Date 30 December 2013
Big blue building
Many variables define an ideal measure. For instance, the German language has longer words than English, which could very well result in a wider column. Yes, you read that correctly: you could have different grids based on the languages for international websites. Font, font size, contrast ratio with the background, leading, kerning, type of text, etc. — all of these could result in different lengths of line.
Most importantly, the insights and experience of the designer are a major influence on the measure. You might very well decide that a measure between 75 and 90 characters is ideal. But I am not a designer, and I’m not a typographer, so I’ll just stick to the theory that I find in the books I read. Talented people who know what they’re doing are, of course, invited to play with the theory.
John Smith Jr.