Times New Roman's many versions!

b's picture

hello fello typophils,
im kiinda new here, and i was looking through past topics for anything about times new roman, im kinda new as a typographer too so i got some questions, specifically about times new roman, the font that the magazine i work for use. (along with universe and rotis:!)

i noticed so many times new roman fonts out there, the europe version, SF, PS, CE, times(mac), and times ten!
so im confused which is the best for the magazine to stick to, i see the differences in shape, but what does all the initials stand for, and whats the easiest for people to read in the mag? (its a business mag, with a 3C. grid)

and which one should i stick to, im using mac, and it has times and the times new roman, and im getting them to buy old style figures and small caps in.

any advice or recommendation?

thanks alot!!

Florian Hardwig's picture

CE usually stands for Central European and indicates language support for that region.
PS is for Postscript, so that one is about the technical format.

Don McCahill's picture

Times Ten and Times are different fonts from Times New Roman. For a business magazine I would want to use one that has at least the CE character set so that names of international businesses and people can be set correctly.

But have you considered leaving the Times area completely? Times is initially, (and to me, primarily) a newspaper face, and a magazine can develop a much more polished and professional look by choosing a less common face (I would stay in the serif faces).

Ask about new faces here and you will get dozens of great suggestions.

Florian Hardwig's picture

Btw, there’s a great list with type-related abbreviations on German typografie.info.
However, it doesn’t know what SF stands for, and me neither.

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

In addition to Times SF, Monotype has an Arial SF, too... Curiouser and curiouser...

Florian Hardwig's picture

Well, when Times and Arial have it, you can be sure it’s not for Science Fiction.

Maybe Style Fart?

mtnlionjw's picture

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I agree with Don McCahill. Personally, I HATE Times New Roman (any variation, thereof). It is boring, overused, and should be trashed immediately. I never ever ever use it, nor would consider using it. There are so many new beautiful fonts out there to suit whatever style you want, so why use something as bland as Times New Roman?

Just my opinion, of course, but Optima or Palatino are elegant beautiful, yet sophisticated fonts that could be suitable for a business-focused magazinen. Otherwise, Baskerville or Verdana or even Helvetica would be preferable. You didn't mention whether the magazine was an online zine or hard copy print, but even still, anything beats Times. Of course, you're limited to web-safe fonts if the magazine is only online.

Also, is your magazine a business magazine in the subject of science/medicine? Or is it classical business magazine? Or is it geared to IT and Technology? Or to marketing for children? These are some things to consider.

I'd check out linotype's homepage and see what they have to offer.

b's picture

hey guys, forgive my late reply, now im settled...

thanks for the links im checking them out, and yes i so dont like times roman either! im sure i can change into somthing close but much better, i will look into the suggestions,

good point mtn, the thing is the magazine will undergo some identity specification (, as it is now, it is just; business. in Jordan, Amman. wehre alot of 'development' is happening, but still the identity is on the way.

im the art director, the graphic designer, and typographer, like i have to enhance the grid and typo, think of the design ideas for articles, execute them, in addition to knowing what the magazine's identity specifically, since no marketing department is available, then i will be doing alot of analyzing and asking to get to the best structure, i will do a lot of talking to the editor too...


will do some more research..

florian, thanks for the link, what an idea! ouch. i had the chance to see stagmeister in beirut when he visited the american uni there! and my old time favourite typographer/designer jonathan brooks. but thats it until now :p

so i still have alot of questions, but i will take it bit by bit...

but a question for now, about ligatures, in fonts that we buy, the collecition usually have only fi and ft? and we have to buy the rest of the collection?

Florian Hardwig's picture

but a question for now, about ligatures

They usually have ‘fi’ and ‘fl’, not ‘ft’. These two were included in extended ASCII codepages, at least on the Mac.
And they are the most essential ones. If you stick with Times, you won’t need a lot of fancy ligatures. Take a look at its letterforms: ‘ft’ is not a problem, and ‘ff’ doesn’t clash either.

The Times alternative Lido by František Štorm hasn’t more than ‘fi’ and ‘fl’ either.

Minion Pro has some more: fi, fl, ft, ff, ffi, fb, ffb, ffh, ffk, fft, fh, fj, ffj, fk, to mention only those with ‘f’.
But that’s due to the fact that its f drop reaches out quite far to the right. You don’t have that problem with Times. Only use ligatures (i.e., in body text) when they solve problems – a lot of people really dislike scrolled ‘st’ and ‘ct’ ligatures!

b's picture

ah ok, thanks for the clarification.

twardoch's picture

I often use Aldine 721 (Bitstream's version of Plantin) instead of Times New Roman, especially when printing stuff in the office environment or on laser printers. The vast majority of people do not notice that it is a different typeface, but Aldine 721 has a slightly darker, more pleasant color.

Also note that Windows Vista ships with a greatly expanded version of Times New Roman. The design of some diacritic character has been improved, many new characters have been added. The font has 3300 glyphs and covers all of European and Vietnamese Latin letters, European and Asian Cyrillic letters, monotonic and polytonic Greek, Hebrew, Arabic, an abundance of phonetic symbols as well as combining diacritics. For multilingual typesetting, this offers a reasonable candidate. I've heard that Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac will also include those fonts so they will be available on the Mac sooner or later.


ryanholmes's picture

I'm no fan of Times Roman--both because of its overuse, and its default status in the modern desktop computer world. The sheer quantity of documents I see that use Helvetica Bold headers/titling and Times Roman body copy is truly mind-numbing.

Having said that, you can make Times a LITTLE more interesting...the Roman Small Caps face is nicely done, I use it often in lieu of italic Times, a cut which I despise. I mean, I REALLY dislike Times Italic.

Also, I see few people use it, but Times Extra Bold is actually a nice display face.

ryanholmes's picture


I saw your reply re: Aldine in the other thread, too. I agree with you, the Bitstream versions are usually fine, and in a few cases, I too prefer them to the "originals" such as they are. I'm not sure I'd vote for Aldine 721 over Plantin, but I WOULD vote for Aldine 401 instead of Bembo, for the same reasons you mention--the color is darker and more even, making it more useable in a standard office environment.

I am told by someone that has the face though, that the new OT revision of Bembo--Bembo Book--takes care of these issues and is far superior to the Bembo/Aldine we've grown accustomed to the past 20 years.

Si_Daniels's picture

>I’ve heard that Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac will also include those fonts so they will be available on the Mac sooner or later.

We licensed the Vista version of TNR (along with Vista versions of the other MS core fonts Apple was shipping) to Apple so it's already in Leopard.

And big thanks to Adam for help with the CE diacritics in the updated core fonts.

twardoch's picture

> We licensed the Vista version of TNR (along with Vista versions
> of the other MS core fonts Apple was shipping) to Apple so
> it’s already in Leopard.

Ah, that is great news. I did not realize that but now after having a look in my Leopard fonts folder I see that it is the case. Great!


b's picture

another question:

do i change all the oe's in the text into the glyph oe? or is it only to specific situations like in some french words? im already changing all the fi's and fl's since it also help in the justified text.
thanks alot in advance.

b's picture

oh and im changing them manually, is there a way that i can tell indesign to change every fi it finds into a ligature?
i know i might should not focus on these little details, but its one of those things that stand in the way.

Florian Hardwig's picture

do i change all the oe’s in the text into the glyph oe?
or is it only to specific situations like in some french words?

is there a way that i can tell indesign to change every fi it finds into a ligature?
Just enable ligatures by ticking the corresponding check box in your paragraph style options (‘basic character formats’). Should work (for the standard ligatures like ‘fi’ and ‘fl’) with non-OT fonts aswell.

Take care: in some languages, ligatures are not always allowed. In German for example, there can be a ‘fl’ ligature in ‘fliegen’ (to fly) but not in ‘aufliegen’ (to [over]lie).

For other cases, you could use the find and replace function.

b's picture

thanks, im working in english for now, so i will be changing the ligature in them. great . thanks again.

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