Smallest Size on Fax

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Ellen Shapiro's picture
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Joined: 20 Jul 2017 - 12:32pm
Smallest Size on Fax
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I'm an expert witness in a case involving legibility of type that comes through on faxes. FCC rules state that type in disclaimers and opt-out notices must be "clear and conspicuous." We are trying to define that. In this particular case the type was set in 8 pt Univers 45 (light), but it came through almost 10% smaller -- and blurry -- making it very difficult to read in the fax. Are there any published guidelines that state the smallest a typeface should
be to come through clearly and conspicuously in a fax?
Thank you!

Przemysław Sakrajda's picture
Joined: 11 Feb 2011 - 4:23pm
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I didn't know that faxes are still in use! I don't think there're any guidelines for it regarding type sizes, I've never seen one. It may be mentioned in the original manual for a the device, maybe?

Oliver Weiss's picture
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Joined: 14 Mar 2013 - 8:23pm
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I don't think there's an absolute measure of legibility. Doesn't that come down to what "a reasonable person" would consider legible?

Indra Kupferschmid's picture
Joined: 8 Aug 2007 - 3:23am
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Hi Ellen, I worked for several years – among others with Albert-Jan Pool, who is also active here – on a DIN standard about readability. It’s not a binding rule but official recommendations including minimal requirements for font sizes, stroke thickness, width, design etc. to make type readable in different circumstances. We distinguish between recommendations for signage, consultational texts (like what you are talking about, fine print, captions, footnotes etc) and body copy for longer reading. It’s a German standard with the number DIN 1450, not translated into English or taken over into ISO (as far as I know) but maybe this could provide a trustworthy argument in court?

Ivan Perez's picture
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Joined: 14 Jul 2017 - 10:35am
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I like the general idea of it. Is this intended to be for text or display?
Also, with less pronounced serifs it might be a real nice font for terminals and programming…

Indra Kupferschmid's picture
Joined: 8 Aug 2007 - 3:23am
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Huh?

Reynir Heiðberg Stefánsson's picture
Joined: 19 Nov 2010 - 11:15am
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(echo) Huh?

I’m quite sure this isn’t “Post or Die”.

Indra Kupferschmid's picture
Joined: 8 Aug 2007 - 3:23am
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I don’t understand

Reynir Heiðberg Stefánsson's picture
Joined: 19 Nov 2010 - 11:15am
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#epic_facepalm And now we are confusing each other, too. @Perez’s post looked posted, either in the wrong place, or just to post something. Also, there was an anime named “Read or Die”. Main character: Yomiko ‘The Paper’ Readman from the British Library.

ObTopic: Not a specialist at all, but if something looks good on a PC screen with both ClearType and smoothing off, it should look good on fax, right? (Crossing my fingers and praying that the screen’s 96 dpi is close enough to the 100 dpi of a coarse fax.)