typography bachelor thesis

timaarts's picture


I'm not actually writing a bachelor thesis about typography but I do want it to look nice, and above all easy to read.

What do you think about Merriweather set at 10 / 16 with an appropriate column width. http://www.google.com/fonts/specimen/Merriweather

Also I'm looking for a cool sans-serif font that combines well with Merriweather for the chapter titles. I might use all caps. Any ideas?



hrant's picture

Is this for screen or print? Your "10/16" makes me think it's the latter.

Merriweather is heavily optimized for onscreen text - its x-height is pretty massive. In print such proportions are suited for very small text - nothing close to sizes good for extended reading. Plus it doesn't have an Italic (at least not yet).

Trying to think of typefaces in that genre... Maybe one of these:


George Thomas's picture

According to the designer, Eben Sorkin:
"Merriweather was designed to be a text face that is pleasant to read on screens."

I would not consider using a font designed to display properly on a screen for printing on paper regardless of the printing method. It may not look as it should; in fact, it probably won't.

Also, it is a design commissioned by Google; they paid rock-bottom prices to the designers so I would not want to depend upon their quality.

hrant's picture

I agree with cautioning people concerning free/libre fonts, but in this case at least there's less reason to worry: Eben does know his thing - he has a Masters in type design from Reading. Plus I know him personally and I can attest that he's quite quality-minded.


timaarts's picture

Hi Hrant and George,

It's for print. Despite the large x-height I thought it might work, but I guess it's off the table now. Also I must have overlooked the fact that there are no italics. (wich is a problem)

I'm really fond of your suggestions Hrant, but since I'am a 'poor student' I can't afford to buy nice fonts for my thesis. I will remember the foundry for commercial jobs though.

I think Merriweather is a great font, you can see it's designed with love and care. Do you know any free (or really cheap) alternatives that have the same friendly, modern, serif style quality as Merriweather?


sevag's picture

How about Brill by John Hudson?

George Thomas's picture

One of my favorite fonts is Gentium from
It comes in Regular, Italic, Bold, Bold Italic -- plus a huge character set. There are two versions: Gentium and Gentium Plus. Both are free, with an Open Source License.

If you like it, be sure and use the one from the SIL website for print; there is a webfont version available through Google fonts.

processcamera's picture

For practical advice from University of Chicago manuscript editor Carol Fisher Saller, read her July 5, 2010 post at:

timaarts's picture

Hi all,

I like Gentium's style and slightly higher x-hight more than Brill, but they still both feel a bit old fashioned.

Thanks for the suggestions though.

R.'s picture

You might like PT Serif (and there is a matching sans).

5star's picture


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