The Golden Ratio Typography Calculator addresses one of the most difficult aspects of designing a text: to layout type in such a way that it is most readable and attractive. Most typographers and graphic designers have had years of visual experience that allows them to choose the most attractive and readable font sizes, widths, and line lengths intuitively. Even with comparable experience, however, doing this on the web can be a challenge. Chris Pearson of Pearsonified has designed a calculator that produces several optimal sizes and proportions given your preferences or the requirement of a specific project.
Calculating Sizes, Heights, and Widths
The calculator will (1) calculate the appropriate font size, line height, content width, and characters per line, and paragraph spacing; and (2) allow you to choose a font that is set to these numbers in a block of text. It will show you the optimum settings for a given content width, number of characters per line, for your chosen font and size, etc.
For 16pt type, for example, in Hoefler Text the optimum settings are:
Font Size: 16, Line Height: 25, Content Width: 600, Approx.92, Characters Per Line: 85.
In Verdana, these settings are:
Font Size: 16, Line Height: 25, Content Width: 600, Approx. CPL: 74
If you click on the font size, a box will open giving you the optimum settings for headline and primary and secondary text sizes.
You may not agree with the settings Chris finds optimal, but it is an excellent place to start.