Serif partner for Bryant

Bendy's picture

Hi
We are rebranding our (training) company and our logo uses Bryant font from Process. I'm wondering if anyone has paired Bryant with a serif font for immersive reading. So far the suggestions have been Officina Serif, Minion and Georgia. To me these don't quite work and I've had a look at Meta Serif, Utopia, Melior and Fedra Serif B. I might licence the first two of these to see which looks nicest and post some samples for crit here, but first of all wondered if anyone had a combination they thought was really successful.

Unfortunately I'm finding Bryant a bit difficult to use as there's so much space between the letters and the wide rounded tone feels a bit too cartoony next to very sober fonts (it looked very strange next to Garamond, Minion and New Baskerville!)

(Actually I thought that Myriad looked neat with Bryant, they do contrast quite well despite both being sans serif designs. Obviously there's the tension between humanist and geometric, rounded and flat terminals, so maybe that explains it. But our creative director said they didn't work too well together.)

AttachmentSize
Stag-Bryant Test.pdf421.46 KB
Metaserif-BryantTest.pdf441.58 KB
Bendy's picture

Here's Bryant paired with Meta Serif and with Officina Serif. To me, it looks like Officina Serif is too busy (too many corners) and too narrow and too quirky for immersive reading. And it's also been around a few years. Does anyone disagree that Meta Serif works well as a companion to Bryant?

William Berkson's picture

If you are matching characteristics, something wider than Meta Serif would be more of a match. But contrasts can work, as well as matches, so I think it is very hard answer such questions until you look at the intended layout.

Bendy's picture

Hi, thanks William. I'm not exactly wanting to match characteristics because I think the wide proportions of Bryant won't allow enough text on the page for extended body copy. I'm creating a brochure with Bryant for headings, subheadings and quotes, then need something to give details and descriptions of services. I need something space-efficient, readable and harmonising (so contrasting rather than matching I guess). I thought the square forms and terminals of Meta Serif would balance out the almost overpowering roundness of Bryant, whilst the vertical stress seems to relate to the geometric and monolinear structure of Bryant in a way that something like Garamond, Sabon or Minion didn't. And it's lower contrast than New Baskerville.

kentlew's picture

< self promotion >

What about something in-between the oldstyles and what you've tried above? Does Whitman strike you at all as a suitable companion? Wider forms, simple structure, smallish x-height, modest contrast . . .

< /self promotion >

Jos Buivenga's picture

I like the friendliness of Whitman. Both Meta and Officina are a bit narrow to my taste.

Just curious (this isn't finished yet) how you feel about this:

Bendy's picture

Kent, that's really interesting as I tried Bodoni and Joanna along the way. I think Modern serif fonts fit well with Bryant, so Whitman would be a good companion. It looks nice and elegant.

For my brochure though, I think I'm looking for something more humanist (meaning that Officina Sans and Meta Sans strike me as humanist, and their Serif siblings are built from the same bones). I worry that there's a bit too much roundness in Bryant, so I'm after something where the curves and counters are a bit less round looking.

Jos, thanks for posting this; as you know I'm quite excited by Calluna, and especially the italic (vwxyz are enviable). I'm not sure if you're looking for critique and this isn't the right thread anyway. As for my brochure, I think it has the right tone but to me the oldstyle stress doesn't sit very comfortably with Bryant's unsophisticated geometry.

It'll be interesting to see what others think of these combinations.

nina's picture

For some reason, every time I visit this thread and think about it, Scala pops into my mind. Which is strange because I've never worked with Scala. But looking at samples, maybe it could work quite well.

I think Whitman might be great too. A bit more "literary" than Scala maybe? It looks "harder" next to the utter roundness of Bryant than Scala does, too.
I think Calluna is not a bad match either, but next to Bryant it looks *very* old-style. Not sure if that's the intended tone?

eliason's picture

How about this?


Just kidding! I think Whitman is the happiest pairing of these by far.

Bendy's picture

>Whitman...literary
Yes, that's kind of what I was trying to mean. It's certainly elegant but I'm not really after a literary look for a brochure. I'd agree with 'harder' too.

I fear Scala is a bit wild and out of control next to bubbly young Bryant. It's an intersting font, I can't say I really understand it.

This is difficult!

Bendy's picture

Craig, very good ;)

With Scala:

Nick Shinn's picture

Your comparisons are not much help.
Showing words and relative size difference would be better.

**

If the proportions don't match, try horizontal scaling your text type to make the curves closer to the roundness of Bryant.

Bendy's picture

Nick, are you being ironic?

Jos Buivenga's picture

Difficult indeed ;) Ben, I wasn't looking for crits. I was just playing around and (as you also noticed) liked the tone of it.

nina's picture

"It’s certainly elegant but I’m not really after a literary look for a brochure."
But this is impossible to say without knowing anything about the layout and typography. FWIW, exactly regarding Whitman, I'm currently preparing a brochure and typesetting a book with it, and at least to me it feels quite young and fresh (but still serious and intelligent) in one, and quite classical (if still fresh and witty) in the other. Different, is my point.

"try horizontal scaling your text type"
?!

Regarding Scala: Nobody typesets AaBbCc, so the font's never going to look like that. This is what I was looking at:
[Edit, I just remembered I'll be sued or something if I post samples off Myfonts, so just do one with "The quick brown fox" yourself. :-| ]

Nick Shinn's picture

?!

Don't knock it till you've tried it :-)

merkri's picture

I know Archer is being a bit overdone now, but what about that?

M.A.S.'s picture

As Nick said, showing words would be more helpful. I'm actually digging the original Bryant/Officina Serif pairing though.

merkri's picture

I just had the strange weird experience of waking up and looking at the Meta pairing and liking it. I agree that more text would be helpful, for the reasons Nick mentions.

Bendy's picture

Hmm, yes, this is the difficulty, that I can't set more text without licensing it and don't want to licence it unless I'm sure I'm going to use it. It works for me, so I might just get the regular weight as a test.

Addison Hall's picture

Give Candida a try. It has that same geometric roundness, and it has a friendly appearance.

http://new.myfonts.com/fonts/bitstream/candida/

You may even like Proxima Nova for text (and Bryant for display).

Addison Hall's picture

Bryant and Candida:

nina's picture

I'm worried… Candida looks like it could hurt cuddly Bryant.
And those "a"s don't mesh, to my eye. YMMV of course, salt, &c.

Ben, I'd say Whitman, Meta and Officina look like they could be good matches. I agree with Jos though that both latter ones look very narrow. But I'm personally partial to wider fonts so maybe there isn't objectively a problem there.

Bendy's picture

I quite like Candida and it crossed my mind before, but I'm not really looking for a geometric partner. Thinking that a slab might work, I just licensed Stag...I've been wanting an excuse for a while...see the pdf attached up top.

nina's picture

Is this Bryant's original fitting in the sample just above this post? That "bur" looks er, interesting.

FWIW. I think your PDF is quite nice! Stag seems serious enough to rein in Bryant's chubby cuteness.
Personally, I'd make the subheads bolder. And/or bigger; or the text smaller.
The text seems louder now than the titles; I think the whole thing still looks a bit unbalanced. Actually, if you can't make them sing together, I think I'd let go of the idea that the logo font needs to figure in the typography. It might seem forced if it doesn't flow.
Note, this probably sounds worse than I actually think it is.
*
"I’m not really looking for a geometric partner"
Be sure to hold on to this phrase, in case Typophile will hold a t-shirt contest again. :-)

Bendy's picture

Ahaha! Yep, that's another unwitting disclosure!

I think that's the original metrics on Bryant, unless I inadvertently had optical spacing switched on in PS.

I too was worried about the relative importance of the headings. I'll see what happens with Bryant Medium and Bold and larger sizes. I find the heavier weights a bit too sausagey for my taste. Thanks for that suggestion, I think you're right anyway.

paragraph's picture

Talking of Bryant, Bendy, did you consider Quicksand, a freebie?

Bendy's picture

No, I didn't think of that one, I tend to overlook free fonts for one reason or another. It looks like there may be spacing issues and problems with Euro and %. The numerals don't quite look so polished either IMO.

Addison Hall's picture

Candida wouldn't hurt a fly! ;)

Just one other suggestion -- take a look at the Century-type fonts, particularly Century Schoolbook and Excelsior (ok, that one's a newspaper type). I've always liked Excelsior for its wide stance, and I think it may look nice with Bryant.

merkri's picture

I agree with the slabby thing, but I'm not so sure about Stag. For some reason it looks too squarish to me next to Bryant.

The more I look at the Meta and Officina the more I like them. I could imagine them both working, depending on the setting.

Randy's picture

Chaparral? And Altaira is right on about the pdf.

kentlew's picture

Ben -- Don't mean to hard-sell you, but if you'd be interested in seeing your test layout letter with Whitman in place of Stag, just drop me a note offline with your e-mail address and I'll gladly send you a PDF of it. No obligations.

-- Kent.

Bendy's picture

Thanks Kent, that's kind of you, I'll drop you an e-mail. I just had another look at Whitman and I must say the Modern style has suddenly grown on me after leaving me cold for years. And it certainly does look very nice with Bryant :)

(I still think it looks quite formal and elegant so may not be exactly right for this brochure, unfortunately)

Seems like there's agreement that Officina Serif works well against Bryant, but is it suitable for long, body copy?

Bendy's picture

New pdf using Meta Serif book, attached to the OP up top.

Please don't concentrate on the typos and rather repetitive copy; I typed at 120 mph so it's just for an idea what it's going to be used for :)

eliason's picture

I'm afraid the tight- and narrowness of Meta make Bryant look more childish or airheaded than you would want, IMO.

nina's picture

I agree with Craig. Meta looks like it's holding its breath and being super-serious, while Bryant looks donut-y and childish. Looks like a pretty strange combo, hmm…

Bendy's picture

I'm feeling more inclined to use Stag. Officina looks a bit too typewritery.

Bryant medium is too sausagey, the regular weight pairs better with both Meta and Stag, but I'm still finding this a real challenge... :(

Is this a common predicament for typographers?

nina's picture

Are you required to use Bryant in the typography just because it's in the logo?
It seems more and more like it's part of the problem rather than the solution.

Bendy's picture

No, it's not necessary but I thought it would be good to try and use Bryant since we have licensed the whole family! But I agree, it is proving very awkward to use for an un-expert like me ;)

Bendy's picture

Here's a draft layout showing Bryant with Stag...decided not to use Bryant for subheads as the regular only seems to work large and the heavier weights are too sausagey. This looks nice printed.

(And yes, I'm working in RGB colourspace as this will be an online brochure too, will convert to CMYK before sending to print.)

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