Dictionary text font

heraldmonkey's picture

Any suggestions for a body font suitable for a dictionary, or what features comprises a good font selection for such a use?

The dictionary in question is Aramaic-English, would be around 1500 pages, and would also include (lots of) Hebrew and (occasional) Greek characters, so Opentype solutions which include those ranges would be gravy.

The newest Oxford Dictionary uses Frutiger together with FF Parable, which does the job and is legible. I'd love to use FF Strada for this but don't know how well it would reproduce at small sizes. Any input would be appreciated.


crossgrove's picture

Garamond Premier Pro with optical variants for those small sizes
Minion with same features
Arno, same
TDC winner Anselm

You'll have to dig to make sure of the character set, given your needs. It might be that Andron is the only one with Greek and Hebrew, but investigate. This is a tall order!

Miss Tiffany's picture

Jean François (Porchez, Typofonderie) did a re-design of some dictionaries in France using his Le Monde Sans and Le Monde Livre if I recall correctly.

jupiterboy's picture

Nevermind. I didn't read the full post.

joeclark's picture

No goddamned Minion.

I’ll begin my hobby horse here. I have seen dictionaries in Benguiat and Souvenir that were astronomically legible at 5 pt. In fact, I took pictures of one.

Look at what Collins did.

Joe Clark

crossgrove's picture


[crying blood {again}]


John Hudson's picture

Do you know what typeface you will be using for the Aramaic? You can find quite a few fonts with both Latin and Greek support, but you'll most likely need a separate font for the Aramaic/Hebrew.

The SBL BibLit fonts would be ideal, since they support all three scripts, but they won't be ready until later this year (and the first release will be roman and italic only).

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