I am looking for a sans companion for Bembo Book.
The project is a fine art auction catalogue (mainly old master paintings). The main body text will be set in Bembo Book and I am looking for a sans that will compliment this that I can use for side notes, foot notes, tables, image keys etc. It will also be used in some text settings. etc. Given the nature of the information in catalogues like this I really need an opentype pro font with a decent range of weights and large feature set - small caps, lots of fractions (like five eighths), ranging and non-ranging numerals with tabular and proportional spacing, superior figures etc.
I am looking for a sans with an element of humanism - I have made a shortlist of the following fonts and would like your opinions in order to help me make a final decision. I would be particularly interested to hear from anyone who has used one of these with bembo book.
Here's what I think...
Giacomo - I love it but it was originally off my list as it did not have small caps - although I read a thread here from 2003 where James from TD said he was planning on making some. I emailed him yesterday to see if anything had happened and he emailed me back today to say he had just launched his new site an hour ago which now features Giacomo 2 with small caps! How about that! If for no other reason than synchronicity Giacomo is probably now top of my list. At $380 for the full OT pro set I think the price is right too. The only niggle I have is that Giacomo while having certain humanist characteristics is not quite a humanist face - TD describe it as a face that defies categorisation. I think it will probably work well with Bembo Book but without being able to try it out in context next to BB I cannot be certain. What do you think?
Fresco Sans - I also love this typeface, it fulfills all the criteria I need and it sits comfortably in the humanist category so I am reasonably sure it would compliment BB. Before Giacomo got it's SCs it was my front runner. My main problem with Fresco is the price - it works out to about double the cost of Giacomo. But would it be better with BB than Giacomo do you think? Freso also seems a nice name for a font used for a paintings catalogue but I can't really lend any weight to that observation...
Bliss Pro - This is the last of my shortlist fonts that tick all the boxes, but it works out at about 3 times the cost of Giacomo. Do you think it would work better with BB than Giacomo or Fresco - to an extent that justifies the increase in price?
Scala Sans - I have scala sans already and I think it sits very well with BB but it's postscript - not OT Pro. I am keeping it in my list as a fallback option if I don't go with one of the fonts above. I love scala but I have used it a fair amount over the years and I would like to try something fresh.
Kievit - Yeah, I know it's different from the fonts above and could not be descibed as humanist but there is something about it's lack of character that I like and it seems to work fairly well with BB. This may be because it has so little character of it's own that it doesn't really conflict with anything you put it next to...
So that's where i am so far. I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts. Unless you feel really strongly that I have missed out a prime contender, or I am way off the mark, please keep your resposes/suggestions related to the five fonts above. I am looking to cut my list down and make a decision - I don't really want to make it longer!
Apologies for the essay but I figured the more info I gave you, the better responses you could give me. If you're still reading this...