Print Reseller Scheme
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Points units - why?

Discussion in 'Graphic Design Forum:' started by heybyrne, Jul 25, 2010.

  1. heybyrne

    heybyrne Member

    I'm just setting up a new artboard to create a logo for a possible client and have wondered for a while - why work in points?

    I've always been used to working with the units pixels and millimeters dependent on web or print, but I've often seen in brand guidelines to work by points.

    All I can think of is that it helps with font sizes but I still find that if I'm working with a font point in office for example it always prints a different size to what I create in illustrator?

    I guess I'm missing something obvious?
  2. JohnRoss

    JohnRoss Member

    Why not? If you're doing composition, you want to think like a compositor. It's the worst option for web stuff, but the natural one for print.

    I can't tell from that what direction your work flow is, but there were reports that Word import was severely knackered in CS4, if that's the way you are doing things. Using rtfs instead of docs may help, or not.
  3. heybyrne

    heybyrne Member

    Thanks for this, so by compositing you mean creating illustrations? I've found some interesting reading regards to compositions so thank you :)

    In regards to points im more wondering what the difference is and why it would be used, pixels is a measurable format for web, millimetres is measurable for print, even physically with for example a ruler, but points, other than fonts I'm baffled how it is measurable to web or physical print, why not just use pixels or millimetres :/
  4. JohnRoss

    JohnRoss Member

    No, not at all. Compositing or composing is what a compositor or typesetter does, taking the type and arranging it to make up the page. You were talking about fonts, not pictures. The composition of pictures is also an interesting topic, but not related.

    Partly it's just a relic of the days when printing was an arcane craft. But when you understand it, it's also convenient, like pounds, shillings and pence used to be (easily divisible). For example, in points, we usually use a few sizes with simple steps between them - you have too many choices with millimetres (pixels are out, of course, this is print, now). We don't generally use steps of less than half a point (it isn't the law, we just don't), so sizes are easy to learn - everyone here who works regularly with print can look at a magazine or whatever and say "11-and-a-half points" without thinking about it. We could, I suppose, work in steps of a tenth of a millimetre (too many steps), or a millimetre (not nearly enough). What's to gain?

    Now, the points system works fine for book or magazine-size fonts. I can imagine it might be a lot less useful the larger the letter size, posters or signs, but I've never worked at that scale.

Share This Page