Font Selection Advice

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Heinrich Schmaltz's picture
Joined: 2 Oct 2007 - 4:07pm
Font Selection Advice

Hello, Forum:

I'm having trouble finding the right font for a certain project. The project is a book release, an edited compilation of the author's notebooks.

Because the text comes from handwritten notebooks, and is also written in a conversational American vernacular, I've looked for something that suggests "journal" without being a handwriting font; I've also avoided some of the more customary high-quality text fonts I might otherwise use (e.g. Sabon, Trump Mediaeval) holding out for something that looks more "American", something that might even suggest American transcendentalism of the 19th century a la Emerson, Thoreau, etc.

The best I've come across for these criteria is Whitman. But I'm unhappy with the way Whitman looks at 10.5 pt.

So I'm after something American, journal-like, with probably a relatively higher x-height -- but a good text font.

Any suggestions will earn the tender thanks for this poster!

Kent Lew's picture
Joined: 21 Apr 2002 - 11:00am

I’m sorry to hear that Whitman is not suiting your needs. If you don’t mind me asking, can you say more about what exactly is disappointing you about its performance at 10.5 pts? (Feel free to contact me offline via the Typophile contact form, if you prefer.)

I’ve seen a few examples where it was used at that size, and I thought it worked well — although, my personal preference is usually 11pts for a typical 6x9 page layout.

That aside, from your criteria, I wonder if Adobe’s Chaparral (designed by Carol Twombley) might suit your project. The character is a little more informal. I’ve seen it used to good effect in similar circumstances.

James Todd's picture
Joined: 16 Apr 2011 - 8:58pm

Maybe Kennerly?

Indra Kupferschmid's picture
Joined: 8 Aug 2007 - 3:23am

I could see Whitman fitting nicely; I used it in even smaller than 10,5 pt, why not?
Alternatives maybe Meno, Miller, Elmhurst.
Or, my latest purchase Elena? Though it’s not exactly screaming “American”.