Please help:::Recommend typeface for design thesis

amkhairat's picture

Hi, I am writing my thesis in design studies now - subjects about a concept suit to help with the problem of heat stress in the migrant worker population in Qatar - I am really having trouble selecting a typeface - any suggestions - I am gravitating towards a slab serif or semi serif, maybe humanist (not sure though), with a true italic, with an attractive "&" and "Q"... any suggestions? ShouldI just go with Adobe Caslon or Adobe Jenson?Need help

Thanks,

Frode Bo Helland's picture

You are writing your thesis in design studies and you need to ask complete strangers about what typeface to choose? Your question is as open-ended as it gets, as if you didn’t learn a thing about design in your studies. Sounds to me like you wasted your money.

clauses's picture

Now that's a harsh statement Frode. Not all designers are typographers, but most designers at sometime have to express themselves in typography. So pretty please, with sugar on top, give the man a few pointers.

hrant's picture

I think it's a woman. If that matters. Her name means "high". If that matters. :-)

3aaliya, there are many things you'd need to tell us before we could make potentially useful suggestions. How much text is there? Will there be any Arabic text? What's the proportion and style of the illustrations? As many details as possible.

hhp

amkhairat's picture

hello all,
Frode Bo Helland: As clauses pointed out (thank you clauses) I am not a typographer, so that's why I thought I would ask the professionals.

hrant, yes you are right I am a woman and my name does mean "high." :) As for the text, well I do have a lot of text, I'd say that in some areas such as the introduction and conclusion there is just text, whereas in other areas such as the precedents and context, the ration is about 60:40 (text:imagery). The design process part has more imagery, but it varies from one section to the other, so maybe 30% or 20% is text in that chapter. The issue is that I have quite a few "styles" of imagery/illustration. I have photographs of workers (as part of a photo analysis); images of materials, my process, the prototypes (in a studio setting with a seamless background); and the final concept suit worn by a model in a desert setting. I also have illustrations. Illustrations of indigenous desert wear, drawn and then rendered and colored (filled in with fabric textures) and fashion-style pencil sketches - there are a lot of things going on but each section has one form/style of image and there is a progression from raw sketch to polished studio shot.

There will not be Arabic at all.

I hope that helps...

Thanks

hrant's picture

Maybe not much help, but: what about Avance?
https://www.fontfont.com/fonts/avance

hhp

jwchen's picture

You might want to upload some examples. Since typographers need to know illustration/photography style along with contexts in order to match type. Base your description I might use
Orpheus, pair with Frutiger or Myriad (comes with indesign). But your illustration/photographic style might not blend well with those fonts. Or you just don't have the money to purchase those fonts I would think Palatino might work just as well. . . But take hrant, claus or frode's advice over mine since I am just some random web designer and not a type specialist.

Té Rowan's picture

Like jwchen, I'm J. Random Type-user. But for all that, Palatino/Optima looks like a good set to me.

jafo's picture

Nothing looks better than Palatino + Optima, and you really can use them pretty much everywhere. Still, their formal, classical design might not be the ideal fit in a given context: for example, Modernism calls for a neutral or effectively invisible face like Helvetica, where Palatino and Optima have too much character to avoid drawing attention to themselves. High fashion calls for an artificial face like Bodoni, where Palatino is too old-fashioned, natural, and even friendly, and Optima is too classical. There are good reasons why Helvetica and Bodoni are such clichés in these contexts. ;^) And all of the above faces are too formal for folk art or "Arts and Crafts." Type is a vehicle, and you want to arrive in the right style for the party you're attending.

That said, Palatino is a pretty safe choice, and I'd use it all over if it had better support for linguistics. (Gimme the full IPA, please!) Actually, that's a good point to elaborate upon... if you want to mix Latin and other letters in a harmonious multilingual style, you'll need a unified face, which severely limits your options -- you might be stuck with Times New Roman.

hrant's picture

Wow. Palatino and Optima are bad enough alone - when they meet up the conversation goes downhill like Louis XIV's carriage without horses.

hhp

jafo's picture

Hmm, I can save some ego and note that I said "safe choice" rather than "good choice," or I can lose some ego and gain some insight by asking you to share some wisdom... alas, my better nature wins.

Can you expand on that a bit, please? What is it about Palatino and Optima (or either separately) which I should dislike? I freely admit my taste is still undeveloped (after all, I'm the guy who decided to kern Papyrus), but other than severe overuse by a rabid fan club and a stunted t, what am I not seeing about Palatino?

hrant's picture

I don't know if it's "wisdom" - more like a combination of personal taste* and many years of paying attention: Palatino is neither neutral enough nor contemporary enough. Using it for this project is like casting a stage actor from the 50s in a gritty 21st century movie. Is there really a shortage of good movie actors that people can relate to in 2013? BTW, it's also not really a text face - Aldus is actually Palatino's bookworm sister.

* Which means I don't think you "should dislike" anything just because I do.

As for Optima, it's overused for so much hyper-feminine stuff, plus it's so incredibly gray... It's like one of those old women with purple hair. Avoid.

BTW, I think re-kerning Papyrus was not at all a bad idea.

hhp

jafo's picture

Gotcha, thanks. And I'd wondered that about Aldus and Palatino (which really does look like a display face).

amkhairat's picture

Hello everyone,
Thank you hrant, jwchen, Té Rowan and jafo for your suggestions and comments. Avance and orpheus look good. Since you advised against Palatina and Optima, I will stay away from them:)What do you think of Matrix II, Scala, Eureka, Nexus or Fairplex? I looked at Adobe Caslon and Adobe Jenson, but they seem too somber that's why I thought maybe a slab serif would be better?

I will try and give you more information about my thesis, so that you have a better picture. BTW the thesis is in English and will not include another language.

In brief, the thesis deals with the problem of heat stress in migrant workers in Qatar by designing a concept suit that facilitates thermal comfort. The thesis/concept suit has two protagonists: pragmatic function and conceptual form. The function uses indigenous desert clothing systems, heat exchange mechanisms and the body's thermo-sensitive regions as well as current technical and smart materials to improve thermal comfort. The form borrows from fiction—superheros to be exact—to signify the importance, of the otherwise invisible migrant worker, to the Qatari economy.

so basically, thesis elements are: indigenous, low tech, superheroes, masculine, science, fashion



hrant's picture

Cool suit. Bedouin style! :-)

Try this on for size:
http://www.fontbureau.com/fonts/turnip/

hhp

amkhairat's picture

Thanks hrant, You are really very helpful:) turnip is a very distinct typeface.

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