Choosing typefaces for a magazine

TheFlyOnTheWall's picture


I'm having a hard time deciding over the display typeface for a magazine... (a student magazine, mostly related to (classical) music).
Two images for two solutions... The first one uses Myriad Pro (+ Minion Pro for the body), and the second one uses Fertigo.
Which combination do you prefer?


Chris Dean's picture

1. On #1, I wouldn't go with Myriad simply due to the fact that it's a default fonr for Illustrator thus it has somewhat of a generic look.

2. On #2, it is traditionally considered poor typographic practice to use two serif's (or two sans) on the same page. If you want to go with a serif headline, simply use Minion. It's a great family.

3. If you like Myriad as a sans, Frutiger may be an alternate choice. Selecting "humanistic" looking sans' is somewhat tricky. Traditionally, Meridiene is considered a good pair for Frutiger. And while writing this, I just discovered that Linotype has a font called Frutiger Serif. I have not inspected it, but seeing as they're both designed by Adrian Frutiger (designer of Univers) and have the same given name, I am confidant they are good (and compatible) typefaces.

3. Gill may also be another choice for a humanistic sans (I am not familiar with all thease versions). Traditionally Perpetua is considered to be a good pair.

4. Understanding that the text is still Lipsum at this stage, you still want to be mindful of your hyphenation. Traditionally it is considered poor practice to have two hyphens in a row. You might also want to consider I prefer to hyphenate manually. Additionally, if possible, avoid hyphenating proper nouns. This can make for a pretty funky rag at shorter line lengths. Here's an example I use to illustrate hyphenation gone wrong:

I grew up on 2536 Su-
sex drive

5. With capital letters, it is considered good practice to letterspace (track) them to assist in character recognition.

Overall, the work looks great. A strong hierarchy, subtle and sophisticated and I applaud the setting of flush left as opposed to justified. I'd say you're 99% of the way there.

Chris Dean's picture

Oh, and Syntax makes a great pair for Minion.

Chris Keegan's picture

I agree with Christopher that Myriad looks a bit generic, it's nice, but generic. I think Minion is a fine choice for your body copy, and would stick to picking a display face that pairs well with it. I think Frutiger is so close to Myriad, that it may not get you away from that generic look. I wouldn't go with Fertigo, so if I had to pick one of these options, go with #1. Maybe use Myriad in all caps, or something to spice it up a bit?

TheFlyOnTheWall's picture

Thank you so much for your replies! I agree with Myriad beeing too generic, and Fertigo looking somehow wrong as the second serif... The problem for me always was finding a typeface with eastern european version (so that's why I stick to Myriad often :)).

Gill looks really nice, it was one of my choices. But still, I find it a little bit too serious for this kind of magazine. What do you all think of Scala sans? Never thought of it until today, but I like the looks of it. Here's the sample...

TheFlyOnTheWall's picture

I really like Scala. I think I'll go with it. Any thoughts or disagreements? :)

brianskywalker's picture

I think Scala Sans is great for this. It's fairly neutral, but still has some character and is not overused.

Considering it will be mostly classical music, you could also try Poetica, which works well with Minion, for pull quotes, and perhaps some display (like the name in your example, Mendam Paripse). The additional flavor might be good. Poetica has lots of alternate letters, and a nice set of small caps, with swash variants, if that's needed, though I usually like it without that.

It all comes in one Opentype file, and at about 30 dollars it's a great price.


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