Inquiring minds want to know — Calibri

This arrived recently from our buddy, J.R. Wilheim:

“A few years back, MS Word changed the default font from Times New Roman to Calibri.  At the time I was baffled by it, but as it wasn’t too hard to switch into Times New Roman (and as I eventually figured out how to switch the default font myself in Office) I didn’t pay it much mind.  I got into a discussion recently with someone about changes to Office and as a result decided to look up exactly why this change was made.  Apparently, at the time Office 2007 was released, there was a widespread (and, as it turns out, correct) belief that more and more document production would not involve paper, and that Calibri was easier to read on screens that Times New Roman.  As someone in web graphic design, do you think there’s any merit to this?  I can’t see why paper v. online would have any effect on how readable a font is, but you obviously know a lot more about it than I do.”

The Typemaniac answered:
Short answer:
Typical resolution of a home printer is ~200 dots per inch
Typical resolution of a computer screen is ~96 pixels per inch
At small sizes, a font optimized for print won’t look too good on screen and vice-versa.


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