Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Published in Chamber U

Yes, I know the phrase is “fount of knowledge,” not “font of knowledge," but bear with me. Somebody could get rich with what I am going to reveal.

We are all getting older. As we age, our eyesight gets worse. I have various vision problems: nearsightedness, cataracts, epi-retinal membranes, distortion of the … well, never mind. You get the idea. Tersely put, I have trouble seeing. Not so much trouble as to warrant taking away my driver’s license, of course, but trouble. I am not alone. The Baby Boom generation is right behind me, their vision worsening, too.

The Big Idea is this: larger type fonts on almost everything, especially that which you want us to read. I love my electronic book, my Kindle, especially two of its features: I can adjust the type size and I can also have it read to me from those books that have not disabled the reading-out-loud function. My peeve with my device is that there are areas which do not allow increasing the too-small type face. Worse yet, my keyboard has tiny type with poor contrast. Redesigning the keyboard should allow for a somewhat larger font. Do it, Amazon.

Concerning contrasts, please use black on white whenever possible. Those of us with cataracts, common in the “mature” citizenry, need more contrast. Gray on white or light green on white or any pastel on white no longer suffice. White on a dark background is not as good, either. Sorry.

A favorite magazine, Guideposts, has a Large Print edition, a blessing. I’ve told my publisher to use twelve-point type for my memoir, Ting and I [this is a not-too-subtle plug]. I wish the daily newspaper came with larger type, too. Physics Today has sections I can read and some I cannot. Listings of ingredients on packages, directions for use, could benefit from larger fonts. I know there would be room for fewer words, but “brevity is the soul of wit.” Be pithy, in a larger font, please, black on white, where feasible.

Readers, the race is on. Who among you will bring LARGE PRINT to us masses?

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