progressive/contemporary serifs for body copy?

gerald's picture

anyone have any suggestions for a progressive looking serif for body copy?? i'm not even sure what kind of subtle attributes give a typefice such characteristics.. unbracketed serifs?? contrast?? i'd appreciate any help!

istitch's picture

how will it be used? can you describe the application?

hrant's picture

Eidetic might fit the bill.

hhp

Fisheye's picture

Not sure what your usage will be, but Nimrod is probably a good choice.

gerald's picture

this isn't necessarily for a specific project.

i'm just looking for suggestions for future projects.

and i'm quite curious as to my other question... what kind of attributes give a serif a "progressive" feel?

William Berkson's picture

I recently saw a newsletter/sales piece done in Fedra Serif. It had a very fresh, contemporary look without being too impersonal. Clean like a sans without being a sans, or being too stiff. Some of the large size stuff and the italic didn't look as good--perhaps they used the wrong one (there is a and b)--but overall I was impressed how well it succeeded in being fresh without looking too self-conscious or slick.

fontplayer's picture

Although it has gotten a little overused, that style that has some missing serifs here and there always seemed progressive to me.

Stefan H's picture

Delicato might be suited for this one?

Have a look yourslef; http://www.macrhino.com

hrant's picture

> Some of the large size stuff ... didn’t look as good

Still the synapses fail to make the connection across the
raging, one-directional river that is the Unified Theory... :-)

hhp

Fisheye's picture

A few characteristics of many contemporary text faces are tall x-height, broad serifs, and a vertical (or close to vertical) axis.

William Berkson's picture

>one-directional river that is the Unified Theory…

Who, me? Optical sizes,'it's a Good Thing' to quote Martha :)

istitch's picture

i think Charter by Matthew Carter has some interesting features in the serifs. especially in the italic.

Stefan H's Delicato is a beautiful suggestion…

i guess it depends on what you are looking for and i'm sorry but progressive can be a pretty vauge term. especially when you are talking to designers who are constantly dealing with people who want something that looks contemporary or progessive.

i am probably coming off kind of negative, which is something i don't want to do, but i think it's important to define what it is you are looking for (in general) so that everyone has a better understanding. if you can't quite describe it (which is probably why your asking in the first place), begin with perhaps a list of things that you associate with what you are thinking about. what other things (non type related) do you think of when you think progressive?

well, back to Easter weekend with the in-laws… wish me luck ; )

fontplayer's picture

Rotis was once what would be called a progressive serif, I imagine.

gerald's picture

thanks for all the suggestions guys.

yeah istich.. i guess progressive is probably too vague a term. basically i'm looking for serifs that give off a "modern, hip, vibe" but not so much so that they look like they should belong in a art mag. something i could use for body copy for .. say.. a newspaper entertainment tab, or a special section on culture.. that type of thing.

i've just been wanting to mess around with (re)designing some publications like this, and i've just been sort of stuck on what to use for body copy.. i want something that's a little edgy, but still easy to read. but not some newspaper staple like new century schoolbook, you know?

for example.. i'm thinking of something like vista sans or freight for section headers and/or headlines. or possibly whitney... or even flama. if that gives you kind of an idea for the vibe i'm going for.

hopefully that kind of articulates a little better what i'm looking for here.

hrant's picture

Oh, wait, what about Harrier?
http://www.themicrofoundry.com/other/nour&patria/dev/nour-latin.gif _
Edgy is its middle name. :-)

hhp

fontplayer's picture

> Oh, wait, what about Harrier?

Yeah! I like it.

NigellaL's picture

how about Mrs Eaves? I always love that one because it takes Bulmer and makes it un-boring (is that even a word?)

gerald's picture

here's some samples of several faces... what kind of a vibe do these give you??

http://dustyaltena.com/dotdotdot/bodycopy.gif

personally, i feel that mrs eaves has way too much personality.. nimrod and charter seem to give off a pretty hip feel. kis and poynter feel pretty modern also.

on the other hand, news 706 and utopia seem a bit too old-fashioned.

any other thoughts?? could someone post a sample of what harrier, delicato, or eidetic would look like in this instance?

hrant's picture

There's no way a low-res GIF will convey much [difference] at all. PDF please?

> what harrier ... would look like in this instance?

In what instance? If you mean this exact text/layout, if you provide an InDesign file (or even just an EPS with the text as text, not convert-to-outline-ed) I'll set it in Harrier, sure. Just one thing: Harrier has four -close- weights, but no italic (or you could possibly use Patria's italic as its italic - they have the same slope though). The point however is that you can use the Demi to mark emphasis in a body of Regular (or really any other combination you prefer) like the TYPO magazine boys do so well with Nimbus (and did so well with Patria, for my article in #13).

--

Mrs Eaves: I wouldn't recommend it unless you go the trouble of respacing it*, since its color is very spotty as it stands. I liken it to a beautiful, captivating woman... with a speech impediment. :-/

* BTW, is it true that James Montalbano once did that? Maybe just a rumor.

hhp

SourisNoire's picture

Modern and suitable for body copy? What about Dolly?

http://vllg.com/Underware/Dolly/mudTyper+Weights/

gerald's picture

while i really appreciate everyone's comments and sage advice.. you have to remember, that this isn't for a specific project. the gif i posted is just to give an idea of the moods given off by some common and uncommon body copy typefaces... to see what kind of feeling you guys are getting from it. i'm just loooking around at this point so when possible (probably) future projects arise, i am prepared for attack.

Bert Vanderveen's picture

Contemporary serifs for body copy… Mmm, I think that a lot of the contemporary serifs have this copy/paste look, where a funky form of serif gets pasted onto letterforms that started out as sans (sanses?).
Nothing wrong with that, but traditionally serifs 'grew' organically out of the stems and so on. So, if you ask me — any serif with slapped-on-distinctive-little-(uniform)-shapes is contemporary.

Just my 2 cts.

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