4

Pitch is the number of (monospaced) letters, numbers and spaces in one inch (25.4 mm) of running text, that is, characters per inch (abbreviated cpi). The pitch was most often used as a measurement of the size of typewriter fonts as well as those of impact printers used with computers.

The most widespread fonts in typewriters are 10 and 12 pitch, called Pica and Elite, respectively.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pitch_(typewriter)

But what about computer fonts?

Here are, from top to bottom: Courier New, JetBrains Mono NL, Noto Sans Mono, and the last one is Consolas. All fonts are 12 pt size, and the frame is 1 inch width.

enter image description here

As you can see, all fonts except Consolas have the same CPI ratio, 10:1, but I don't think we can really call them 10-pitch fonts, because the number of characters you can put on 1-inch line depends on the font size (that is, if you reduce the font size from 12 pt to 10 pt, you can put more of them on the same line, of course). And by the way, I'm not even sure that letters produced by typewriters were really 12 pt size.

So my question: is there an established term like "computer pitch", which will be understood by people like

10-computer-pitch font is a font whose character-per-inch ratio for 12-pt font size is 10:1

?

1
  • Interesting question...
    – Rafael
    Commented May 18, 2022 at 15:27

1 Answer 1

1

I think the answer is that we should talk not about font family but about both font family and font size. That's it!

  • 10-point Courier New is a 12-pitch font
  • 12-point Courier New is a 10-pitch font
  • 12-point PragmataPro is a 12-pitch font
1
  • I think this misses the point of the question: How does one define a pitch for a computer font and is there a common term for that definition Commented Jul 11, 2023 at 12:57

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.