Following up from my discussion of hard-to-read font sizes on iPhones, I bought a new pica rule and measured type sizes in points on an iPhone X. To do that I needed both my glasses and a loupe.

One could do all sorts of calculations to map pixels to points. None of that matters, because what you’re looking at has a definable point size, and that’s what I’m listing here.

Setting Point size Cap height
[smallest] 6 pt. 4 pt.
–10 6 pt. 4 pt.
–9 6 pt. 4⅓ pt.
–8 6½ pt. 4¾ pt.
–7 7¾ pt. 6 pt.
–6 8½ pt. 6 pt.
–5 9 pt. 7 pt.
–4 12 pt. 8 pt.
–3 14 pt. 11 pt.
–2 16 pt. 13 pt.
–1 20 pt. 15 pt.
[largest] 26 pt. 17 pt.
  • Point size means the distance from top of caps to bottom of descenders. (System typeface [San Francisco] obviates the need to compensate for ascender heights taller than cap heights because those two are the same.)

  • denote an unmeasurable fraction below or above an integer, though ostensibly that value could be estimated more closely if I bothered to map pixels to points.

  • Bold vs. roman does not affect point size.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2019.02.06 13:54. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:

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