Customized type makes new Sun easier to read

September 18, 1995

The text type used in the new Sun is a customized version of a font known as Ionic No. 5, which was developed in the late 1920s specifically for newspapers and which quickly became one of the most popular in America.

The typeface first appeared in the Evening News of Newark, N.J., in 1926. Within 18 months of its introduction, more than 3,000 newspapers across the country were using Ionic No. 5 for their text.

One reason this type is so popular, beyond its classic look, is that it is all but impossible to reproduce badly. It remains legible even if the inking is too heavy or too light, problems that frequently bedevil newspapers. The type may appear larger, but in fact it is approximately the same size as the Bookman text we had been using. It appears larger in part because the lowercase letters are taller. In tests conducted by the Poynter Institute for Media Studies in St. Petersburg, Fla., Ionic No. 5 was rated the most readable text type for newspapers. This is the first time it has been used in The Sun.

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