Fife and Drum newsletter from Friends of Fort York – December 2014

You can access the newsletter here:


A text accompanying the newsletter reads:

“Please find attached the latest edition of Fife and Drum, published by the Friends of Fort York. This issue features articles on the new park which will open north of the Fort when the pedestrian-cycle bridge is built, and the canvass houses used by the Simcoes when they first came to Newark and then to York (now Toronto). We hope you will enjoy it.”

[End of text]

I was interested in Richard Gerrard’s review of Archaeology of the War of 1812 (2014). He notes that many of the maps are reproduced too small to make for easy reading. Nonetheless, as the reviewer notes, the work is “an important addition to the archaeological literature about the War of 1812.”

Part of the text for the Fife and Drum newsletter is set in 10-point Adobe Caslon Pro text. An 11.5 or 12-point text would work better, in my view. However, it would require shortening of the articles, in the event such a larger font size were used while maintaining the same number of pages.

What would be lost or gained if each text were to be reduced in length by 15 or 20 percent?

It’s my belief that a larger font size is worth exploring, as it would potentially enable the newsletter to reach a still wider audience of readers who would take the time to read the newsletter from start to finish. One could do market research, one could engage in empirical research, about such topics.

The “Upcoming Events” section on p. 11 is set in 8.5-point Myriad Pro Condensed text. As a result, the information fits within a single column, which is great. However, that size of font is virtually unreadable, unless you make a habit of carrying around a magnifying glass. The point of the comment is that there would be benefit in keeping the needs of the end user, which in this case is the typical reader, in mind. If the needs of the end user are ignored, then whose needs are being met, and for what purpose?

Possibly, a purpose is served, and it may be a good one.

Previous posts about Fort York, a historical site that I much enjoy visiting, can be accessed here.


Fort York, October 2012. Jaan Pill photo

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