Typeface suggestions needed--what says "Ira Glass's voice" to you?

MissSeeSaw's picture

I'm working on a text-heavy video to accompany a "This American Life" segment, and still haven't quite found Ira's voice yet. I've spent quite a while looking and am ready for some outside suggestions.

For those who've never heard the show, check it out at http://www.thisamericanlife.org.

Thanks so much for any insights you can provide.

Edit: apparently em dashes aren't kosher in subject lines? I'll keep that in mind for the future.

georgebutler's picture

Tall, condensed, with a quirky flair. Something that breaks up the rhythmic monotony.

Stephen Coles's picture

Good, George! And he has a classic formal side too, in his suit and tie. Maybe FF Lancé, FF Sanuk, Oranda, Dispatch, or Fairplex.

jupiterboy's picture

Fairplex is very good. I wouldn’t have said tall. His voice is thin and precise, but soft. He’s so well spoken and right on top of his ideas, but likes the low, quirky side—in a detached way.

Maybe Bree Light would be a contender.

Stephen Coles's picture

I love Bree but I think it is a little too feminine for Ira.

FeeltheKern's picture

I put This American Life in the same category as McSweeney's, which has a very distinct typographic voice. Check out the magazine if you're not familiar with it.

jupiterboy's picture

I love Bree but I think it is a little too feminine for Ira.

I had that same thought. I went to see him speak a few years ago. It may be generational, but he doesn’t project with a typical male bravado. He’s not androgynous—that’s not it—but is balanced maybe in a way that a generation that hasn’t been raised on macho can be.

This is a fun one.

Chris Keegan's picture

I agree with George's choice of the word "quirky" - maybe Parry? To me it looks literary and quirky.

Stephen Coles's picture

Great suggestion, Chris! And it has a sans companion if you want something without balls and feet.

aluminum's picture

I'd say the face is less important than the typesetting. I'd want it to be very loose, open, floating. That with a face that leans towards the lighter side would work for me.

aluminum's picture

This, BTW, would be a great idea for a student project.

kentlew's picture

> if you want something without balls and feet.

Stephen, I hope you're not implying anything about Ira . . .

jupiterboy's picture

I saw his feet, FWIW.

Stephen Coles's picture

No implication implied at all. Was simply fun to type.

Nick Shinn's picture

There seems to be a disjunct between his voice, which is contemporary, and his visual style and the present graphics, which are retro-modern. So it's probably best to stick with the nostalgic look, and go for a face that was popular in mid 20th century America. Handwritten script is also a good way to suggest a voice.

scottsullivan's picture

maybe take a que from his iconic glasses?

- Scott

merkri's picture

I like the Parry suggestion a lot. Continuing in that line of thought, you might have Archer. Somehow I see Newzald working as well.

nepenthe's picture

His voice makes me think of Proxima Nova. But Parry is quite a good choice, too.

Stephen Coles's picture

Archer is again too feminine and precious.

merkri's picture

Maybe we should ask him.

jupiterboy's picture

Something tells me he would turn the question back on you while he was turning on his tape recorder.

khakis_on_fire's picture

I did do this as a student project! I typeset an entire episode of the radio show. It took me weeks, but it was good exercise.

I used Syntax for Ira at the time.

Nick Sherman's picture

I say Relay.

Someone should show him this thread. I can only imagine what it would be like to come upon a thread on a random forum discussing which typeface best represents my voice.

merkri's picture

Handwritten script is also a good way to suggest a voice.

Like this?

I emailed the show. We'll see what happens.

robsog's picture

I’ll add my vote to the Perry suggestion, and throw Dolly into the pot.

merkri's picture

Oops. I mean to be quoting from Nick (Handwritten script is also a good way to suggest a voice.)--used the wrong tag.

jlt's picture

Archer or maybe even Silica

MissSeeSaw's picture

Thanks for all the fantastic suggestions! My favorite at this point, by far, is Parry.

Any other takers?

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