I haven’t drastically changed the amount of effort I’m putting into my writing. I’m probably even spending less time with them now than I did earlier in my studies, and while I guess you could argue that I’m probably just being a great example of practice making perfect, I’ve got my doubts...
Franklin was a huge fan of Baskerville’s work, and in a letter to Baskerville (1760) he enthusiastically defends Baskerville’s types, recounting a discussion he had with an English gentleman who claimed that Baskerville’s ‘ultra-thin’ serifs and narrow strokes would blind its readers.
Franklin mischievously tore off the top of a Caslon specimen (to remove any mention of Caslon, of course), and showed it to the gentleman, claiming that it was the work of Baskerville. The gentleman examined the specimen, and thinking that it was indeed a Baskerville specimen, started to point out the worst features of ‘Baskeville’s’ type.
Certain readers, for example, reported that they found 12-point type more legible than 10-point, others that they found 9-point type quite as legible as 10-point type, when their actual performances demonstrated beyond question that they were wholly mistaken. Often they ascribed to the design of the type effects that were really due to the size of the type or to the leading. The spacing between the lines and the length of the measure produce illusory estimates of the relative size of the print: with both 9- and 10-point type, readers who found that the change from solid type to 2-point leading improved their accuracy or speed frequently explained that they found 'the large type much easier when the size of the face had not been altered. Thus, as Mrs Beatrice Warde has rightly observed, What the book critic calls readability is not a synonym for what the optician calls legibility.' Nearly all tended to read with greater facility the kind of types that they preferred, and were inclined to confuse intrinsic legibility with their private aesthetic preferences. As we have seen, preference depends largely upon custom and throughout it seemed evident that almost everyone reads most easily matter set up in the style and size to which he has become habituated.
... when the text is hard to read, we have to concentrate harder. We step our analytical brain up a gear, and quash our instinctive reactions.
What you'd probably not consider, is to study a map of the different alphabets in official use across Europe today. Such a map would be rather uniform: the Latin alphabet dominates the entire continent, with the exception of Greece, which uses its own Greek alphabet, and a number of Slavic countries in the southern Balkans  and in eastern Europe , which use the Cyrillic alphabet.
But at the beginning of the 20th century, the picture was much more diverse - at least according to this German map, which shows the distribution of typefaces across Europe in 1901. The most obvious difference with the situation today is the existence of a distinct Deutsches Alphabet ('German alphabet'), dominating central Europe and some parts beyond.
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