Typeface Pairing for academic thesis: Neutra and Jenson

Mike_U's picture


I have to write up my doctoral thesis eventually (when I run out of reasons to procrastinate) and it should look nice (never mind the content...).

So I was having a look around and at the moment I have decided on Neutra Text Light for titling and headings and Jenson for the copy.

My aim to use fonts that work well together, and ideally anyone who is reading the thesis (and is not a typophile) won't even notice my clever selection of font, only subconsciously acknowledging the easy legibility and harmony (and flow) of the text and headings. The headings should not overpower the following text.

The copy will be in 12px with line spacing 1.25 to 1.75, headings around 30px, 21px, and 15px. There are no guidelines on what fonts to use.

Do these fonts work well in these sizes on long documents in academic (management studies) context, based on your experience/ deep knowledge? Any suggestions for alternatives? Or should I stick with Arial and Times New Roman and get my hat?

Thanks for your answers!


Stephen Coles's picture

> should I stick with Arial and Times New Roman

No! You should be commended for avoiding them. (Adobe?) Jenson may be a little antique for some tastes, but if your subject calls for it, it's a classic and no one can deny its readability. So what is your subject?

kentlew's picture

You specify all your intended sizes in pixel units and your line spacing in decimal multipliers -- are you publishing this thesis as HTML & CSS? If so, then I think you will have difficulty with enforcing your font specifications.

Your units puzzle me.

-- K.

David Rault's picture

As Kentlew says, there is something odd in the units you are using. This being said, I think Utopia or Meridien would work much better with Neutra and serve your work more appropriately.


Mike_U's picture

Thanks for your replies.

My subject is in strategic management, no maths or technical science, all qualitative social science theory :p

kentlew, sorry to confuse you =) The units refer to the finished printed/ MS Word/ PDF A4 document. I probably mixed the units up and it should be pt instead of px?

I am still deciding which editor to use for the final document (300+ pages A4, with lots of references, some illustrations and tables etc.). At the moment I'm using MS Word. LaTeX, OpenOffice Writer, or even HTML/CSS are some alternatives I'm thinking about.

I hate MS Word (a pain with long documents), OpenOffice Writer isn't much better, and I don't really want to learn LaTeX. I know a LOT of CSS.

When I publish it (if ever) online, then I'd set the units in em's (and use boring web fonts until @font-face is widely implemented).


Mike_U's picture

Thanks for the suggestion David, I like those fonts. Especially Meridien is very beautiful!

charles ellertson's picture

My subject is in strategic management, no maths or technical science, all qualitative social science theory :p

I suppose free advice is worth about what you spend on it, but I would not use Jenson for a dissertation on "strategic management," unless your final conclusion is that management is a fine art.

From Myfonts.com Jenson arrived in Venice around 1467, printing and publishing there from 1470 to 1480. His types, based on the upright calligraphic styles of the time, are regarded as among the very best of the Renaissance, indeed of all time.

Pretty good summation. While Adobe Jenson has perhaps been regularized, it still calls to mind the Italian Renaissance, an unusual allusion for *management theory.* Minion is an obvious choice for text; if you want to be different, I'd look at Cycles (text) and Arepo (display) from the Stone Type foundry, or something in the same vein from any of the other designers.

dan_reynolds's picture

> it still calls to mind the Italian Renaissance

The other day in an airport, I saw a copy of Machiavelli's The Prince repackaged as part of a series of books on management style for, umm, managers, I guess…

Maybe some Renaissance things are still with us (in addition to Renaissance type, which never really went away, did it?).

Mike_U's picture

Obviously, management is the finest of art forms. Ever. =)

Thanks for your replies, I like Cycles and Arepo too! Too many options. More reasons to procrastinate.

Syndicate content Syndicate content