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I’ve been reading a lot of patterns by indie designers. Many indie designers can benefit from developing a style sheet to make their patterns more readable, consistent, and stand out from the pack.

First, brand your patterns. That means thinking about the layout and the look of your pattern. Where you place things, font type and size, headers and footers, logos, helpful hints, color scheme all need to be decided prior to writing a word. What look and style you choose for your pages should remain consistent within the pattern and in other patterns that follow. The look and style becomes your brand, your calling card; it represents you and your design business.

Font type and size is a good place to start. Did you know that most people in the US cannot read cursive writing? Cursive writing is script. An example is given below.

cursive-handwriting-ftr

Out of the 50 states that make up the US, 41 do not teach cursive writing in their school systems. So not only can people not read cursive writing but they are also unable to sign their names because they cannot do cursive writing. Therefore, when writing patterns do not use any font that resembles cursive writing anywhere in your pattern, including the pattern title and your company name.

For the directions in the pattern you want an easy to read font, preferably serif. Studies have shown serif type makes reading long passages easier on the eyes.

serif-sansserif

Fonts you want to avoid are anything with unusual or decorative lettering, overly wide letters, overly narrow letters, too thick letters, too thin letters. In short, avoid anything fancy. Times New Roman is a good font. Boring? Yes, but easily readable.

Next is selecting font size. For the body text of the pattern, 11 or 12 pt is suggested. Anything smaller is harder to read. You want the knitter to be able to easily read the pattern.

In summation: A good pattern font is Times New Roman, size 11.

Next up: Size and font for title and headings.

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