's a very interesting book about type fonts and how we've come to have so many of them and how some of them or overused and abused.

'Just My Type: a book about fonts.', by Simon Garfield:

http://www.simongarfield.com/pages/books/just_my_t...

And if you liked the book then you may also be interested in a documentary called 'Helvetica', directed by Gary Hustwit (yes, that's a feature-length film about the text font 'Helvetica' and it's well worth watching, you can download it from iTunes):

http://www.helveticafilm.com/

And if you want something along those same lines only from a different era may I suggest another very well done documentary titled 'Linotype: The Film', directed by Doug Wilson (this film is also available on iTunes):

http://www.linotypefilm.com/about.html

Anyway, enjoy...

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Industry Sector
Cypress, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

RE: Fonts and size

Like Sompting said, your company may have its own guide to corporate identity.
We are using Calibri, because nobody knows how to change default font in Office.

When it comes to the books there are way too many of them to name just one. Have you ever used any guide to Resume writing? There are several books out there on writing private and business letters.
For more professional tips, find a secretary's /administrative assistant handbook. There you will find technical details as how many lines the space between salutation and the main body should be.
You will find some recommendations on choosing fonts as well.

RE: Fonts and size

I once worked for a company that had complete books of all such things. Current company can't even agree what to call documents let alone the format and certainly not down to the minutia of which font to use.

My personal opinion of font types is they should have stopped after the first dozen, the rest are just overkill and slowing down my print jobs.

----------------------------------------

The Help for this program was created in Windows Help format, which depends on a feature that isn't included in this version of Windows.

RE: Fonts and size

If there is no standard at your company, you can always start one. Is your company "going green"? If so, switching fonts may be a good argument to use to set up standards. It has been reported that sans serif fonts use less ink than serif styles. http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2010/04/07/want-save-m...

I prefer good ol' sans serif font for readability, like Arial in 10pt or Calibri in 11pt. Most of my documents are saved as PDF, so I assume people are reading them on their screens instead of printing them out, and while I used to be a die-hard Arial fan, Calibri has a slightly wider letter-to-letter spacing which I think makes it easier to read.

"Art without engineering is dreaming; Engineering without art is calculating."

Have you read FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies to make the best use of these Forums?

RE: Fonts and size

Like others mention for anything remotely official looking we generally have a company template set up.

When I do something from scratch I either leave it at the default setting of the software, or occasionally will change to good ol' Ariel.

Posting guidelines FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm? (probably not aimed specifically at you)
What is Engineering anyway: FAQ1088-1484: In layman terms, what is "engineering"?

RE: Fonts and size

Times New Roman 12 point for report text. If it's a letter sometimes I'll go to 11 point to keep to one page. Default (usually Calibri) for tables and spreadsheets. Tahoma for drawings.

RE: Fonts and size

We use Trebuchet MS 11 point, and so did Julia Childs.

Mike McCann
MMC Engineering

RE: Fonts and size

Do not use a font from the non-standard list! My company did and guess what - the client could not read it, or the substitute font had different layout.
A standard template keeps consistency within the document (this has not always been the case). I have seen documents where it would have been better to cut the letters out of the newspaper as in a ransom note!

RE: Fonts and size

Avoid any of the cutesy fonts for most engineering applications.

Now I'm sure there are exceptions somewhere in hi tech or something but generally I'd go for boring legible fonts.

Now you could choose a font to save ink but that may be easier said than done:

http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2014/mar/3...
http://www.ecofont.com/

Posting guidelines FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm? (probably not aimed specifically at you)
What is Engineering anyway: FAQ1088-1484: In layman terms, what is "engineering"?

RE: Fonts and size

Back in the 50s my dad gave me a small printing press. It was ok for printing business cards, HS sock-hop dance tickets, small flyers, etc.
It came with old California type cases and I set type by hand on a composite tray... I probably messed up the terminology here but
that was 60 years ago.

Oh, my dad had said he gave me the press to learn a lesson: "Don't believe everything you read... Think for yourself."
I learned that two students at NW Univ. in Evanston, Ill. were caught counterfeiting with a similar press. Those
days are gone and so is the press but I enjoyed setting different fonts and sizes the old fashion way. pipe

RE: Fonts and size

No word of a lie, the following is the exact text (with the company named replaced by xxxxx) of a email attachment (word file) I received from a supplier last week. I expect he intended to send something else, but sent this attachment:

Month Day, Year

Company Name
Street Address
City, Province Postal Code

Dear Addressee,

This is a sample of the new xxxxx standard letterhead. The clean, organized structure gives our business communications a highly professional profile. Type all body copy in 11-point Avenir Next LT Pro (if not available, use Arial Regular), upper and lowercase, on 13.5 points of leading.

Do not indent at the beginning of paragraphs, and always skip one line between paragraphs.

When your letter is complete, skip two lines before the closing. Then skip four lines between the closing and the Sender’s typed name to allow space for the Sender’s signature. Finally, skip one line between the Sender’s typed name and the Typist’s initials.


Sincerely,




Sender’s Name

SN:tn

RE: Fonts and size

(OP)
Thank you all. So for reports I understand, it is better to go for 12pt Times New Roman ( alternate 10pt Ariel or 11 pt Calibri) with Calibri for tables and spread sheets and Tahoma for drawings. Use 1.5 spacing.

RE: Fonts and size

The link below is to a style guide produced by the British Dyslexia Association. However, the advice about what font style and size, and document layout to use are appropriate for making reports easier to read by anyone.

http://www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/about-dyslexia/furth...

RE: Fonts and size

I changed the default font of Microsoft Excel and Outlook to Courier New (the old typewriter font) which is the font used for this first part of the posting, by clicking on "Pre" in the toolbar  
The reason for using Courier New is that "each character has the same width", which allows perfect alignment of characters in columns of numbers, for me is the easiest to read, with a fashionably retro look (o:, and greatly facilitates error detection in long columns of numbers (e.g. an extra "1").  

For presentations and external letters the standard font is determined by the company.

saludos.
a.

RE: Fonts and size

I find that Lucida console looks slightly better without the serifs but that's just personal taste.

RE: Fonts and size

What I meant to say was Lucida console looks better because it has no serifs.

RE: Fonts and size

I'm all about the 1.2 line spacing. Single space text is just a bother. Hate it! I usually use times new roman or calibri.

I equally hate full justification!

Rant over. . .

f-d

¡papá gordo ain’t no madre flaca!

RE: Fonts and size

A while back, someone on this site said that they did a test and the people in their office found Century Gothic font to be the most readable. I changed all my defaults to that a year or so ago. I keep getting compliments on the look of my documents. I just wrote a document for a peer review journal and their style guide called for Times New Roman 10 pt and I dearly hate the look of it. I used nothing but Times New Roman for something like 25 years and now I can't stand the look of it. The Century Gothic makes my documents and presentations look unique and are very readable. Most style guides don't allow it.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

Law is the common force organized to act as an obstacle of injustice Frédéric Bastiat

RE: Fonts and size

I have used 'Arial' on everything for many years. It looks professional without appearing stuffy.

prognosis: Lead or Lag

RE: Fonts and size

I'm another Arial user, unless a spec or style sheet calls for something else.

Best to you,

Goober Dave

Haven't see the forum policies? Do so now: Forum Policies

RE: Fonts and size

I like Helvetica but on Windows you have to actually go out and PAY for the font library as Microsoft never licensed it from the German company that acquired the Mimeograph/Addressagraph Company that originally developed it. Despite it being the most popular font used in public signage and corporate logos (see my post near the beginning of this thread) today, it's still a proprietary and copyrighted font. Now Apple did pay for the rights so my MAC's have always had the Helvetica font preinstalled (perhaps this is why it ended up being used so widely as Apple's first really big penetration into businesses was where there was a graphics art department).

That being said, on Windows I tend toward Arial or at least any that are 'sans serf'.

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Industry Sector
Cypress, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

RE: Fonts and size

I find that in bad lighting (the darkened rooms where they hold slide presentations) small Times Roman is particularly difficult to read. The same sized Arial or anything Sans Serif is a lot easier.

Re: Helvetica - how do you pronounce that? Is it hel-vet-sia or hel-ve-ti-ca. I've heard it pronounced both ways: the former by a German and a Frenchman and the latter by the Brits.

RE: Fonts and size

I pronounce it 'hel-ve-ti-ca', but since it was developed in Switzerland (in Latin, 'Helvetica' means Swiss), what with their FOUR official (and ONE unofficial) languages, God knows how it was intended to be pronounced winky smile

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Industry Sector
Cypress, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

RE: Fonts and size

Just been searching the net - one other pronunciation is hel-vee-ti-kah.

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