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johnnyboy
02-12-2014, 07:01 PM
I have just completed a series of transcribed newspaper articles written in the 1880s which I intend to publish in some form or other. There are 115 articles in total and the book length, including the index, is 562 pages. I used Times New Roman 12 for the font

I now want to add brief comments at the end of various articles. The purpose of the comments is to bring readers up to date with the places as they are now.

I am unsure how these comments should be structured within the book. It seems logical they should be at the end of the article but guidance as to font etc. would be appreciated.

don Arnoldy
02-13-2014, 07:57 AM
Johnnyboy-

It depends...

What is the page size of your book? 12-point type is larger than is usual for book type.

Depending on the nature of your comments, they could be fin at the end, or you could put them in a separate outside column, and place the comment next to the point in the original article to which it refers.

A very traditional way to set brief comments would be to put them the italic of the main typeface. Another approach (but the comments would have to truly be brief) would be to set them in a casual script face—maybe in dark grey—so they look like handwritten margin notes that a reader would make.

--don

Paul
02-13-2014, 09:52 AM
I agree that 12 points is large for book type. Some courts and other entities require that documents be filed in 12-point Times, but those are on letter- or legal-size paper, and even then the type looks large to me.

On the other hand, some years ago I worked at a university where I was told that the president had a "special font" for his correspondence. It turned out to be CG Times (resident in a LaserJet printer) at 14 points. It was startling, but not in a good way.

As for the actual question: if the comments are extensive--more than two or three sentences each--I would prefer to read them in a contrasting type, meaning a sans-serif type that is compatible with the serif type of the main text. Long passages in italics can be difficult to read, especially if the italic is one that is especially narrow, slanted, or florid.

This is not a recommendation of Times New Roman and Arial. If I had the budget for it, I might use one of the families, such as Stone or Legacy, that includes both serif and sans designs. I would also consider using a serif face that was available in the 1880s, with the comments in Franklin Gothic book.

johnnyboy
02-13-2014, 10:34 AM
The page size is A4. I agonized over the size and perhaps I should reduce it but I was conscious of the fact it would be read mainly by old people. But then they usually have spectacles so my thinking might be wrong on that.

I thought of italics but somehow reading something in that grates with me.

I would prefer to stick with black and white so that probably rules gray out.

Placing them where the point arises is interesting. I hadn't thought of that.

johnnyboy
02-13-2014, 11:05 AM
Thanks Paul.

I haven't started on the comments yet so I don't know how long they will be.

It was my intention to just put out the articles for interest and reference but a friend suggested adding comments as a way of personalizing. I would be interested to hear what you or anyone else thought about this.

An example of the comments would be in relation to the town of Devonport. When the articles were written it was called Torquay so a comment about when it was changed would be appropriate. However in 115 articles a myriad of comments could be added but I will need to be careful to avoid going overboard. They will certainly need to be brief but on occasions more than two or three lines.

I looked at different fonts but although TNR seemed a bit boring I kept coming back to it. I didn't think of using an older one in keeping with the time the articles were written but that seems sensible. Franklin Gothic Book, as you say, for the comments would fit but perhaps a more modern one might work.

terrie
02-13-2014, 12:48 PM
jb: It was my intention to just put out the articles for interest and reference but a friend suggested adding comments as a way of personalizing. I would be interested to hear what you or anyone else thought about this.I like the idea of comments which update the articles and I think that it would be easier for the reader if the comments were placed near the original article.

If the comments are longer than say a sentence or two, then you definitely want to choose a font that reads easily--I think a san serif would be good to differentiate from the article text but would read more easily than italic.

I think 12pt is a bit large also. If possible, maybe you could pull out a few pages and downsize the font just a tad, say 11, 11.5 or even 11.75 and see how it reads?

Terrie

Paul
02-13-2014, 03:11 PM
An A4 page does make a difference. One additional consideration with that size is that a wide measure can make it possible to fit too many words on each line. In general, text is most readable if there are only nine to eleven words on each line. On such a wide measure, you can improve the readability slightly by increasing the leading (space between the lines).

One of my current projects is a pilot version of a textbook. The finished book will have typical book pages, but the preliminary version is printed on American letter-size paper, which is very close to A4 size. I am using a line that is only 60% of the width of the page, with sidebars in the wide right margin. That's pretty much what Don was describing.

My experience with designing for older readers is that they say they want the type to be as big and as black as possible, but beyond a certain point that does not actually contribute to legibility. However, typefaces with open counters (large, obviously round openings in letters like o and c) and a large x-height are the ones that older readers prefer.

For example, Century Schoolbook will seem more legible than Garamond, unless the Garamond is set at a larger point size. Times, in any version, is slightly too narrow for best legibility, especially on a wide measure. It's unfortunate that software has trained us to think of it as the default font for everything.

annc
02-13-2014, 03:52 PM
The page size is A4. I agonized over the size and perhaps I should reduce it but I was conscious of the fact it would be read mainly by old people. But then they usually have spectacles so my thinking might be wrong on that.Reading glasses don't necessarily fix all the problems of increasing age, hence the increasing popularity of large print books. New titles even come out in large print within weeks of their launch dates in standard format these days. But there are more readable typefaces you could use if you are wanting to make the articles readable for older people. :)

I agree with Paul that the wide measure of A4 will allow too many words on the page with Times, unless you have very wide margins.

terrie
02-13-2014, 08:10 PM
ann: hence the increasing popularity of large print books. I've gotten a few large print books when buying from Better World Books (didn't realize that the particular copy I ordered was noted as being a large print book) and while, I do certainly understand how wonderful they are to those with visibility issues, for me--worn glasses all of my life--I found the font size too big making it, interestingly, more tiring to read.

Guess it's hard to strike a happy medium...'-}}

Terrie

Steve Rindsberg
02-14-2014, 07:39 AM
Reading glasses don't necessarily fix all the problems of increasing age, hence the increasing popularity of large print books. New titles even come out in large print within weeks of their launch dates in standard format these days. But there are more readable typefaces you could use if you are wanting to make the articles readable for older people. :)

I agree with Paul that the wide measure of A4 will allow too many words on the page with Times, unless you have very wide margins.
Wide enough margins, perhaps, to allow for comments, eh?

Steve Rindsberg
02-14-2014, 07:44 AM
It's not so much whether or not you wear glasses, it's whether the glasses can correct your vision to near-normal.

don Arnoldy
02-14-2014, 09:39 AM
The page size is A4. I agonized over the size and perhaps I should reduce it but I was conscious of the fact it would be read mainly by old people. But then they usually have spectacles so my thinking might be wrong on that.You have to start with how many books you are planning to print and then by what method you are planning to produce them. A4 is a "standard" size for stationary, not for most other things.

If you are planning to run these books off a few at a time at the copy shop down the street, then A4 is probably a good size—though this method will be the highest unit cost for the books.

Specialty book printers can produce books in quantities of as low as 100 (but the less you print at once, the higher the unit cost)—if you use one, you will need to find out their standard page sizes (and it probably won't be A4).

I thought of italics but somehow reading something in that grates with me.If the comments are short—no more than a couple of sentences, Italic works. Photo captions in magazines and newspapers are traditionally set in italic, and you probably don't even notice.

I would prefer to stick with black and white so that probably rules gray out. In printing, grey is not a separate color, it is a shade of black. Most processes that can reproduce black text can also reproduce grey (like in a photograph).

Placing them where the point arises is interesting. I hadn't thought of that.This is a pretty common annotation technique.

Howard Allen
02-14-2014, 10:51 AM
The others have made some excellent points. Here's my 2 bits worth.

Are these books going to be printed on paper? If so, as Don pointed out, it's going to be very expensive to print a few or even hundreds of 562-page documents. On the other hand, PDF distribution could potentially solve several problems. The type size becomes less important, because readers can zoom in to read the text at any size that suits them. In this case, the typeface itself becomes a greater issue, because you want a font that's easy to read onscreen.

Also, using PDF gives you options for placing your printed comments. You could place them all together in an "end notes" section at the back, then put links in the main text that would let the reader jump to that section and back again. Or, the comments could be added as annotations: the reader mouses over (or clicks) some highlighted trigger text, or a sticky-note icon, resulting in a popup that contains the comments. These options are in addition to the more print-oriented tactics of using callout boxes, side panels or old-fashioned footnotes.

Of course, the biggest bug with PDFs is the people who dislike reading onscreen, and/or oldsters or Luddites (NOT the same thing!) who want nothing to do with computers or e-readers. I guess you have to determine who's going to be in the majority of your readership.

johnnyboy
02-14-2014, 01:31 PM
Thanks Howard and others. Your comments are valuable because I am a novice in this area. Some more background.

These articles were written by a gentleman named Theophilus Jones. (not the more famous one from Wales). He toured Tasmania in the 1880s and wrote the articles based on his experiences. My idea in transcribing them is to place them together for people interested in history and make a decent index available so they can find what they want. Although I think the articles are quite well written I doubt people will want to read them all.

My original idea Howard was to put them out as an ebook but according to my information the technology for placing an index in a ebook is not yet there. However someone might bring me up to date on this and if it is possible that would be the way to go.

I have transcribed the articles and produced an index. Two days ago I had one copy printed and it is my intention to take that to various people and ask them where to from here. It might be that all I do is provide three or four copies for the libraries here.

If there is an opportunity to print more copies I will. Hence my reason for asking this forum for ideas on adding comments and layout options.

johnnyboy
04-29-2014, 03:23 PM
It is a while ago that I requested help in regard to adding comments to a history book I am compiling. The help I received than was valuable and appreciated.

During the discussion I mentioned that I was using A4 size. Since then I have had some doubts about that as I think it is probably too large. Does anyone have and thoughts on this?

terrie
04-29-2014, 03:41 PM
jb: During the discussion I mentioned that I was using A4 size. Since then I have had some doubts about that as I think it is probably too large. Does anyone have and thoughts on this? For print copy, I don't think it's too large but, what would be the next smallest size down?

I don't know enough about ebooks to comment on page sizing...

Terrie

Hugh Wyn Griffith
04-30-2014, 04:01 PM
A5 = fold A4 parallel to short side...

The A series are linked like that from A0 which was defined as 1m²

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paper_size

don Arnoldy
05-01-2014, 09:12 AM
I have had some doubts about that as I think it is probably too large. Does anyone have and thoughts on this?Before I give you my thoughts, I'd like to know yours—what is it that makes you think the page size is too large?

johnnyboy
05-01-2014, 02:09 PM
I have been reading on the internet about this subject and it seems the most popular size for all books is 6" by 9". The main reason is that this size fits bookshelves better, particularly in bookshops. Also I personally find a book of this size more comfortable to handle. The downside is that the book will probably be more expensive to print. Mine is a history book and discussion about this type of book is limited however hence my reason for posting here.

terrie
05-01-2014, 02:38 PM
One issue you will have by making the book smaller is that the number of pages will increase making the book heavier/larger and do you think that would be a problem?

Terrie

johnnyboy
05-01-2014, 07:00 PM
Yes that is a good point Terrie. I will need to do the sums on this if I decide to change from A4.

don Arnoldy
05-01-2014, 10:21 PM
6" x 9" is a more-common size for a book. If you are going to print more than a few, it is probably a better size choice. You will have to print a larger quantity, but the unit cost ought to be less.

You may or may not need more pages by going to a smaller size. Readability is a factor of characters per line (among other things), so you should be able to reduce the point size of the type—maybe to 8- or 9-point type, though I would increase the leading to 11 or 12 points.

johnnyboy
05-02-2014, 12:19 AM
Thank you don. I will probably print 150. I want to have some photos so I wonder if a little larger would be better. 8" by 10' perhaps as that seems to be another common size.

I have been looking at some of the online publishing sites. CreateSpace and Lulu seem to be the most popular but freight costs to Australia might rule them out. Do you know much about them?