Acceptable Typefaces for High School Papers?

iain's picture

I am in high school, and I type essays and other material Literature and also History. When I type essays et al., I generally use Times New Roman, because that is the default in most word processors, including MS Word at school and at home. However, I do not like this typeface, as it seems narrow and rather ugly. I am wondering what might be a good replacement typeface that would look good but not be too wacky as it would not be accepted by my teachers. I have done a little research into typography in general, and it seems that I prefer oldstyle lettering to modern (e.g. the contrast between narrow and wide, the way the thin points of an `o' are vertically aligned from each other in modern, et al.). What might I use?

P.S.: My father has legal access to almost every version of Photoshop and Illustrator, so typefaces that come with those applications are easily accessable. Also, I am a high school student, and I would like to avoid spending $100 on a typeface, so try to suggest ones of little or no cost.

Thank you in advance,

aluminum's picture

Do teachers in highschool still go by the antiquated measurements of x number of pages, double spaced?

If so, then you probably want something that comes in a wide version, or, even better, extra-wide. Will save you countless hours trying to fluff up boring papers. ;o)

Berlidin seems to fit the bill. Alas, it only comes in one style/weight:

iain's picture

Yes, teachers still require students to submit papers in MLA format, which is 12pt double-spaced, x number of pages, etc. etc.

Although Berlidin looks nice enough, it seems so wide that I am sure a teacher would notice the wideness and mark points off for that. At school I have found something called Palatino on some computers, Palatino Linotype on others, and both on some. They seem identical except Palatino Linotype has more leading. Would these work for schoolwork? Also, I have found a typeface called Georgia, but the problem is that numerals are non-lining, and I do not know if my teacher would object. I unfortunately do not seem to have Palatino at home, although I do have Palatino Linotype. Is there somewhere I could get Palatino for free if it is a good typeface for homework?

Daniel Poindexter's picture

Palatino at 12pt. actually occupies a bit more space than Times, which can be a pretty significant gain over a few page essay. This is a Good Thing if you have page limits, but Palatino does look quite a bit different in terms of page color, so the teacher might notice.

If you wanted something in the same vein that's just a better type, perhaps you should try a Baskerville, maybe like Storm's or Fountain's.

I've also used Jenson and Garamond, and I prefer them both to Transitional types for this sort of paper.

Daniel Poindexter's picture

Oh yeah, and it's probably not in your price range, but I'm in love with Whitman.

speter's picture

Palatino does look quite a bit different in terms of page color, so the teacher might notice.

The older my teachers were, the more they appreciated the added readability. (Of course, that was back in the ancient days of dot-matrix printers.) I never had one mark me down for it.

Yes, Whitman would be a sweet font for a paper, and your English teacher would probably give you extra points!

negativespace's picture

I would say just use Times New Roman, I mean they are the ones reading the paper, if thats what they are prefering you to write the essay in it makes sense. With an essay or something you aren't really going for presentation after all.

Although if this was going to be published in some sort of compliation at the school for others to read then I would look at typeface selection. That Whitman font looks really nice.

iain's picture

Great suggestions all. The only thing I do not like about Whitman (other than the price as you pointed out) is that it seems almost like a sans serif typeface with blocky serifs added on, rather than having thick and thing strokes and having serifs that curve from the text. That may be merely a matter of preference though, and it may look fine at small sizes, I do not know.

About the Baskerville typefaces, the first one (Storm's) I question only because they basically said they were too cheap to look at all his work and copy it, they just looked at some letters and made the rest in the same style.

On the other hand, Fountain's version has no boldface typeface. I don't use boldface, but what if I needed to for some reason?

By the way, does anyone know if any of these typefaces are included with any Adobe software?


rs_donsata's picture

Myriad will surely come with Adobe Applications and is an acceptable face if you don

iain's picture

Now, which applications do these typefaces come with? I'll see if my dad has a copy.

iain's picture

Hmm, well it looks like Palatino Linotype is right out, the line- and word-spacing is too large for print, although it looks great on my screen---1280x960, CRT monitor, opentype anti-aliasing.

Well thanks for the suggestions, I'll see if I can get any---though Berlidin seems a bit wide, I'll check out the others for sure.

dan's picture

Iain, does your dad have Illustrator CS, it comes bundled with a bunch of fonts that you could use. But remember, its the content not the look of the paper that the teacher will grade you on. If you write in Eubonics I bet you get a bad grade.

What was the only state in the nationwide Eubonics beauty contest not to show up?

iain's picture

I realize that content matters, I merely want to package good content in a good-looking package. And no, my dad only has Illustrator 10.

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