After I published my last blog post on readability issues with certain typefaces, a client emailed to remind me that there are many other ways to render type unreadable. Among the things to watch out for are:
• Dropout type. Fine for big bold headlines. Illegible for smaller type.
• Italics. Fine for occasional emphasis. Illegible for large blocks of copy.
• Bold. Fine for headlines and subheads. Illegible for entire paragraphs.
• Ornate scripts. Some are legible than others, but almost all make type unnecessarily difficult to read.
• Drop shadows. Another treatment that may make type stand out, but usually harder to read.
And finally, take pity on your bifocaled 40+ readers, and make sure your type is large enough to read!
It’s possible for a design to be both eye-catching and readable. A good designer can accomplish both goals, so don’t let yours convince you that it’s an either/or choice.