Newsletter - Lyon Text or Plantin

uzapucax's picture

Hi guys,
I am design a newsletter. The final outcome is a PDF that people will download and read online, no printing involved here. I am having some second thoughts on deciding between Lyon Text and Plantin. Both are quite beautiful fonts. Which do you think is better for reading on an online PDF?

Any ideas?

Best,
S

hrant's picture

I think Lyon Text is much more polished. But it's also more expensive! ;-)

You might also want to double-check their EULAs to see which allows what kind of embedding.

hhp

nina's picture

I’m working with Lyon in a biggish project right now (print and web, text and display, various media etc), and it’s been fabulous to work with. I don’t know if this is relevant for your case, but one big asset of Lyon is that it has both a Text and a Display variant – the latter looks great in headlines (especially in the Italics with activated swashes); I’d say while Plantin is a very good design too, Lyon arguably has a greater range. Good range of weights too. I love Plantin, but Lyon is fresher. (And really, it isn’t all that expensive.)

It’s hard to say more without knowing more about your content and context. Check that both typefaces have all the characters you need, and yes, like Hrant says, check the EULAs.

uzapucax's picture

Indeed both fonts are quite nice. Other fonts i was considering were:

Miller
Mercury
Sabon (maybe)

is is true that Lyon is a bit on the more expensive side than Plantin. I really like Plantin since MONOCLE Magazine but there is extremly good use of Lyon in various magazine.

Could it be possible not to allow embedding in a PDF?

John Nolan's picture

Looks like the EULA of Lyon allows embedding, specifically see the note to clause 5 of the EULA:
http://commercialtype.com/user_license

Delete's picture

I would think Lyon or Mercury would be better than any of the others you've mentioned for readability with some elegance. Plantin looks old fashion to me. (ascenders are roughly level with cap height, W is crossed, it is a bit too wide for best readability.

BTW, playing with Elena (which you didn't mention) some more, I think it is better for online viewing than Lyon but worse for print.

Lyon, Elena, then Mercury:
LyonElenaMercury photo Online_zps84e18d57.jpg

uzapucax's picture

Any suggestion on Sans Serif types for headlines that might go with either: Lyon, Plantin or Mercury?

I thought of Gotham, Whitney and Verlag. By i view that last two (Whitney and Verlag) not as timeless as the first one. What do you think? Any other idea?

hrant's picture

Wow, Elena is so much more contemporary.

BTW, am I right in thinking that terminal-less "a"s are now "in"? If so that would be great, since I've been advocating that for over a decade.

hhp

uzapucax's picture

Thanks for your very interesting comments. :-)

Good to know Lyon Text does allows embedding.

Elena type is quite nice indeed.

Delete's picture

Why have you been advocating for a terminal-less "a"? I know DTL documenta, Elena, Sina Nova, Cala, and even the lost Dove's type have no terminals on "a", but there are lots of typefaces (especially transitionals and venetians) that do well with a terminal.

hrant's picture

Because the "weak" top helps readability (by forming more distinctive boumas).

Many fonts have that feature because it's more calligraphic. Many others have it because they think it's pretty. I'm pretty sure very few have it mainly because they think it helps reading (Ernestine might be one of them). But my own Patria is neither chirographic nor a slave to style.

hhp

Delete's picture

Thanks for your comment. I am aware of studies on readability and legibility (different issues, I know) for type based on ascender and descender lengths, variation in stroke width, x-height, etc, but was not aware of anything pro or con for the shape of the letter "a". Your Patria regular is a nice looking font.

hrant's picture

Thank you!

hhp

Delete's picture

Regarding some of your choices: there is a major difference in x-height between them. Personally, I think a bit bigger x-height works best for on line viewing but is less elegant for printed output. Leaving out descenders and just comparing the height of "x" to "H" as measured in Illustrator, here are some ratios:
Bembo Book: 64%
Sabon: 64%
Storm Baskerville 10: 65%
Sina Nova: 65%
Plantin: 66%
Whitman: 66%
Adobe Garamond PP: 67%
Trinite No2: 67%
Calisto 67%
Dante: 68%
Adobe Minion Pro: 68%
Miller: 68%
Documenta 69%
Iowan OS 69%
Scala: 69%
Albertina: 69%
Elena: 70%
Mercury: 71%
Lyon: 71%

It is just one factor to consider, but you can see that Plantin has a lot smaller x-height than the others you've mentioned.

hrant's picture

comparing the height of "x" to "H"

But that isn't a good reference (especially these days) since cap height varies a lot, without affecting the end-result much. You should really factor in the ascender height instead of the cap height.

Hmmm, where's that long, involved discussion we once had about that?

hhp

Delete's picture

The height of "x" to "l" is also at the high end for Lyon and Elena, but apparantly it is for Plantin as well. A rough order based on x/l height:
Bembo book: 54%
Sina Nova: 58%
Garamond PP: 60%
Mercury: 60%
Baskerville 10: 61%
Lyon: 63%
Elena: 63%
Plantin: 64%

However, Plantin looks smaller and is harder to read due to its overall character widths. (which TNR reduced substantially). I think some reduction in character width, so long as it is not too severe, helps with online reading. Newspaper type fonts are reasonably good for online viewing. Since the original poster was not planning to print the newsletter, a larger x height might be good.

hrant's picture

Cool, thanks for the numbers.

About widths: I agree about news fonts, but that's because those are in fact wide!

hhp

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