Mailing Systems Technology - November/December 2009 - (Page 18)

Best Practices Fonts Used for Successful Addressing Fonts are extremely important in addressing. The general recommendation is that you should only use sans serif typefaces when addressing a mailpiece. The post office doesn’t make that mandatory, however; that is simply a good practice to implement. Times New Roman and Times Roman B, which may be among the most easily read by the human eye, are definitely not the most accurately read by high-speed scanners or readers. Digital Optical Character Reader (OCR) technology works better if the equipment is looking at a sans serif typeface like Helvetica, Verdana or Arial. If you are applying a barcode to your mailpiece, you can use whatever font you want. But, when it comes to the addressing area of a mailpiece, it is best to use a sans serif typeface because it’s so much easier for the postal equipment to read. We know, or we think, that we get higher response rates if we address with the handwritten font. Much of today’s inkjet addressing equipment utilizes some great, beautiful freestyle or freehand looking fonts. They look very nice but where they are used, the mailer is also applying a barcode to those mailpieces. So, if you are barcoding, go ahead and use those fancy fonts. A general rule of thumb is to stick with a sans serif typeface for the addressing area of a mailpiece. Another good recommendation for addressing and fonts is that you should not use kerning in your address printing. Tell your designers to back away from this practice. Don’t use any nesting of the characters. As the example on the next page shows, if you tuck the letters H and E underneath the top of the T, you can see that a camera (or OCR reader) cannot get a clear separation between those letters. It will not get a clean read. If you don’t kern, then the camera is going to see a clear space separation between those characters, and it’s going to give it a clean read. You might have noticed that when you receive a hand-addressed piece of mail, which is almost always mailed First-Class, that the NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2009 a

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Mailing Systems Technology - November/December 2009

Mailing Systems Technology - November/December 2009
Editor’s Note
Real-Life Management
Software Byte
Employing Technology
Everything IMB
Ship It
Best Practices
What You Think
From the Source
Mail Managers React to Economic Times
Cost Comparisons
The Intelligent Mail Challenge
Special Product Profile Section
Reality Check
Pushing the Envelope

Mailing Systems Technology - November/December 2009