whats your favorite sans serif

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Jennifer Dahl's picture
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Joined: 12 Sep 2005 - 10:58am
whats your favorite sans serif
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Hey,
I'm redesigning a magazine. Anyone have any favorite sans serifs that aren't helvetica, gill, futura or bell gothic?

Christian R. Szabo's picture
Joined: 14 Sep 2005 - 12:48am
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Optima (or Optima Nova) by Hermann Zapf is very nice. Almost looks like a Palatino on vacation.

Frutiger (or Frutiger Next) is a gorgeous, readable sans. A work of genius.

You might also try TheSans. Calibri looks good as well, although it's more of a screen font.

So, consider Optima and Frutiger.

Forrest Vess's picture
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Joined: 14 Jun 2005 - 3:06pm
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Franklin Gothic

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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Our favorites are a lot less important than what the magazine needs.
Tell us as much as you can about it, and its readers.

hhp

Chris Keegan's picture
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Joined: 11 Nov 2002 - 3:40pm
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Gotham, Whitney, The Sans, Interstate, FF Din. But as Hrant pointed out, your type choice should be a reflection of the audience.

Jennifer Dahl's picture
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Joined: 12 Sep 2005 - 10:58am
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I just found this old thread and thought some of you might be interested in knowing that I ended up going with Gotham for this project. Your suggestion here were very helpful. Thanks Typophiles!

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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Better late than never!

hhp

paul d hunt's picture
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Joined: 5 May 2005 - 8:44pm
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my old favorite: Neutraface
my new favorite: Proxima Nova

Christian R. Szabo's picture
Joined: 14 Sep 2005 - 12:48am
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hrant makes a good point. Please provide details.

Norbert Florendo's picture
Joined: 9 Jun 2005 - 2:21pm
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I’m redesigning a magazine.
-- Great! Good luck.
Anyone have any favorite sans serifs(?)
-- Yes.

-------------------------------------------------------------
Yes, I'm old, but I've answered your question!

Jennifer Dahl's picture
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Joined: 12 Sep 2005 - 10:58am
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thanks for the ideas.
yes, better serving the audience and needs of the magazine is the point of the redesign. I'll have a look at these and see if anything will work for me. I love type geeks!!

Daniel Weaver's picture
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Joined: 26 Aug 2003 - 4:14pm
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Jennifer who is reading your magazine. Is it teenagers, (Norberts), business types, origami folders. You can't make suggestions without basic information or else it just becomes a beauty contest.

Norbert Florendo's picture
Joined: 9 Jun 2005 - 2:21pm
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Jennifer who is reading your magazine. Is it teenagers, (Norberts), business types, origami folders.

Hey Dan! Is there a magazine base just for Norberts?
That ought to be a subscription base of about 103.

Nick Shinn's picture
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Joined: 8 Jul 2003 - 11:00am
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If there were a Norbert mag, the odd Nick might also buy it.

Chris Lozos's picture
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Joined: 25 Feb 2004 - 11:00am
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Then if Chris buys it too, it might be called Geezer Times :-)

ChrisL

Chris Lozos's picture
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Joined: 25 Feb 2004 - 11:00am
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Jennifer,

Favorite fonts are all over the board. Think about audience fit and the content first.

ChrisL

Aron Hoag's picture
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Joined: 12 Nov 2002 - 12:46pm
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Trade Gothic:
The working man's typeface; hardworking and durable.

Stefan Hattenbach's picture
Joined: 7 Sep 2004 - 1:22pm
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Jennifer,

I don't usually don't like to pick my own designs as favourites, but "Stalemate" or "Sophisto" might work for this redesign of yours? Have a look yourself at:

http://www.macrhino.com

Cheers

Stefan Hattenbach's picture
Joined: 7 Sep 2004 - 1:22pm
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sorry... one "don't" too much for sure :-)

Chris Lozos's picture
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Joined: 25 Feb 2004 - 11:00am
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Sophisto is a strong, readable face with a broad glyph set. Thanks for mentioning it ("don'ts" and all). Even if Jennifer doesn't use it, I will keep it in mind for future projects.

ChrisL

Max Khokhlov's picture
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Joined: 21 Jul 2005 - 2:17am
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Franklin Gothic, Myriad Pro.

Vincent Connare's picture
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Joined: 6 May 2005 - 4:33am
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Akzidenz Grotesk the daddy of the sans... Franklin Gothic is the Bold by the way.... I like the whole original ATF family Lightline Gothic, News Gothic, and Franklin Gothic not the ITC renamed Franklin digital bollocks.

Christian R. Szabo's picture
Joined: 14 Sep 2005 - 12:48am
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The list so far (in no particular order):

Akzidenz Grotesk
Franklin Gothic
Trade Gothic
ATF Lightline Gothic
ATF News Gothic
ATF Franklin Gothic
Myriad Pro
Sophisto
Stalemate
Optima (or Optima Nova)
Frutiger (or Frutiger NEXT)
TheSans
Neutraface
Proxima Nova
Gotham
Whitney
Interstate
FF Din

Quite a list. I can name at least seven in there that are particularly good. Hehe, you've got your work cut out for you, Jennifer.

James Mark Hatley's picture
Joined: 13 Jul 2004 - 11:00am
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Lots of good choices. Like people say, you need to choose what is right for your application.

Since we are discussing sans again, I'd like to hear comments on Charlotte Sans, and add Nick's Brown Gothic to the list.

Palatine you Ascended Master. You are creeping me out with that avatar.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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> you’ve got your work cut out for you

Which is of course exactly why we need to know the nature of the magazine and its readers - to focus the search and come up with something really good, not just something that happens to appeal to you or me, or happens to be handy. Gone are the days where you looked to your type drawers and chose one of the three sans fonts you had. Way.

hhp

Christian R. Szabo's picture
Joined: 14 Sep 2005 - 12:48am
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jupiterboy:

Hehe, I didn't mean to creep anyone out. I don't usually advertise it, but I AM what the avatar suggests.

I chose that avatar because I just couldn't resist how the square and compasses revolve like that.

Funnily enough, my *renewed* interest in typography has a Masonic connection. One of our lodge members and I were discussing the layout of our summons. I had a look at it and noticed that everything was justified. I commented that full justification of text is a bad habit (well, in many cases.) Our friendly debate lasted well into the night, and lasted through a number of glasses of wine. We had a good time. As soon as my copy of Bringhurst's work arrives, I'll share it with him.

Now back to our own discussion of sans fonts.

James Mark Hatley's picture
Joined: 13 Jul 2004 - 11:00am
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So I'd like to see the Masons drop the "G" and go with "YOD". Any chance? Sort of a restoration impulse?

Now back to our discussion of sans fonts.

Christian R. Szabo's picture
Joined: 14 Sep 2005 - 12:48am
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The letter "G" is typically seen in most Craft (or Blue) lodges. But the YOD letter is retained, or rather, it makes an appearance, in the ceremonies of higher Masonic degrees.

Changes in Masonry happen very slowly. It is unlikely that the "G" will be dropped anytime soon (I'm talking in lifetimes, here), for this letter is wedded to our 1-3rd degree rituals as well as the ceremonial opening and closing of our lodges.

Lauri Johnsen's picture
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Joined: 19 Mar 2004 - 4:11am
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Christian,

How's that taking-over-the-world business coming along. Any progress yet? ;)

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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But could you switch to the lc "g"? It is the
most interesting glyph in [Latin] type design.

hhp

Christian R. Szabo's picture
Joined: 14 Sep 2005 - 12:48am
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antiphrasis:

Hasn't happened yet. It's enough trouble organizaing a joint vacation, never mind global domination. ;-)

hrant:

I agree that the lc "g" is interesting. It's oddly beautiful. But the subject that the letter g represents makes a captial g (G) more appropriate.

James Mark Hatley's picture
Joined: 13 Jul 2004 - 11:00am
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>But could you switch to the lc “g”?

See they pull people in by telling them the "G" stands for God (comfortable for your basic protestant business Joe). So a lower case "G" won't do as that would imply polytheism. Later they go to YOD, then even later Osiris/phallus symbolism. They are building civilization on the Egyptian model, which requires monotheism as a founding principle through which all perceived power flows.

I'll stop so they won't take me to Canada and whack me ; )

What level of initiation are you at Christian?

Norbert Florendo's picture
Joined: 9 Jun 2005 - 2:21pm
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Δ What level of initiation are you at Christian?

Only if it has something to do with sans serifs in the rites! ℘

Chuck Groth's picture
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Joined: 15 Sep 2005 - 2:36pm
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I'ave always been fond of this combination:
ATF Raleigh Gothic Condensed, which works beautifully with Franklin Gothic Demi and Minion for a light serif contrast.

Christian R. Szabo's picture
Joined: 14 Sep 2005 - 12:48am
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jupiterboy:

I was made a Master Mason in January.

If I'm not mistaken, our summons is done in Galliard. I'm not sure which version, although since I don't see any small caps/osf faces I'm assuming its ITC or some other version, not the nice Carter & Cone.

André Simard's picture
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Joined: 25 Nov 2004 - 12:11pm
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Of course I have a lot of favorite sans serif typeface. I love this one, this one and also that one. Do not forget Parisine from JF Porchez a really efficiency one. As others wrote: first question, who will read?

Lauri Johnsen's picture
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Joined: 19 Mar 2004 - 4:11am
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Christian,

Thanks, let me know when the time is near and I'll join. ;)

Christian R. Szabo's picture
Joined: 14 Sep 2005 - 12:48am
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*puts goat mask back in the closet*

Oh, ok, sure. ;-)

James Mark Hatley's picture
Joined: 13 Jul 2004 - 11:00am
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I thought it was a goat skin apron ; )

Christian R. Szabo's picture
Joined: 14 Sep 2005 - 12:48am
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The apron is lambskin.

I just made a joke about the goat mask because it is assumed that we use alot of goat symbology. At least in the Craft lodge there isn't any. I doubt that there is any in Scottish Rite or York Rite, but I haven't checked.

Ok, back to work. But before I go, I'd like to add Avenir (or Avenir NEXT) to the list. Another landmark achievement by Adrian Frutiger.

scott olling's picture
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Joined: 17 Sep 2005 - 9:12pm
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OK, so I'm redesigning a magazine.

It's a business magazine.

The demographic is 24-40, management/skilled/educated, heavily digital, mostly men (surprise!), and focussed on financials, techno gadgetry, management/sales/marketing advice, regional trends, and simplicity.

The market historically is a provincial rah-rah town. "But now, it's really becoming a different city!"

It's currently (mainly) an Akzedenz book.

Here's my formation of the problem: If the magazine is to be distinct, and, if "it's really becoming a different city" then maybe something less common than Akzedenz, something more cosmopolitan, something with some curves, some sophistication, would make the book uncommon, more thrilling, more of an artifact, than it currently is in dear ole Akzedenz . . .

- and it's gotta be a sans, because "sans is, like, it's like the web."

(a pie of evil is still a pie.)

Any helpful comments would be . . . most helpful.

-yes, my first post. I very much enjoy typophile. thanks go out to vurt and anorak for mentioning it often enough to finally get me here.

Chris Lozos's picture
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Joined: 25 Feb 2004 - 11:00am
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Syntax

ChrisL

Christian R. Szabo's picture
Joined: 14 Sep 2005 - 12:48am
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Solling:

Optima (or Optima Nova for a bit more variety.) A sans with some stylish curves. Definitely upscale.

scott olling's picture
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Joined: 17 Sep 2005 - 9:12pm
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I'll look at syntax in a minute.

Optima is too dentists office, seems inevitably linked in my mind with Souvenir, and the inevitable followup of Eras.

Syntax is pretty optima-like, too.

These faces are fine in and of themselves, but do not go far enough, or seem to have enough weights in their families.

I have been looking at Gotham. Am I a hipster doofus?

gordon ling's picture
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Joined: 3 Sep 2005 - 1:34pm
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hi,

my favourite is meta so far.

scott olling's picture
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Joined: 17 Sep 2005 - 9:12pm
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meta: interesting. looks fairly condensed right out of the box, though.

I'll go see the fontfont examples.

Chris Lozos's picture
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Joined: 25 Feb 2004 - 11:00am
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Gotham is a very good font. It does not seem to be the "grabber" like font you described though. I don't see any similarity between Optima and Syntax though. There is about as much similarity as there is between Gotham and AG which you are trying to get away from.
You might look at Luc's Thesis if you want a very broad range of weights.

ChrisL

Marc Oxborrow's picture
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Joined: 26 Apr 2002 - 2:17pm
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Here's a recent thread that compiled a list of humanist sans, with links to samples. (You have to scroll down a ways.)

Many of the faces listed fit your desire for "something more cosmopolitan, something with some curves, some sophistication..."

http://typophile.com/node/13281

Christian R. Szabo's picture
Joined: 14 Sep 2005 - 12:48am
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Alright, I give in: if Optima isn't your thing, then I'll cast my vote for meta (FF meta) as well. It's a solid, progressive sans. I really can't argue against it.

Just a note about Optima:

Don't forget that of all the well-known sans faces, Optima is unique: It is a sans that is nearly a serif. It is probably the most elegant sans face I have seen. I wouldn't be far off the mark by saying that Optima is a sans version of Palatino. And Palatino is, with aknowledged subjectivity, the greatest serif face ever designed. It retains most of its charm in its digitized version (yes, updated charm, but still looking good), and in light of the absolute farce that is digitized Bembo and Centaur, that's saying alot.

Just in case you're interested in a *good* Palatino, look no further than the version (Linotype) sold at Adobe: PalatinoLTstd. Decent variety, sc/osf included, of course.

But yes, meta would be a good choice for a sans.

André Simard's picture
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Joined: 25 Nov 2004 - 12:11pm
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Solling,

Take a look at Parisine

http://www.typofonderie.com/alphabets/view/Parisine

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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> It is probably the most elegant sans face I have seen.

Except you can't make soup with elegant.

> Palatino is, with aknowledged subjectivity,
> the greatest serif face ever designed.

{Polite coughing sounds.}

hhp