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Hey wow, first post! This looks like the place I might find an answer to a burning question. Firstly a little background. The company I work for has put me in charge of producing our "Year Of 2010" garments, with the names of graduating students printed on the back. We do this on behalf of universities and educational institutions all over the place. The maximum total print size for the artwork is A3, so obviously there's an upper limit to the number of names we can fit on, currently around 1600. Sometimes we have a graduating class of between 1600 and 1750, which requires the production of two pieces of artwork, and this is a real pain for pretty much every stage of the ordering, production and administration process.
So obviously a way of fitting more names, legibly, on an A3 sheet is a good thing. The names appear like this:
John Smith ~ Jane Smith ~ Ali Abbas ~ Sue Holness ~
Juan de Souza ~ Richard Strauss ~ Ben Jones ~ Kate
and so on.
I've so far managed to squeeze more names on by reducing the line spacing, replacing the ~ with a narrower character (usually a Middle Dot), and reducing the character spacing by 5% when I'm desperate to get those last 20 names on!
So here's my question - is there a better font for the job that the 8pt Arial we currently use? I don't know the terminology for all the components of a font, but something with narrower "rounded" (like O, S, C, D, G) characters would be good. Also bear in mind that these are being printed on fabric, so the characters are on a fuzzy background rather than shiny white paper. I've read a few other forum posts about fonts that are legible when printed small, but I'm very much on the hunt for a font that's defined enough to print well on fabric while being narrow enough to ensure the maximum number of characters can appear on a single line. Can anyone help out?
Many thanks in advance!