Looking for an appropriate typeface

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Elinious's picture
Joined: 24 Nov 2010 - 12:13pm
Looking for an appropriate typeface

Hello everybody,

I'm a first year graphic design student, so I'm just starting out. Since I'm doing graphic design now, everybody suddenly wants my advice for their birthday invitations etc. Most of the time I'm able to help them, but now I've got a question I don't have an answer to.

My dad needs a font for text that contains a lot of numbers. I've spoken to him about it and showed him some fonts that are already on his computer, like Georgia which has text figures (old style/hanging numbers). He didn't like the that there's only a bold, a regular and an italic, as he needs a semi-bold as well... I am willing to pay for a good typeface with old style numbers, as I think I'll be able to use it in coming years anyway, but it shouldn't be too exclusive/expensive as I am a student.

What he needs:
- Serif
- Old style numbers
- Regular, semi-bold, bold and italic
- Will be used for 10 or 11 pt text and printed out, legibility is important

Does anyone have any suggestions?

- Eline

Jasper Michael de Waard's picture
Joined: 24 Apr 2008 - 10:32am

Farnham might work, though it's not that cheap http://new.myfonts.com/fonts/fontbureau/farnham/
Calluna is also an option and mch cheaper, but I think it's a bit overused.

Reynir Heiðberg Stefánsson's picture
Joined: 19 Nov 2010 - 11:15am

There's also Venturis ADF, an LPPL-licensed fork from Arkandis Digital Foundry of the Utopia that Adobe handed to TUG. Definitely at a student-friendly price. Definitely a bit of an oddball, almost... exclusive.

Nina Stössinger's picture
Joined: 19 Jun 2006 - 3:01pm

Wait, does he need the typeface or do you?
If he wants it for his computer he should be licensing it (so you shouldn't have to pay for it, I mean).

"text that contains a lot of numbers"
Can you tell us a little more about the sort of text this is? That would make it easier, presumably, to give good recommendations.
(Since you mention oldstyle figures it seems that you want the numbers to «blend in» to the text? This sure makes sense for a text intended to be read continuously, but bear in mind that in some texts you want numbers to jump out a bit more, to be more immediately visible when quickly scanning…)

Igor Freiberger's picture
Joined: 20 Jun 2008 - 8:44pm

There are many fonts with the characteristics you did mention, although the need to handle a lot of numbers usually imposes dificulties in most fonts. Some of my favorites:
Guardian Text
http://Expo Serif

The question about to properly handle massive number usage in various scenarios was one of the main reasons I did begin to design my own font (the other was to handle texts with many acronyms).