Coursemarker Guidelines

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Revision as of 17:57, 18 September 2007 by Dean (Talk | contribs)
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Right Sizing

OK, I have a draft rallye. Is it about the right size? Here are rules of thumb:

  • two "alphabets" of CMs (52 CMs max).
  • 28-35 good CMs (full-credit + partials).
  • 20 to 35 RIs are typical, but this count is no proof the length is right.

Driving the entire route to "read" every CM pole (both the good and the bad CMs) will take something like as long as actually running the rallye. If this drive is already too long, the rallye is too long.

Font Choices

Periodically the question comes up about fonts to use for CMs. Feel free to play around and come up with thematic fonts on your CMs -- it'll add a nice touch.

The important criteria are:

  • 1, I and J look different
  • 0, O and Q look different
  • VV should not need a space to differentiate from W (but sometimes does)
  • Wide stroke (legible at a distance)
  • Double-letters (especially WW, MM, OO, etc.) fit the page

Some people prefer, because they're easier to read:

  • Serifed (tends to go with 1, I, and J being well differentiated)

Successful fonts that have been used are:

  • Goudy Extra Bold
  • OCR-A Extended
  • Copperplate

Things that have worked OK but not great:

  • New Century Schoolbook (strokes are too light, VV runs into W space)
  • Helvetica (strokes again too light, no serifs make distinguishing some letters harder)
  • Helvetica Narrow Bold (VV and II look better with a space between the letters, I has no serifs and could be a 1; however WW fits the page even at 360pt)
  • Comic Sans (some characters came out funny, but I don't remember what)

Some fonts that give trouble:

  • Gill Sans (1, I indistinguishable)
  • Arial (ditto)
  • Various weird titling fonts for various reasons

General Layout

Set the margins in your document small, and be prepared to fiddle with the paragraph/line spacing. The font size is "huge". A standard 8.5"x11" page is 612 points across and 792 points down. The exact font size to use varies substantially with the font, though. Something in the range of 300 points is a good starting place, and then you'll need to tweak.

Get as large as you can. Something most people don't realize is how large street signs really are.

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