Points and Picas

jbs's picture

I have been reading with pleasure the discussions here on this board for some time and decided to jump into the fray even though I'm just a hobbyist in this field.

I was wondering what measuring system designers and typographers now use. Do people still use the traditional British and American mesaure (point = 0.3515 mm) or the PostScript (Adobe) point (= 0.3528 mm, precisely 1/72 inch)? What is the "default" measure now when you talk about points and picas without specifying what system is used?
It is all rather confusing and f.ex. Bringhurst, in The elements of typographic style, doesn't mention which measure he uses in his text (although it seems to be that he uses the old one).


kakaze's picture

I've only ever used the PostScript point myself.

rs_donsata's picture

PostSrcipt pica is the standard today

Chris Rugen's picture

Same here. (I work in the US.)

jbs's picture

Thanks for the answers. I suspected that this was the case. There is certainly not a lot of difference between the two systems (old system, 1 inch = 6.02 picas, new system 1 inch = 6 picas) but there is a difference all the same. Do you know if the Didot points have also disappeared?

rs_donsata's picture

I love points, picas and inches only because of the coherence of the system: the number 12 multiples allow you to get a module every single pica line, or every six 14 pt lines, or every three 8 pt lines ..... and the harmony is never lost. I can

Bald Condensed's picture

PostScript points, tho it drives some of my less-typographically
obsessed colleagues insane.

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