John Hagen <sprinthag@...>
For a basic illustration of why “rounded” letters are larger than “straight” letters. Consider the word “AUTO” in upper case, as shown.
If one were draw horizontal lines over the tops and bottoms of the A and the T. the bottom of the U would extend below the line at the bottom of the A & T but the top of the U would be on the same line as the upper line. The O would extend both up and down from the respective lines. If this were not so, the bottom of the U would appear to be higher than the bottoms of the A & T and the O would appear smaller overall than the A & T. It is an optical illusion due to the decreasing bulk on the curved surfaces. By adding to vertical size, the letters then appear to be the same height and on the same plane. If one were to inspect the letters very closely the differences will become obvious but from any normal viewing distance, they look just right.
The easiest way to discover this is to start drawing letters.
I've had the opportunity on a few occasions to trace original M&StL lettering and discovered that the aforementioned "round" letters extended above and below imaginary horizontal lines at the top and bottom of words, data, reporting marks, etc. Gave no thought to why. Thanks for the explanation. It makes sense. Gene Green