Popular newspaper fonts?

davekandler's picture

I'm interested in font trends among major newspapers, but I'm terrible at identifying fonts.

Now that most newspapers have been redesigned to accommodate the narrower paper that they are printed on, what are the most common fonts used for regular headlines as well as regular article text? Are most using a condensed typeface now for regular article text so they can print more on narrower paper?

I saw Ascender Corp recently released a study about this, but the study does not break them down as to which typfaces are most popular for headlines and which ones are most popular for regular article text.

USA Today uses Gulliver for both headlines and article text, right? What about the LA Times? What does the Washington Post use?

If you have any insight as to what the most popular typefaces are now for major newspapers, particularly headlines and article text, please share.

hrant's picture

The Ascender thing is the only recent formal study I've noted. There was one by Poynter a few years ago but I suspect that's already become outdated.

Something else you could try is reading up on books and articles about the topic (like Berry's recent "Contemporary Newspaper Design") and form your own ideas (if not tabulate numbers). And then tell us what they are. :-)


as8's picture

Hrant, you once posted this empty link :


hrant's picture

Yeah, that's a killer site.
In fact it's what the Ascender effort seems to have been built on.


as8's picture

Check out the pics from the newspepa museum
of the city of Bello (some links on the right) :

The headline, since June 2001, is like that :
I had to write them a letter because they went on 50 years
with the apostrophe instead of the grave accent on the 'a'
of 'freedom'.


ahleman's picture

I've often been asked as a prop designer to recreate actual newspaper pages with fictional stories added, so I've had to study newspaper typography quite a bit. Most of the major newspapers I've had to work with have their own customized set of fonts which are made exclusively for in-house use. Typesetters at the Washington Post were very kind to give me access to a set of their in-house fonts for one prop job. They have their own version of Bodoni which they call Postoni. They have Postroman, which looks very like a Cheltenham. They also use Franklin Gothic, Poynter Gothic, Filosofia, Weidemann, Giza, and Didot, plus Helvetica and their own logo font.

application/pdfWashington Post logo font
Picture 1.pdf (9.6 k)

dan_reynolds's picture

Andrew, Postoni was designed for the Post by Matthew Carter. I don't know about their other custom faces.

DK, check out the following thread on Typographica about the Houston Chronicle's custom types.

andi emery's picture

As Hrant pointed out, PoynterOnline is a great newspaper info site and starting point. I found a number of great articles by Ron Reason regarding typefaces used by Newspapers. This is an older article but you can Try it for starters.

pablohoney77's picture

ah, Ron's such a good guy. I actually got to chat with him a bit not too long ago. His site is a great resource and I'm sure he woul be to if you get a hold of him as he as been instrumental in a number of newspaper redesigns including The Wall Street Journal. It might be worth your time trying to contact him.

andi emery's picture

I *did* think of posting Ron's site too, you know. <sigh> I've never spoken to him but I bet he's great. : ) Thanks, Paul...

Nick Shinn's picture

Look in "Design", the journal of the Society for News Design. Back issues are a good resource. The articles about specific papers usually mention the types used.


jr98664's picture

I know my local paper The Oregonian uses three main fonts:
Expressway (Interstate), Minion, and Utopia.
Expressway Condensed Bold for headings. Bold for captions. Medium or Light for some body text.
Minion for other headings, sub-headings, and bylines.
And Utopia for almost all other body text.

If I recall, I've seen other papers use similar fonts, but I can't name them off the top of my head.

I hope this helps.

vectorgirl's picture

A really well-designed paper I worked for used Madison for years and it's a gorgeous headline font for display at 100% and it was used for straight headlines at 73% width. I couldn't tell it wasn't a condensed face.

It's a completely different look, but I designed a Spanish-language newspaper with Stymie and it worked great. Latin American newspapers are very bold and punchy and readers responded very positively to a strong, bold slab serif font.

marcox's picture

News Designer usually mentions which typefaces are used when a newspaper is redesigned.


nguyentronghvq's picture

Andrew, Postoni was designed for the Post by Matthew Carter. I don't know about their other custom faces.
i like http://www.size.vn

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