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Old 06-24-2012, 01:07 AM   #1
nesler
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Smile An Observation on Fonts - Improving readability by using *bold* versions of fonts

I recently purchased a used Cybook Opus. While I was poking around on it, I noticed that the previous owner had apparently added some fonts to it. While I was trying the different fonts, I noticed that one, Apple Garamond, had excellent contrast, with thick, easily-read letters.

When I looked in the fonts folder and opened the TTF file, I realized that they had only added the bold version of the font, so the device was forced to default to that version.

So, I went and tried fonts that I had previously tested on my Kobo Touch, but had found unreadable. In the case of the Kobo, I simply took a bold version of a font, deleted the "-bold" part from the file name, and copied it over the normal default. (So basically, the normal and bold versions were exactly the same.)

I found that a LOT of fonts that I had previously discarded were now quite useful. In some cases, they look TOO chunky--Vollkorn being one such example--but many of them looked great.

So if you're using one of the many readers that allow you to load your own fonts, I would encourage some experimentation, to see what you come up with.
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Old 06-24-2012, 01:28 AM   #2
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But what then happens if there's bold text within the book that it's important to be able to distinguish? This sounds like a rather bad idea to me, I'm afraid.
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Old 06-24-2012, 01:36 AM   #3
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Yeah, it's pretty much what I do. Except I don't use the bold version of the font. I use a font editor to make the normal font bolder, but not quite bold face.

To make the bold text stand out more, I just use a different font face altogether. The result looks like this

http://www.mobileread.mobi/forums/at...2&d=1314801523
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Old 06-24-2012, 02:10 AM   #4
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This is more or less what Amazon did when they "cheated" their default font for better readability. It is a bolder version of the "regular" Cecilia.
Quite some time ago - I think in the beginning of 2011 but I'm not sure - we had some pictures here. Someone compared a Kindle with another reader with Pearl screen, a Sony, when I remember rightly. With the default font on both devices the Kindle looked much better readable but when he used the very same font on both devices there was no difference to be seen.
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Old 06-24-2012, 05:06 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barty View Post
Yeah, it's pretty much what I do. Except I don't use the bold version of the font. I use a font editor to make the normal font bolder, but not quite bold face.

To make the bold text stand out more, I just use a different font face altogether. The result looks like this

http://www.mobileread.mobi/forums/at...2&d=1314801523
What did you use to edit the font? And your solution of using a different font face is actually quite clever. I like it.

Come to think of it, in most situations, using bold-italic font in place of bold would also work pretty well, as in most cases--your example being a rare instant to the contrary--bold italicized text very rarely shows up, with the exception of some headings.

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But what then happens if there's bold text within the book that it's important to be able to distinguish? This sounds like a rather bad idea to me, I'm afraid.
Bold text doesn't show up in the majority of books, with the possible exception of chapter titles and the like, and these are usually several sizes larger than the main text font. Also, the solution suggested above also works quite well.

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Originally Posted by Billi View Post
This is more or less what Amazon did when they "cheated" their default font for better readability. It is a bolder version of the "regular" Cecilia.
Quite some time ago - I think in the beginning of 2011 but I'm not sure - we had some pictures here. Someone compared a Kindle with another reader with Pearl screen, a Sony, when I remember rightly. With the default font on both devices the Kindle looked much better readable but when he used the very same font on both devices there was no difference to be seen.
Oh yeah, I'm well aware. Same deal with the Nook Touch's 1.1 firmware. They're painstakingly editing their fonts so that anti-aliasing doesn't blur the text.

Last edited by nesler; 06-24-2012 at 05:08 AM.
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Old 06-24-2012, 05:54 AM   #6
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This is more or less what Amazon did when they "cheated" their default font for better readability. It is a bolder version of the "regular" Cecilia.
Actually, they didn’t cheat, they simply selected PMN Caecilia LT 65 Medium as the default font, which is ony slightly bolder than the regular font and clearly distinguishable from PMN Caecilia LT 75 Bold.

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But what then happens if there's bold text within the book that it's important to be able to distinguish? This sounds like a rather bad idea to me, I'm afraid.
I also think that this is a bad idea. Even though bold text is rather rare, the reader should be able to distinguish it from regular text.

Selecting a medium weight font like Amazon did for the Kindle is probably a better idea. Have a look at the screen captures of the default Kindle fonts to see what I mean.
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Old 06-24-2012, 05:55 AM   #7
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I use one of the more saturated Georgia fonts as my "regular" font. It's "semi-bold", so I can still see when text is bold in books. And it may be what kind of books you read, but I don't think it's that uncommon to have bold text that I want to identify.
I frequently have to point out to Kindle people claiming that the Kindle screen is so much better than the Sony that they need to have the exact same font on vuew before they make that claim. The Kindle font is actually a bit too bold for some people's taste.

Last edited by Asawi; 06-24-2012 at 06:00 AM.
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Old 06-24-2012, 06:47 AM   #8
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I use Amasis that has been modified for eInk by a user here. It's darker and looks like a paperback to me. Actually it's a combo of fonts but they work so well together. I also like Trebuchet
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Old 06-24-2012, 10:00 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Billi View Post
what Amazon did when they "cheated" their default font
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doitsu View Post
Actually, they didn’t cheat
Do you know what these two little chars " " mean?
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Old 06-24-2012, 11:17 AM   #10
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Do you know what these two little chars " " mean?
Depending on the interpretation of "regular" in your original comment, one may or may not view it as any sort of "cheat"
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Old 06-24-2012, 12:00 PM   #11
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You could always use the non-bold version for bold.
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Old 06-24-2012, 12:07 PM   #12
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You could always use the non-bold version for bold.
I've only ever seen bold used for chapter headings, but maybe that's just down to the type of books I read. Until I found out how to change the fonts I always used to make everything bold in Calibre for this reason.
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Old 06-24-2012, 12:33 PM   #13
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I've only ever seen bold used for chapter headings, but maybe that's just down to the type of books I read.
Must be!I read a lot of non-fiction and come across lots of bold text. Well, maybe not "lots" as in how much text there is, but "lots" as occurring in many places.
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