Re: typeface to go with photographs of various kinds

From: Jonathan Taylor ^lt;[email protected]>
Date: 07/27/04-01:00:18 PM Z
Message-id: <>

on 7/27/04 12:28 AM, Judy Seigel at wrote:

> On Mon, 26 Jul 2004, Jonathan Taylor wrote:
>> ....Times is a special
>> case; it's a competent design that IMHO should be obliterated and removed
>> from all possibility of future use. Times was designed to be used in small
>> sizes (9 & 10 pt) on low-quality bleed-prone newsprint. Outside of that
>> context, it's bland and characterless.....
> Times is boring and unbeautiful, but useful, sometimes necessary, which
> may be why it survives.
> When space was tight (as it usually was), I often tried the same copy in
> different faces. Times was generally the most legible in the smallest
> space -- letting me add leading, which, IME, does more for reading
> ease than elegant letter shapes. Adobe Garamond is similarly space
> saving (and prettier) --- but possibly too fine, depending on print
> medium.
> Offset printing has enough dot gain to save it, even when it looks faint
> in the laser proof.
> Judy

But choosing the world's current default typeface in a visual arts context
declares to me, "I don't care." At this juncture in history that will always
be the first and overwhelming message about such a choice. In a visual arts
context I find that unacceptable. My statement about obliterating Times was
of course over blown. I should have added the qualifier, "in a visual arts
context." :-)
Certainly Times is a useful typeface, but there are _many_ other faces that
could meet your requirements: Bell, Linotype Centennial, Excelsior, and
Times Europa to name a few. Also, Minion and Garamond have nice condensed
Of course, most people probably don't own many of the fonts I listed. I
guess that's really my underlying point. In a visual arts context I think it
behooves the artist to go beyond the default-- which may well mean buying a
new typeface.
And sometimes we all get stuck using what we have. In that case leading,
kerning, and line composition do become crucial. You make the best of what
you've got, but for text that accompanies a show shouldn't we do better?
Received on Tue Jul 27 13:00:37 2004

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