LAST WEEK’S HINT (“Different is good,” below) carried an illustration with a caption in 9.5 point.
Following release of the Hint, my good friend and mentor Jerry Bellune wrote:
Ed: As I age, as are many more newspaper readers, I find it hard, even with my reading glasses, to read 9 pt body type in many newspapers. We use 10 on 10.5, as you may recall. But 9.5 cutlines in any face are going to challenge older readers, our biggest audience.
Good point, but not quite right.
You say “…9.5 cutlines in any face…” and that’s where you’re incorrect. In some faces, 9.5 is actually larger than it is in others. It goes to the design of the type, especially its x height. So, for example, 10 pt. Times is visibly smaller than 9 pt. Nimrod, even though the type “size” is larger. See attached (illustration above). This applies to cutlines as well.
The numbers are irrelevant. You have to test it. You have to take a long look at what’s in front of you.
It’s not in the numbers.