We are keen on the use of optical character recognition, so we are now making our outgoing mail OCR-friendly. The standard font which we will use for addresses is 12 point Lucida Sans, which is based upon reading the Royal Mail User Guide for Machine Readable Letters. We will increase the spacing by 20% in the vertical direction to make it easier for humans to read the address as well.
Lucida Sans comes in two versions. Where outgoing mails are critical, we will use Lucida Sans Typewriter which is a monospace font which OCR scanners find easier to deal with. Letters to Companies House and the Revenue will use this font. We keep a small stock of pre-addressed C5 envelopes for all the main departments. Where letters are sent to vague “Somewhere in Cumbernauld” postcodes like BX9 1AS, we want to be sure that the postcode is processed correctly.
Where outgoing mails are not critical, we will use Lucida Sans in its proportionally-spaced version. This is more pleasing to the human eye but ever so slightly less OCR-friendly. Direct mailings will use this font.