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Chapter 2

GCM 230 Chapter Notes - Chapter 2: Gill Sans, Cap Height, Wayfinding

Graphic Communications
Course Code
GCM 230
Gillian Mothersill

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GCM 230
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Display typefaces entice readers into text copy, creates a mood/feeling and
announces important information
Point size does not equal x-height
o Point size: a measure of overall height, from the tallest character
above the baseline to the longest descender beneath the baseline
Even if two typefaces look similar, they may have very different x-heights
o Ex: Gill Sans has a smaller x-height than Avant Garde
Large x-heights generally make a typeface more visible at any given size
Text typefaces that uses large x-heights do so in an attempt to increase
legibility and readability
Hoeer, igger does’t alas ea etter
o As x-height increases, the length of the ascenders and descenders
decreases (reduced legibility)
o Typefaces with larger x-heights take up more space
o Smaller x-heights create an illusion of more white space
To choose typefaces with the right x-height, we should consider the
audience, reading environment, and the typographic application
When setting Bernhard Modern and Adobe Garamond at the same cap-
height, we see that Adobe Garamond is more legible
o This does not mean that a larger x-height increases legibility
o Here, we are only comparing based on the same cap heigh
o Bernhard Modern might not be less legible, but just set too small
o If both typefaces are set at the same x-height, these differences in
legibility might disappear, except that Bernhard Modern will need
more vertical space to achieve the same legibility as Adobe
If there are two horizontal strokes (o z, b, p, q), and increased x-height will
not mean a significant improvement in legibility
If there are three horizontal strokes, and increased x-height opens the
counters and apertures, therefore increasing legibility
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