Re: typeface to go with photographs of various kinds

From: [email protected]
Date: 07/25/04-06:02:23 PM Z
Message-id: <>

Bringhurst's book, "The elements of typographic style," is one of the definitive
books out there, in my opinion. It's very complete, and very well argued.
Anything anyone can say here is probably put much better by him in that volume.
But, to suggest a few ways to think about it:
1. Readability: a familiar type face (Times, Garamond, Palatino, or
Perpetua--faces books and newspapers are commonly set in) or a simple face
(Optima, Univers--faces often used for signage and advertisement headings and
brief passages) are often best.
2. Overused type faces: Courier (a very typewriter-looking face), as well as the
common "web" fonts, are frequently overused. Although they can often suffice on
screen, I would argue that they don't look 'right' on the printed page (it feels
like there is a lack of maturity or an edge of naivety--amateurism? Maybe just
personal taste ;-)
3. Rarer faces: some of the rarer faces, especially when they differ slightly
(subtly) from the common faces, are quite exquisite. Bulmer is a personal
favourite of mine. So are Joanna and Californian.
4. Approximations: some faces can be costly to acquire. If you have purchased a
Corel software product (WordPerfect?), you may be able to find the Zapf Humanist
font somewhere on the disk (a very close approximation to Optima). Most windows
computers come with Book Antiqua installed--a slightly modified variant of Palatino.
5. Handwriting: depending on the material, I would argue that handwriting could
be the best of all. Perhaps not for gallery walls, but then again, why not? I
guess it's just about consistency, and sustaining a personal vision.

best of luck!

Quoting Ryuji Suzuki <>:

> I'm wondering how people choose typeface to set texts that go with
> photographs of various kinds. The text might be the label to put by
> the prints, or some sort of statements, vitae, etc. that may be
> presented or submitted with prints. Since this group has people from
> academic world or of super fastidious nature (or both), I thought to
> ask what kind of factors do you consider in printing such texts. I
> mentioned typeface because it's necessary to print any text, but I'm
> also interested in other aspects of printing.
> --
> Ryuji Suzuki
> "You have to realize that junk is not the problem in and of itself.
> Junk is the symptom, not the problem."
> (Bob Dylan 1971; source: No Direction Home by Robert Shelton)
Received on Sun Jul 25 18:02:52 2004

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