Thesis dissertation font choice?

markjc's picture

Hi, I'm an information design student struggling to find a good typeface or typeface combination for my thesis dissertation, I've tried a bunch but none have convinced me.

I was wondering if anyone could help me with the choice(s). Here are the absolutely necesary requirements:

- That is prints nice on laser printers
- Very complete family sets, as I'll probably be using various levels of hierarchy
- Lining and old-style figures, as I'll be using lots of tables to display information
- The most important one: that it's extremely readable

Desirable qualities:

-A large x-height
-Economical on space without sacrificing readability
-That it looks contemporary, intelligent and rational

I'm taking a look at Whitney (H&FJ) right now for headings and tables. Is this a good choice? Any alternatives?

I'm also torn between making the body serifs or sans-serifs, any help on the matter would be greatly appreciated.

William Berkson's picture

For print text, serifs are much more readable in my opinion. For headings and tables a sans is fine. Your 'contemporary, intelligent and rational' brings to mind Whitman. Someone here mentioned a pairing of Whitman and Bliss, which sounds to me just wonderful.

I don't know about a serif pairing for Whitney, but no doubt you can get some suggestions here.

markjc's picture

Thanks william, -they are in fact a nice pairing, I'll check them out.

William Berkson's picture

I found the thread. It was Kent Lew, designer of Whitman, who pointed out that the Virginia Quarterly Review had used this combination, and he was quite pleased with it.

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