[texhax] Curious: TeX and Sustainable Trail Design

ghaverla ghaverla at materialisations.com
Tue Oct 29 03:31:32 CET 2013

I am looking for information about something that has nothing to do
with typesetting, and happened across a 300+ page document on
sustainable design of trails.  In it, is a section on what is nominally
typesetting.  Perhaps people might comment in the event that that
someone building a trail might want to typeset signs in TeX?

* Do not use italic, oblique, script of highly decorative characters.

* Choose "sans serif" fonts (the width of the uppercase letter "O"
  should be 50 to 100% of the height of the uppercase letter "I").

* Characters on signs at eye level should be at least 20mm high (based
  on uppercase "I") if they can be viewed from a distance of 1.5m or
  less.  For each additional 1m of viewing distance, the size of the
  characters should be increased by 10mm.

* Spacing between adjacent characters should be 10 to 35% of character

* Line spacing should be approximately 150% of character height (135 to

* Text indicating name and length of trail should be "tactile" (raised
  above the background of the sign by at least 10mm).  The two
  typefaces most easily read by touch are Helvetica and Times Roman.

It was news to me that "sans serif" is defined by the width of an
uppercase "O" relative to the height of an uppercase "I".  I always
thought it was based on the lack of "decorations" on glyphs.

I don't know about this spacing requirement in the context of kerning.
And what happens with ligatures?

I suspect line spacing can easily be adjusted, if it is different.

Sure, a person can probably cut letters out of 10+mm baltic birch to
produce the trail name and distance.  Are Helvetica and Times Roman the
two easiest fonts to read by touch?  I always thought Times Roman was a
bunch of different typefaces that were similar.

Have a great day!

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