whats your favorite sans serif

Jennifer E. Dahl's picture

Hey,
I'm redesigning a magazine. Anyone have any favorite sans serifs that aren't helvetica, gill, futura or bell gothic?

Palatine's picture

Optima (or Optima Nova) by Hermann Zapf is very nice. Almost looks like a Palatino on vacation.

Frutiger (or Frutiger Next) is a gorgeous, readable sans. A work of genius.

You might also try TheSans. Calibri looks good as well, although it's more of a screen font.

So, consider Optima and Frutiger.

Guerella's picture

Franklin Gothic

hrant's picture

Our favorites are a lot less important than what the magazine needs.
Tell us as much as you can about it, and its readers.

hhp

Chris Keegan's picture

Gotham, Whitney, The Sans, Interstate, FF Din. But as Hrant pointed out, your type choice should be a reflection of the audience.

paul d hunt's picture

my old favorite: Neutraface
my new favorite: Proxima Nova

Palatine's picture

hrant makes a good point. Please provide details.

Norbert Florendo's picture

I’m redesigning a magazine.
-- Great! Good luck.
Anyone have any favorite sans serifs(?)
-- Yes.

-------------------------------------------------------------
Yes, I'm old, but I've answered your question!

Jennifer E. Dahl's picture

thanks for the ideas.
yes, better serving the audience and needs of the magazine is the point of the redesign. I'll have a look at these and see if anything will work for me. I love type geeks!!

Dan Weaver's picture

Jennifer who is reading your magazine. Is it teenagers, (Norberts), business types, origami folders. You can't make suggestions without basic information or else it just becomes a beauty contest.

Norbert Florendo's picture

Jennifer who is reading your magazine. Is it teenagers, (Norberts), business types, origami folders.

Hey Dan! Is there a magazine base just for Norberts?
That ought to be a subscription base of about 103.

Nick Shinn's picture

If there were a Norbert mag, the odd Nick might also buy it.

dezcom's picture

Then if Chris buys it too, it might be called Geezer Times :-)

ChrisL

dezcom's picture

Jennifer,

Favorite fonts are all over the board. Think about audience fit and the content first.

ChrisL

Aron Hoag's picture

Trade Gothic:
The working man's typeface; hardworking and durable.

Stefan H's picture

Jennifer,

I don't usually don't like to pick my own designs as favourites, but "Stalemate" or "Sophisto" might work for this redesign of yours? Have a look yourself at:

http://www.macrhino.com

Cheers

Stefan H's picture

sorry... one "don't" too much for sure :-)

dezcom's picture

Sophisto is a strong, readable face with a broad glyph set. Thanks for mentioning it ("don'ts" and all). Even if Jennifer doesn't use it, I will keep it in mind for future projects.

ChrisL

locus's picture

Franklin Gothic, Myriad Pro.

vinceconnare's picture

Akzidenz Grotesk the daddy of the sans... Franklin Gothic is the Bold by the way.... I like the whole original ATF family Lightline Gothic, News Gothic, and Franklin Gothic not the ITC renamed Franklin digital bollocks.

Palatine's picture

The list so far (in no particular order):

Akzidenz Grotesk
Franklin Gothic
Trade Gothic
ATF Lightline Gothic
ATF News Gothic
ATF Franklin Gothic
Myriad Pro
Sophisto
Stalemate
Optima (or Optima Nova)
Frutiger (or Frutiger NEXT)
TheSans
Neutraface
Proxima Nova
Gotham
Whitney
Interstate
FF Din

Quite a list. I can name at least seven in there that are particularly good. Hehe, you've got your work cut out for you, Jennifer.

jupiterboy's picture

Lots of good choices. Like people say, you need to choose what is right for your application.

Since we are discussing sans again, I'd like to hear comments on Charlotte Sans, and add Nick's Brown Gothic to the list.

Palatine you Ascended Master. You are creeping me out with that avatar.

hrant's picture

> you’ve got your work cut out for you

Which is of course exactly why we need to know the nature of the magazine and its readers - to focus the search and come up with something really good, not just something that happens to appeal to you or me, or happens to be handy. Gone are the days where you looked to your type drawers and chose one of the three sans fonts you had. Way.

hhp

Palatine's picture

jupiterboy:

Hehe, I didn't mean to creep anyone out. I don't usually advertise it, but I AM what the avatar suggests.

I chose that avatar because I just couldn't resist how the square and compasses revolve like that.

Funnily enough, my *renewed* interest in typography has a Masonic connection. One of our lodge members and I were discussing the layout of our summons. I had a look at it and noticed that everything was justified. I commented that full justification of text is a bad habit (well, in many cases.) Our friendly debate lasted well into the night, and lasted through a number of glasses of wine. We had a good time. As soon as my copy of Bringhurst's work arrives, I'll share it with him.

Now back to our own discussion of sans fonts.

jupiterboy's picture

So I'd like to see the Masons drop the "G" and go with "YOD". Any chance? Sort of a restoration impulse?

Now back to our discussion of sans fonts.

Palatine's picture

The letter "G" is typically seen in most Craft (or Blue) lodges. But the YOD letter is retained, or rather, it makes an appearance, in the ceremonies of higher Masonic degrees.

Changes in Masonry happen very slowly. It is unlikely that the "G" will be dropped anytime soon (I'm talking in lifetimes, here), for this letter is wedded to our 1-3rd degree rituals as well as the ceremonial opening and closing of our lodges.

antiphrasis's picture

Christian,

How's that taking-over-the-world business coming along. Any progress yet? ;)

hrant's picture

But could you switch to the lc "g"? It is the
most interesting glyph in [Latin] type design.

hhp

Palatine's picture

antiphrasis:

Hasn't happened yet. It's enough trouble organizaing a joint vacation, never mind global domination. ;-)

hrant:

I agree that the lc "g" is interesting. It's oddly beautiful. But the subject that the letter g represents makes a captial g (G) more appropriate.

jupiterboy's picture

>But could you switch to the lc “g”?

See they pull people in by telling them the "G" stands for God (comfortable for your basic protestant business Joe). So a lower case "G" won't do as that would imply polytheism. Later they go to YOD, then even later Osiris/phallus symbolism. They are building civilization on the Egyptian model, which requires monotheism as a founding principle through which all perceived power flows.

I'll stop so they won't take me to Canada and whack me ; )

What level of initiation are you at Christian?

Norbert Florendo's picture

Δ What level of initiation are you at Christian?

Only if it has something to do with sans serifs in the rites! ℘

ChuckGroth's picture

I'ave always been fond of this combination:
ATF Raleigh Gothic Condensed, which works beautifully with Franklin Gothic Demi and Minion for a light serif contrast.

Palatine's picture

jupiterboy:

I was made a Master Mason in January.

If I'm not mistaken, our summons is done in Galliard. I'm not sure which version, although since I don't see any small caps/osf faces I'm assuming its ITC or some other version, not the nice Carter & Cone.

sim's picture

Of course I have a lot of favorite sans serif typeface. I love this one, this one and also that one. Do not forget Parisine from JF Porchez a really efficiency one. As others wrote: first question, who will read?

antiphrasis's picture

Christian,

Thanks, let me know when the time is near and I'll join. ;)

Palatine's picture

*puts goat mask back in the closet*

Oh, ok, sure. ;-)

jupiterboy's picture

I thought it was a goat skin apron ; )

Palatine's picture

The apron is lambskin.

I just made a joke about the goat mask because it is assumed that we use alot of goat symbology. At least in the Craft lodge there isn't any. I doubt that there is any in Scottish Rite or York Rite, but I haven't checked.

Ok, back to work. But before I go, I'd like to add Avenir (or Avenir NEXT) to the list. Another landmark achievement by Adrian Frutiger.

solling's picture

OK, so I'm redesigning a magazine.

It's a business magazine.

The demographic is 24-40, management/skilled/educated, heavily digital, mostly men (surprise!), and focussed on financials, techno gadgetry, management/sales/marketing advice, regional trends, and simplicity.

The market historically is a provincial rah-rah town. "But now, it's really becoming a different city!"

It's currently (mainly) an Akzedenz book.

Here's my formation of the problem: If the magazine is to be distinct, and, if "it's really becoming a different city" then maybe something less common than Akzedenz, something more cosmopolitan, something with some curves, some sophistication, would make the book uncommon, more thrilling, more of an artifact, than it currently is in dear ole Akzedenz . . .

- and it's gotta be a sans, because "sans is, like, it's like the web."

(a pie of evil is still a pie.)

Any helpful comments would be . . . most helpful.

-yes, my first post. I very much enjoy typophile. thanks go out to vurt and anorak for mentioning it often enough to finally get me here.

dezcom's picture

Syntax

ChrisL

Palatine's picture

Solling:

Optima (or Optima Nova for a bit more variety.) A sans with some stylish curves. Definitely upscale.

solling's picture

I'll look at syntax in a minute.

Optima is too dentists office, seems inevitably linked in my mind with Souvenir, and the inevitable followup of Eras.

Syntax is pretty optima-like, too.

These faces are fine in and of themselves, but do not go far enough, or seem to have enough weights in their families.

I have been looking at Gotham. Am I a hipster doofus?

gordon's picture

hi,

my favourite is meta so far.

solling's picture

meta: interesting. looks fairly condensed right out of the box, though.

I'll go see the fontfont examples.

dezcom's picture

Gotham is a very good font. It does not seem to be the "grabber" like font you described though. I don't see any similarity between Optima and Syntax though. There is about as much similarity as there is between Gotham and AG which you are trying to get away from.
You might look at Luc's Thesis if you want a very broad range of weights.

ChrisL

marcox's picture

Here's a recent thread that compiled a list of humanist sans, with links to samples. (You have to scroll down a ways.)

Many of the faces listed fit your desire for "something more cosmopolitan, something with some curves, some sophistication..."

http://typophile.com/node/13281

Palatine's picture

Alright, I give in: if Optima isn't your thing, then I'll cast my vote for meta (FF meta) as well. It's a solid, progressive sans. I really can't argue against it.

Just a note about Optima:

Don't forget that of all the well-known sans faces, Optima is unique: It is a sans that is nearly a serif. It is probably the most elegant sans face I have seen. I wouldn't be far off the mark by saying that Optima is a sans version of Palatino. And Palatino is, with aknowledged subjectivity, the greatest serif face ever designed. It retains most of its charm in its digitized version (yes, updated charm, but still looking good), and in light of the absolute farce that is digitized Bembo and Centaur, that's saying alot.

Just in case you're interested in a *good* Palatino, look no further than the version (Linotype) sold at Adobe: PalatinoLTstd. Decent variety, sc/osf included, of course.

But yes, meta would be a good choice for a sans.

hrant's picture

> It is probably the most elegant sans face I have seen.

Except you can't make soup with elegant.

> Palatino is, with aknowledged subjectivity,
> the greatest serif face ever designed.

{Polite coughing sounds.}

hhp

Palatine's picture

**shhhh** !!!!

Don't ruin my Palatino fanboyism!

Seriously, though, I'd love to hear your opinion of Palatino. I've been following your posts off and on for over a year now, and if I want to hear anyone's opinion (with due respect to all the typophiles here) it's yours.

hrant's picture

I don't know about that. Remember, I know very little about actually using type. But thanks.

To be fair, I think Palatino has a lot going for it. It has arguably suffered the least from -and continues to serve well after- its "Laser 35" ubiquity. On the other hand, it has unfairly upstaged Aldus, its more textish sibling. Basically, its x-height is too big* and that limits it more to larger point sizes. Admittedly however that suits its calligraphic nature (the type of thing that looks best large... kinda like a dumb blonde though). Speaking of its calligraphic aspect, the most memorable experience I've had with Palatino is holding some sorts from a large metal size of it in my palm, and not being able to help feel "this is wrong"; on some level it just doesn't seem right to have such shapes carved/cast into a metal parallelepiped.

* Which might have still made it great for really small point sizes, except its spacing isn't loose enough for that.

hhp

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