DIN 1450 – the German standard on
legibility of texts

In many contexts, such as on public signage systems, printed forms and instruction leaflets, the legibility of the text is of absolutely paramount importance. With this in mind, the German institute for standardisation Deutsches Institut für Normung e. V. recently issued DIN 1450, a standard that sets out requirements designed to ensure the best possible level of text legibility. There are many forms of unfavourable situations in which the legibility of texts can suffer – poor weather when driving, darkness or simply documents that try to put as much information as possible together in a limited space can represent problems in this context. In the worst case scenario, a text may become unreadable or can be wrongly interpreted. Then there is also the risk that it may not be possible to distinguish between various characters, such as lowercase “i”, capital “l” or the figure “0”. DIN 1450 thus offers specific recommendations designed to eliminate such problems. For example, it provides specifications with regard to the minimum and maximum thicknesses of baselines and hairlines. Also defined are minimum sizes of text, the required letter and word spacing and sizes of margins.

Those Monotype fonts that comply with the stipulations of the standard are identified by the suffix ’1450′. The first of such fonts is Neue Frutiger 1450.

Click here to find out more about the DIN 1450 standard.

And read the corresponding article ‘Neue Frutiger 1450: one of the first fonts to conform to the new German standard on legibility of texts’.

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