Should I mix oldstyle and lining figures?

Enthusiast ,
Feb 25, 2011 Feb 25, 2011

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I love oldstyle numerals and have started using them in my design work.  What I'm wondering is:  If I have a heading or subheading or something that includes numbers, should I switch to lining figures for those?  I've heard lining figures are sort of the equivalent of capital letters (while the oldstyle ones are the equivalent of lower-case).  But I'm not sure I should mix them.  What's the usual practice for that?

Thanks, Phyllis

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 25, 2011 Feb 25, 2011

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Phyllis,

The following is my opinion, with no claim to usual practice; I believe there is no (longer any) usual practice because users of old style figures are few and far between.

If I have a heading or subheading or something that includes numbers,
should I switch to lining figures for those?

I believe you should, (especially) if the heading is in capitals, and especially if the capitals have no descenders.

I've heard lining figures are sort of the equivalent of capital letters
(while the oldstyle ones are the equivalent of lower-case).

You may say so, also in terms of recognition/readability/speed of reading.

But I'm not sure I should mix them.

As I see it, you may mix them as freely as capitals/mixed letters.

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Enthusiast ,
Feb 26, 2011 Feb 26, 2011

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Thanks, I appreciate your thoughts.  I think I'll just try doing it that way.  A pity more people don't use oldstyle numerals -- they really add a nice touch to a design I think.

So many people ignore typography!  Recently I had to hire a temp to help me at my job -- my opinion of him went way up when I saw that he used real prime marks in the work I gave him (instead of apostrophes).  🙂

Thanks, Phyllis

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 26, 2011 Feb 26, 2011

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You are welcome, Phyllis.

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