I just read this, so now I want to perform such a legibility test. Actually, I really want to test readability.
I'll set the same word in different fonts, have subjects read through them in random order, record how long each took. I still have to decide what "reading" means here; I'll figure out the details over the week.
I could also do the same for longer texts to test readability, but there are obvious problems with this: The text would need to be really long in order to measure legibility properly, so I'll have to come up with some way to account for the memory of the previous readings of the same text.
I already know I need help determining how to account for differences in width among fonts for testing readability. How do you suggest that I account for this? Here are my only ideas so far:
- Adjust the width of the column such that the number of characters per line is equal for all fonts.
- Do not adjust the width of the column, but stop each line at the same place.
- Do not make adjustments to account for the different widths of characters, but test different column widths to see which fonts are best at which column widths.
All of the fonts should be set in whatever way is best because that's how anyone who cares about readability is going to set them, so, ideally, I should to adjust column width, leading, margins, &c. where such adjustment is appropriate.
I'm also wondering what English words and text to use. Any ideas?
EDIT: Cool, people already do this, except it seems like font hasn't been tested so much as general layout.