Industrial paper is measured by meters, but everything else such as type size, image resolution, etc is based on inches. Although it’s not really difficult to make the different units coexist on a paper as long as you are fine with fractional measurements, wouldn’t it make more sense to just use metres for type size too? Are you really comfortable with making a point-based grid on a metre-based paper?
In fact, there is a country that uses metric type size, and it’s called Japan. The unit is called Q or q, which is a quarter of a millimetre (0.25 mm), a little finer than a DTP point (0.3528 mm), and was invented in the phototypesetting era. There is also a unit called Ha (or simply H or h), which is basically the same as Q but used for anything other than type size (e.g. line spacing). Ha means a tooth of a cog. Older phototypesetting machines had a big drum where a photographic paper would be attached, on which the operator would expose a photographic image of a letter, dot, line, etc., and the rotation of the drum by one unit (or a cog) would move the paper by 0.25mm. Hence the term. » Continue reading «