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Congress considers font readability

posted by Jason Kottke   May 19, 2009

Both houses of Congress have recently passed credit card legislation which will cut down on credit card companies abusing their customers. The NY Times has a guide to what the new legislation could mean for consumers. The bill that passed the House contains some interesting provisions on how card companies can use type.

The House throws in what ought to be called “The Fine Print Rule.” Card companies must print their account applications and disclosures in 12-point type or greater. A supervisory board will also probably declare certain hard-on-the-eyes fonts off limits. The Senate is silent on typeface but imposes many other communication requirements.

From the bill itself:

SEC. 14. Readability requirement.

Section 122 of the Truth in Lending Act (U.S.C. 1632) is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

“(d) Minimum type-size and font requirement for credit card applications and disclosures. -All written information, provisions, and terms in or on any application, solicitation, contract, or agreement for any credit card account under an open end consumer credit plan, and all written information included in or on any disclosure required under this chapter with respect to any such account, shall appear-

“(1) in not less than 12-point type; and

“(2) in any font other than a font which the Board has designated, in regulations under this section, as a font that inhibits readability.”.

I haven’t seen a credit card application or bill in years (we’re paperless)…what unreadable fonts are these companies using? Do they set their terms and conditions sections in 6-pt Zapf Dingbats a la David Carson?

We Work Remotely

ideasonideas asks several prominent designers what they

posted by Jason Kottke   Jun 16, 2006

ideasonideas asks several prominent designers what they would have done differently at the beginning of their careers. David Carson’s first crack at an answer seemed apropos for him: “not much. things have gone pretty good.” Me? I would have learned how to draw.

Hillman Curtis has added some new (to

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 19, 2005

Hillman Curtis has added some new (to me) videos to his series of interviews with designers, including interviews with the folks at Pentagram and David Carson.

Friday round-up

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 16, 2005

Some miscellaneous bits I haven’t had a chance to post yet about the conference:

More tomorrow, already the last full day of the conference.