A lively display typeface to replace Tribute?

oysteinvidnes's picture

Hello all –

I know there are lots of threads here on similar topics, but I think I'll try this anyway. I haven't posted here before, but I've found lots of great advise on these forums.

I'm designing a literary magazine, and we're in search of a bit of renewal. I've been designing it a few years, and since the beginning of 2007 we've been using Tribute for the titles, and Bembo Book for the text. We're not really dissatisfied with this, but Tribute has a few downsides. It's not really a display typeface, it's actually made to work well at rather small sizes. We are/were aware of this. But it's a typeface with a big, quirky personality, with lots of swashes, ligatures and extras. After two years, though, I've grown really tired of it, and I'm looking for a replacement, or replacements. The problem is that most of the typefaces I try look quite feeble next to this strange half-parody. Now, I'm not going to set the new typeface alongside the old, of course, but the new look shouldn't be weaker than the old.

Is there something out there as idiosyncratic and bizarre - and at the same time classic - as Tribute?

Maybe not. Maybe we should just try something completely different. But these specs remain:
- Should be a seriffed face
- Needs to work at large point sizes (30 - 120 or so)
- Should have both oldstyle and lining figures, and small caps
- Lots of ligatures and swashes and other interesting details don't hurt

For some other jobs I've been using typefaces with display cuts, like Warnock and Arno Pro, I really love both of them. But this magazine just needs something else. I am considering swiching from Bembo Book to Arno Pro for the text, though - that's another story, but I'm also open for suggestions on good workhorses for text, with interesting display companions.

Some more details: The magazine is Norwegian, it's called Vagant, and is one of about two leading literary magazines in the country. It has a combination of academic articles and literary texts, and illustrations by invited artists. Homepage The format is w210xh280, usually 130-160 pages, 4 issues pr year.

Chris Keegan's picture

Take a look at Odile. It's not a display face, but has some of the liveliness of Tribute.

merkri's picture

What about Leitura?

Lots of styles and the interesting details you're describing.

There's a nice pdf specimen at Fontshop.

I'm not sure if that's lively enough, but...

oysteinvidnes's picture

Thanks for the suggestions! I find both Odile and Leitura appealing, but I'm not sure they'll quite fit the bill.

My editor suggested that I could put up a link to the pdf of the latest issue, in case someone's interested, for a limited amount of time:

Here it is. (Pdf, 9 mb size)

If you look at it you'll notice I've been playing a bit with the letterforms of Tribute, to make the drop caps. These were made especially for this issue, not a permanent thing. It's a bit over the top really.

Ken Messenger's picture

Zanzibar may be a bit more whacky than you're looking for but I'd recommend checking out some of the other "lively" faces Fountain offers.

And I really like Josh Darden's idiosyncratic Freight family for headers.

nepenthe's picture

Few types have the personality of Storm's eccentric designs. Take a look at Jannon Moderne, Antique Ancienne, for some of his wilder offerings. You might find something you like among his vast collection!

hrant's picture

What about Kinesis?

Or the increasingly hip Kursivschrift:

Or maybe you should go extreme:

BTW, if you find a font that's almost right, you might want to consider paying a type designer to tweak it for you and make it just right.


Dan Gayle's picture

After two years, though, I’ve grown really tired of it, and I’m looking for a replacement, or replacements.

Just a suggestion about the redesign, but have you checked to make sure that your readers haven't grown tired of it? With only 4 issues per year, the readers might just now be starting to warm up to your design, despite the fact that you've grown tired of it.

Often, a designer will stare at the same typeface in the same designs for hours of time over many days and months. Of course it is going to not feel fresh to you after 2 years, but always remember that your reader's experience of the typeface is much different than your own.

As to a suggestion, I love FF Clifford. Or perhaps FF Oneleigh.

Frode Bo Helland's picture

Dette er en gammel tråd, men har dere kikket på History fra Typoteque? Hvis dere er litt konservative i bruken, kunne det kanskje vært noe. Jeg har ikke lest Vagant på lenge nå, skal huske å kikke etter det neste gang jeg er i en kiosk.

paragraph's picture

Děkuji mnohokrát, Františku.

omeld's picture

it's beautiful!

omeld's picture

how about MVB Sirenne

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