Antique Olive as body text?

ysy's picture

My first post here. hiii : )

I'm wondering about general thoughts on pairing Antique Olive with Chaparral Pro? There seems to be few discussions on the former typeface and I'm wondering if someone could offer their insights. This is for resume & portfolio layout, with light Antique Olive as body text (8/11 pt) and light Chaparral Pro as headers in all caps at 8pt.
Being a type novice and new to this font combination, I'd greatly appreciate any thoughts or opinions.

Some concerns I have are:
1) readability
2) the general impression it conveys
3) hisory/cultural associations?

I like Chaparral, and in looking for a san-seirf complement I came across Antique Olive. Personally I enjoy the big x-height and the warm, statuesque feeling the typeface conveys. However I've heard that this is a hard typeface to work with and I'm afraid that it might be attracting more attention than it wants as a body text? I thought about using Chaparral as body text, but felt that it's a bit too delicate and distracting for my taste.

Regarding big x-height and readability, here's a thread that discusses it at great length:
I'm keeping the body text at fairly short lengths (5-10 words per line), and have increased the leading, but still not totally sure if everything works together. Any comments, thoughts, opinions?

Thanks in advance.

PublishingMojo's picture

I personally like Antique Olive. It's got a lot more personality than most sans serifs. Its non-uniform stroke weight contributes to this, as do the vertical cutoff on the C, G, and S, and the idiosyncratic shape of the bowls on the B, P, and R.

I've never used Antique Olive smaller than 12 point. You may be able to read it at 8 point--if you're an undergraduate, you're probably younger than my children--but I can't, and some of the people you want to read your resume are my age.

ysy's picture

Hi there, that's a great thing you pointed out, thanks a lot. My worry is that the letter shapes will start to call too much attention to themselves (with the big counters and vertical emphasis, regrettably, some of the very things I like about the typeface), especially since it's used as body text.

Maybe it's too much for a resume...I'll keep experimenting with Antique Olive and also trying out some other options. In the mean time, does anyone have suggestions for a similar sans serif that's a bit more understated and appropriate?

PublishingMojo's picture

I actually like your choice of Antique Olive, but I think that 8-point type is too small for a resume, no matter what font you use.

nicolacaleffi's picture

"does anyone have suggestions for a similar sans serif that's a bit more understated and appropriate?"

Shiyao, have a look at FF Balance:

which seems to be a very readable typeface, and shares some features of Antique Olive - the top-heavy weight distribution in particular. Its designer, the late Evert Bloemsma, is higly appreciated among typophiles. But I don't know how Balance could work when paired with Chaparral.

Frode Bo Helland's picture

When working with such an unconventional and expressive typeface, I would strongly consider relying on its family of weights and styles alone. Optionally, you can leave the expressiveness to display and tone down the text.

Btw, Bloemsma’s Legato and Avance are also worth exploring.

ysy's picture

Nicola, thanks for the suggestion. The idea of tension between shape and counter-shape is very intriguing. It's fascinating how the shapes stand out so much when the letters are seen large, yet becomes almost invisible (or rather becomes something else) when used at text size.

ysy's picture

Hi there. Legato is a beautiful experiment, I wonder how well it works – guess I have to set my mind to buying the typeface in order to find out. Thanks for the tip about Antique Olive : )

hrant's picture

I'm a big fan of Legato, not least because in the couple of books I've seen where it's used, it does work.


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