Amar Sagoo

7 April 2006

Interesting Typeface Facts

I've just discovered that many of the typefaces in Mac OS X include in their metadata very interesting narratives about their background and history. Just open Font Book and choose Show Font Info from the Preview menu. Arial, Futura, Times New Roman and Trebuchet MS are a few examples.

Times New Roman description

However, you would have hoped that Monotype know better than to put two spaces after their full stops.


  1. I don't think that Monotype added that description. The only fonts I've seen with such metadata are .dfont files shipped with OS X, so the descriptions were likely added by Apple. Do opentype (or other) fonts even support such things?

  2. Two spaces are required after a period. If it changed now, that's because people have become lazy.

    By the way: Amar, I love your website, it's so cute, and it made me a big fan of Gill Sans, hehe.

  3. Maya: Thank you for the compliment!

    Regarding spacing: This person did a bit of a review on the matter, and it's unclear how much sense is behind the convention, but typographers and designers usually recommend using only one space in proportional fonts.

    I would argue like this: go to your nearest bookshop and find me a book or magazine that uses two spaces after full-stops. You usually only see this on the web or in word-processed essays.

    Personally, I find the double spaces very distracting, because I can't help but notice them. I've never heard someone say "god, I wish they had put two spaces after those full stops," so perhaps not using them is safer, since at least you're not annoying anyone; those who don't mind them probably also won't miss them.

  4. I hate to disagree, but it is faulty to assume that people who wish to utilize a double space will not be annoyed by a single space after a full stop. Every time I am reading and see a lack of two spaces I stop and wonder why no one ever taught the author to space properly.

    All through my formal education I was consistently taught a double space, so help delineate that it was a full stop, rather than a mere pause. As such, I grow momentarily confused at a single space in word processed essays and wonder if perhaps the spacing or the punctuation was a typographical error.

    I do concede that the text found in full books and the like does only have the single space. However, I can only surmise that perhaps different spacing rules and standards are in effect for different media.

    For instance, that fact that newspapers and other periodicals are frequently of a justified alignment, thus rendering a distinct second space pointless, may prove noteworthy.

  5. The double space is helpful when using typefaces that are monospaced (like courier for example). The practice of a double space after a period evolved during typewriter days. Now with computer generated type, typographers account for a little extra spacing after the period, so it is in best practice to use only a single space after the period.