Best condensed serifs for small sizes

elzadra's picture

I have to do a bookmark design with a hilariously large quantity of text. What's your favourite condensed serif that works in like 6.5 to 8-pt sizes? (All my fave small condensed fonts are sans, and all the good condensed serifs are better in 12-14-pt and up, usually...)

Randy's picture

An example of illogical truth: condensed and small size tend to not go together. Type usually get wider, x-height larger and ascender/descender shorter as they get smaller. I don't know of any condensed serifs for small size. Not sure what kind of a type budget you have, but Garamond Premier Pro "Caption" is a small size option that you may already have. Also free - but in beta so watch the kerning, SerifBeta6 from (I just used this to decent effect).

Newspaper types may also suit your needs.

Cross post edit: Minion Condensed Caption -- Ok, I now know of one. I wonder if this was an exercise in completeness for the minion family, or if it's useful. I'll have to take a look. Thanks Stephen.

elzadra's picture

Interesting. Serif Beta's not a million miles off Excelsior, an old newspaper font I was considering for this. But I've cooked up an insane mash of Constructa with gothic drop caps off Dafont...

Stephen Coles's picture

On that note, I've started a newspaper text list. I welcome additions.

News Plantin might suit your needs.

miha's picture

What about Newzald?

nina's picture

"Newspaper types may also suit your needs."
Maybe something by Gerard Unger? He seems to focus on making his newsprint fonts especially space-saving (while remaining readable).
But I agree the thread title sounds a bit scary. :-)

kentlew's picture

> On that note, I’ve started a newspaper text list. I welcome additions.

Stephen, nice start. You could add Zócalo Text to the Modern Alternatives list. (Or did that not go out to Vendors yet?)

Zócalo would probably not be suited to Kate's initial request -- too wide. But it seems that many of the newspaper text suggestions are veering away from the narrow criteria.

I was working on something in that same classic Corona/Excelsior/Plantin vein, but actually on the narrower side and with a touch more Baroque flavor. But not really ready for primetime, unfortunately.

What about Nikola Djurek's Brioni? -- on the narrower side and I bet it would handle nicely small. Come to think of it, his Tempera Biblio might also fit the bill.

-- Kent.

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