Which slab should I use?

Jim Stafford's picture

Pretty sure I've made up my mind, but I was interested in what others thought.

I'm using a nice big square-slab serif for a project and obviously went straight to Lubalin graph.As I looked around though I noticed a few other alternatives (all below). Any opinions on what I should go with, which aren't worth bothering with, favourites, etc?





Florian Hardwig's picture

Hi Jim,
all of them are quite classic. One could add Stymie and, of course, Clarendon to this list.

Lubalin Graph is Avant Garde’s slab soul brother, therefore very geometric. Nice for headlines, not easy – to unusable – in text.
Caecilia is at the other end of the gamut, having humanistic proportions: not so bold-faced, but more versatile.

Not-so-often seen (can’t call them ‘hidden’) gems: City by Georg Trump, Boton.

Similar but fresher faces would be Giza, Dispatch. Or Silica, if you like to follow the Caecilia line.

Check out this thread on Serifa, Glypha, Egyptienne F and other slabs, too.

Jim Stafford's picture

Thanks Florian - Giza is a beauty, I shall be picking that bad-boy up.

The face will be used for titling only, so Lubalin Graph was my first choice. I'd rejected Clarendon because of the bevelling on the slabs, and its current ubiquitous-ness.

For my money Memphis and Rockwell are just too similar to Lubalin Graph to merit use on their own terms (certainly on my budgets) -- do you feel there's an argument in having all three in your arsenal, or just picking a favourite and aligning yourself to it. After all, even if I had the cash, I don't want to end up with 800 typefaces, when many of them are very similar...

pattyfab's picture

I am partial to Stymie because I like the double-storey a and the low x-height. It's very similar to Rockwell but slightly more elegant (to me).

Jim Stafford's picture

Really? I love the massive counters of the large x-height faces -- each to their own on that I guess :-)

crossgrove's picture

I know this is leaning in the direction of classic, geometric or mechanistic slabs, but do note the presence of Soho, Amasis, and Chaparral. All slabs of a sort, but less monoline. Amasis and Chaparral have surprisingly warm Italics as well.

Quincunx's picture

I was going to suggest Soho as well.

Jim Stafford's picture

Nice suggestions guys. I'm a fan of Chaparral.

I've actually revisited the whole design and we've gone with Souvenir -- completely different feel.

Don McCahill's picture

Souvenir is a big change. That face will always scream 1970s to me.

Dan Gayle's picture


ryanholmes's picture

Pick the heaviest weight of Serifa or Glypha, tighten up the tracking a bit (1 point range tracking at 24 pt text, 2 pt tracking at 48) and voila--superb titling slab at zero cost (I assume you already have Serifa or Glypha if you have the Adobe or Bitstream catalogs handy). Rockwell will work too, I'm just not a huge Rockwell lover.

If you're willing to buy new stuff, then yes, FB Giza is the slab titling bomb.

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