Font combo with Platform

doelens's picture

Can anybody please give me some advice on typefaces to combine with Platform?

http://commercialtype.com/typefaces/platform

I use Platform(bold) for all headers. I need a body copy typeface. Platform regular doesn't work on this one since it's a display font and with large paragraphs it not readable enough.

Don't know yet whether to combine with a sans or sans-serif, so tips considering both types are welcome.

I think it needs a pretty high x-height and it should be sligtly condensed, but maybe someone has an other good idea.

All tips are welcome. Thanks in advance!

Frode Bo Helland's picture

Berton also designed a text face, Alda. However, your requirements (depending on the length of the body copy) does sound more like another typeface from Commercial Type, Graphik. (Ask them directly if they have a condensed variant in the works!)

Frode Bo Helland's picture

Other possible options: Metric and Calibre by Kris Sowersby. The former will probably make more sense for a longer stretch, with its large apertures.

Frode Bo Helland's picture

There’s a few more possible sans serif partners in FontShop’s Type Trends column.

Frode Bo Helland's picture

Maybe a little off the mark, but FF Ernestine by Nina Stössinger is very nice (so is Nina). Also check out Erbar’s own slab serif, Candida.

In all of these suggestion, I’ve looked at typefaces that have some stylistic details in common with Platform (primarily the Erbar style ‘a’) and that are also (mostly) geometric. If you are looking for a more traditional seriffed text face, I would suggest a humanist/Renaissance style typeface. Proportion-wise they’re often a better fit than more rational designs. (That said, Platform is pretty off when it comes to proportions.) That’s my opinion, anyway.

doelens's picture

Wow great feedback!
Also, nice article about the Erbar a and likewise typefaces.
I will check out the typefaces and make a choice.

And you're right, also in my opinion, about the Platform's proportions, makes it friendly :)

Thanks again.

hrant's picture

Look at Archer too - it's very texty (it's just a damn shame about that cloying Italic).

hhp

Nick Shinn's picture

I don’t know what your layouts are like, and what the medium, but I don’t see why you can’t use this as a text type, if you track it out.
It just takes some experimenting with size, weight, line length and tracking. You might also check whether you prefer the font’s metrics or Adobe Optical kerning (in InDesign).

hrant's picture

The proportions are highly mannered, it's too tight (simply tracking it looser would expose boundary conditions, like in the "r"), the x-height is too big, the apertures are tiny... That there's a display face - you can't get there from here.

hhp

nina's picture

(Thanks for the plug Frode!)
I think I’d first try to go the way of contrast, not similarity here – Platform is pretty idiosyncratic, so I’m thinking trying to pick something “similar” (monoline, sans, circular “o”s etc) might just make it clash. (And I wouldn’t use either Archer or Graphik for extended text.) I’d go the other way, try a serif, possibly even with stroke contrast. Something not too narrow, fresh, not too soft. Something that works in its own right but clicks into a similar tone. Maybe Eames? Or Lyon? Tiempos?

Nick Shinn's picture

…you can't get there from here.

How do you know until you try?
There a lot of typographic controls in InDesign/XPress that can be used to massage a setting into improved readability.
Having said that, if I wanted to mirror Platform in a text setting, I would prefer Avant garde or Century Gothic.
My point is that the categories of Display and Body are not immutable solitudes.
However, if this situation is for screen rather than print, much depends on hinting, which can change the design of a typeface radically.

hrant's picture

Well, you can try. But I think it's just too hopeless.

the categories of Display and Body are not immutable solitudes.

I see them as -unattainable- pure extremes on an axis, with any font sitting somewhere in between. And you can certainly nudge a font in either direction via the setting. But you can only nudge it a little bit before stuff breaks, and to me Platform is way too close to the Display end.

hhp

Frode Bo Helland's picture

Nina: I assumed Platform would need ample size. If so, I think my suggestions are good (if length of text is considered). I also suggested a serif for longer stretches. Btw: You can see Graphik in use in Wallpaper Magazine.

Frode Bo Helland's picture

But do listen to Nina: she does great design work.

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