Workhorse Serif Suggestions

dylan's picture

I'm interested in your opinions/recommendations for complete, hard-working serif 'faces. I've been using Mrs. Eaves too much these days. I've been looking at Walbaum from Storm. Doesn't seem to be a huge family, but the characters seem really solid, pure, straightforward. Your thoughts?</font>

kakaze's picture

Adobe Jenson is good.

hrant's picture

If you like Walbaums, check out Kepler. But if you really want purity and honesty, try a wedge serif, like Swift, or Foundry Form Serif, or FF Zine.

hhp

dylan's picture

Good stuff all around. Swift is my second favorite. Thanks, Chris and Hrant. I see that Gerard pairs Vesta with his Swift. What sans face would you pair with Storm's Walbaum?

dylan's picture

Good lord, I must be addicted to type... I can't decide. Stephen: Verdigris is lovely. I can understand why you're enjoying it, at least as a voyeur. I was slobbering over the Storm release Andulka this morning, but it's... too sharp/angular if that makes any sense. Maybe the softness of Walbaum is what appeals to me. And then Verdigris enters, stage left.

Geesh, I feel like a flake.

Decisions, decisions... Thanks for the input. I'm open for more feedback, opinion, and typographic crack rocks.

eomine's picture

If you like Walbaum, take a look at FF Acanthus Text by Kobayashi too.

addison's picture

Check out FF Atma, too. It has a feel similar to Walbaum Text. I saw this in an Ansel Adams book -- really nice.

pop_snap's picture

How about using FF Seria which I tend to use a lot; Clarendon is making the rounds again as a solid cut, maybe a tad heavy; or perhaps a look at Fournier from Monotype. Coranto is very nice and is being used by ID magazine at the moment to good effect.

aquatoad's picture

Storm Walbaum is very solid in text.

However, I doubt you will find it a good *alternative* to Mrs. Eaves. It doesn't look obviously contemporary in the way that the Mrs does. If you're looking for fresh, Hrant's suggestions may be better. STF Walbaum is a workhorse, but very mild mannered. I imagine Verdigris is similarly mild, yes?

Underware's Dolly?
This is interesting.
Definitly funky STF Lexon & Lexon Gothic.

As far as pairing it with a sans, here are some classics:

How about Shinntype Brown Gothic? (Maybe the best!)
STF Dyna Grotesk
STF John Sans

hrant's picture

A great alternative to Mrs Eaves is TheFoundry's Wilson.

BTW, of those pairings I like the Univers and the Scala.

hhp

aquatoad's picture

Fuel on the fire eh? He he he.
Just thought of FF Eureka
It has a similar Mrs. Eavesian freshness in text.

dylan's picture

Does anyone know how I can get a decent PDF of Verdigris samples? I can't find any contact info at the MVB site. Frustrating. Again, thank you for feeding my addiction. I'm stacking up my final contenders as we 'speak' (and I'd really like to get a better view of Verdigris).

dylan's picture

Oh, I'm also looking at Kent's Whitman family. Very complete. Really digging the serifs. What's a boy t' do?

dylan's picture

Thanks, Stephen.

kakaze's picture

Oooh...Walbaum looks good with Univers Condensed.

plainclothes's picture

"Mark's a good guy. I'm sure he'll hook you up with a PDF."

you should ask about the fantastic booklet he produced. I haven't found the right client yet, but I keep the specimen close by as a reminder. it'd make a nice birthday gift to myself...

kentlew's picture

Dylan --

Thanks for your private message asking about a sans complement for Whitman. I'm pleased that you're considering it. I thought I'd reply on the forum, since I get this question frequently.

Pairing sans and serif is, I think, one of the most basic ways to create a sense of typographic style; and as such, it can be very much a matter of personal taste. So, don't take anything I say about this with any more weight than anyone else just because I designed Whitman.

Nevertheless, here are some pairings that I've seen or tried myself:

Will Powers paired Whitman with Franklin Gothic Condensed in a book he did for MnHS Press. In general, I think anything along these lines -- Franklin Gothic, FB's Benton Gothic/Sans, Nick Shinn's Brown Gothic -- makes a solid companion.

In my own work, I've paired Whitman with Vectora -- one of my favorite sans. It's a tricky combo if you mix them in line, since the x-heights are vastly different. But I like the forms together.

I'm working on a how-to book right now for which I'm using Whitman paired with Gotham. I rather like it. I've also seen this combo used pretty well in a small startup magazine called Revenue.

The Virginia Quarterly Review pairs Whitman with Bliss to great success.

A more unusual combo is Whitman with Cyrus Highsmith's Relay, used by a Finnish young women's style magazine, Trendi.

I've also wanted to try pairing Whitman with FF Kievit. I think the neutrality of both would make a nice combination where transparency is desired. But I haven't found the right opportunity yet.

Whitman Pairings

HTH

-- K.

dylan's picture

Well, I'm working backwards. I've just picked up Gotham Complete. Kent, thanks for being my pimp.

- Fadeproof the Font Ho

dylan's picture

I've decided on a marriage of Whitman and Gotham, everyone. Kent's PDF (his own, not the one on Font Bureau's site) did a lot to convince me that Whitman was the 'face I wanted. And his suggestion of Gotham was a one-two punch. Both of these fine 'faces "feel" like me. Their shapes and details are what I'm looking for. A sincere thank you everyone for your prompt, honest input. Y'all ROCK.

Cheers,

Dylan

kentlew's picture

Dylan --

Naturally, I'm pleased with your choice. I hope Whitman behaves well and performs to your expectations.

Incidentally, if you are still working in Quark, I have customized suitcases that I'd be happy to give you. They are modified to allow Quark to do its auto fi- and fl-lig substitution. They are also combined into two suitcases -- one for LF and the other for OsF -- and are style-linked for Bold and Italic.

Let me know and I'll send you copies.

(That's one downside of the FB model which allows you to purchase individual styles and weights -- it means that you get delivered all these individual suitcases. As opposed to the very nicely combined and linked families from HTF, for instance.)

If you're working in InDesign, then it's moot -- Indy will do f-lig subs anyway (but not the ff-ligs, because they're nonstandard FB encoding). And style-linking is screwed in Indy. It's a known bug. I don't know if they fixed it for CS. (Thomas?)

-- K.


dylan's picture

I'm an InDesign convert. Don't care if I ever open Quark again.

This style-linking issue - I'm not aware of it, but I'm curious. Any links to more info would be great, if you have time.

So, I've got my new type. Gonna be a nice weekend... (smiles, cracks beer)

Thomas Phinney's picture

It's a little better in CS. We hope to fix it completely in the future.

T

John Hudson's picture

FF Acanthus is a good suggestion: one of the undeservedly overlooked and underused typefaces.

Personally, for a work horse typeface I would go for a Dutch oldstyle, not a German romantic like Walbaum. Fred Smeijer's Arnhem is one of my current favourites, and seems less pricey than many of the recent Dutch fonts.

kentlew's picture

>This style-linking issue - I'm not aware of it, but I'm curious.

In Indy, you can only style type italic or bold (i.e., from the keyboard) when there is an actual designed version. This is, in general, a good thing -- no faked obliques or smeared bolds.

But the bug is that with nonstandard family structures, Indy makes some weird decisions. So, for instance, with Whitman, if you're working with text in RomanOsF and then style a word to italic, Indy will make it ItalicLF. Then if you unstyle it by repeating the italic command, you'll get RomanLF. Or, under certain circumstances, you'll go back to SmallCapsLF. This sort of thing.

I seem to remember that which fonts change to which varies depending upon how you have your fonts loaded (font management vs. system vs. Adobe app folders). Mark Record (FB tech guy) and I spent a bit of time trying to troubleshoot this until we finally realized it was a bug that we couldn't do anything about.

And it's not just Whitman. I experienced the same problem with Frutiger (from Adobe). IIRC, Frutiger 45 (Light) went to 56 (Italic), then back to 55 (Roman) -- or something similar.

Bottom-line: the style-linking is screwy. Which is a pain for someone who does a lot of formatting from the keyboard or with tagged text.

Thomas, glad to hear it's better in CS. I'll have to upgrade one of these days (just too lazy) and try it out.

-- K.

dylan's picture

Cool. Thanks, Kent and Thomas for weighing in on this. I need to upgrade to CS also, now that most of the local print shops are using it.

Thomas Phinney's picture

Well, it's a *little* better in InDesign CS. Needs a complete fix in some future version. I would not buy CS expecting or even really hoping that one's particular case of this is fixed.

:-(

T

John Nolan's picture

Kent:
You should just add duplicates of the ff ligs in your fonts, named as InD expects, i.e. "ff", "ffi", and "ffl". I'm pretty sure InD will use them then. I don't think they have to be encoded, and you can leave the ligs in the FB positions as well for the unconverted Quarkers.

kentlew's picture

Yes, John, Thomas has told me about this. The downside is that there won't be any kerning for these ligs (which would really only affect the ff-lig, actually).

This would really come down to FB, and I don't see them taking the time to do this. Better to lobby for a full OT version.

But thanks for the suggestion.

-- K.

dylan's picture

The OT reference reminded me of something -- I was really surprised to receive archives that were not OS X compatible when I downloaded both Gotham and Whitman. I wiped system 9 from my main machine about a year ago. Having options for both OS 9 and X would be a nice touch. I'll be sure to forward the idea to both Font Bureau and Hoefler.

dylan's picture

They were .sea files, stuffed for OS 9. Fortunately, I was at my day job so Classic kicked in and did the unstuffing. Just seemed odd to me that FB and Hoefler are holding back on X compatible archives. I was also surprised (just a little, anyway) that neither 'face is in Open Type. Believe me, I'm not complaining. Just being a picky geek, I s'pose.

:-)

dylan's picture

Bling Bling Bling Bling Bling. You just got a 5 star vote for that hot tip. Thanks, Stephen!

Stephen Coles's picture

I've really been enjoying MVB Verdigris.

Stephen Coles's picture

MVB contact info

Mark's a good guy. I'm sure he'll hook you up with a PDF.

Stephen Coles's picture

That's odd, Dylan. What format were they in?

Stephen Coles's picture

In my experience you can drop an .sea file onto Stuffit Expander
in OSX and it will unstuff.

Stephen Coles's picture

Haha. Sweet of you. Glad it worked. It doesn't excuse HTF and FB
from not providing more thorough instructions though.

Syndicate content Syndicate content