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6 posts

Number sizes in Scala Sans caps

Aug 03, 2011 at 01:54

This is surely a dumb question. I am part of a small academic research center and we have 2 house fonts. Scala Sans is one of them. The version we have of these fonts is pretty old and perhaps even faulty--it actually shows up as 2 fonts, ScalaSans and Scala Sans, which is a giant pain at times.

I've noticed that Scala Sans caps has comparatively large numbers. This strikes me as very odd. I'm not a typography expert so I'm not sure and thought I would ask here. Is this "normal"? Our house style has certain headlines in caps and this always jumps out at me as odd-looking:



Thanks for your feedback.


Aug 03, 2011 at 09:01

That is because you are using the lowercase of the Caps face. The height of the numbers is correct, they are at cap-height.

Edited on Aug 03, 2011 at 09:02 by koeiekat


Aug 03, 2011 at 16:39

OK that makes sense. Thanks. In that case I have a design/aesthetics problem.

I really prefer the look of Scala Sans caps in lowercase for titles. I also feel that using title case in an all-caps font is unattractive (top example). Title case does work better with the numbers, but it seems so lumpy. Is there a consensus on using initial capitals in a Caps font?

The middle example, using all uppercase in a Caps face, loses much of the attractive proportions in lowercase Scala Sans.

I simply like the look of lowercase Scala Sans (bottom) except when there are numbers involved. I wonder if oldstyle numbers would look better. The problem then is that this is not an opentype font, so I'd have to buy a new version.



Aug 03, 2011 at 18:55

There is no consensus it is merely a matter of the taste of the designer (alas, where have the type directors gone?). There is a golden rule though, an all caps text line shall never run over more than one line.

Personally I find all caps text unreadable, unacceptable and I will not read it. Even a header. I find it offensive. A short line small caps titling is the only thing I will accept. But that is me.


Aug 03, 2011 at 19:36

Going to agree with Judgemental Kat here. Looking at your three examples, the first one is the most readable of them. Long runs of nearly-identical spacing and height gets very hard on the eyes very quickly. All-caps should be no more than three or four words in a title or header, and even then there are probably better ways to highlight your text.


Aug 03, 2011 at 19:38

Thanks both of you for your input. I think the solution is to get away from this all-caps style.



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