What serif faces go with Interstate?

capthaddock's picture

I'm looking for a good text face for the ID system of an orthodontic software company.

Interstate is used in the logo and elsewhere. I suppose the serif face needs to be modern and have a high x-height, but beyond that, I could use suggestions. Thanks!

Paul

keith_tam's picture

Maybe Proformer? Or Miller? Or Charter?

hrant's picture

Maybe a [docile] Egyptian?
I know it seems like I'm thinking: slabs = teeth :-) but honestly no!

hhp

hrant's picture

Hey, what do you guys think about this?
http://www.myfonts.com/fonts/dtptypes/vigor-dt/

hhp

jfp's picture

Why trying emulated the geometric non contrasted stuff in a serif counterpart?

Interstate, is like Futura. Fit with many good classic families, from Garamond (one of the good one!) to Bodoni (same here!). Not at all with a contemporary serif family.

You need to create a contraste rather than destroy it.

Caecilia or "Thesis" Serif are not all a good choice to me (sorry Stephen, generally I agree with you, not here)

Perhaps FF Celeste if you really want something "new."

jfp's picture

off topic:
http://www.myfonts.com/fonts/dtptypes/garamond-nine-six-dt/

about dtp types, I have strange feelings about vigor, seems a versions of Thesis.

and same feeling with this one, another revival of Sabon (but non authorized in some ways?)

interesting to start a new topic?

jfp's picture

ok stephen, you right, and my next post confirm that we agree again! :-)

hrant's picture

> Fit with many good classic families

I think there's such a thing as too much contrast, no?

> seems a versions of Thesis

And from what I understand Caflisch thinks Thesis is a version of Caecilia! :-/ I don't.

hhp

capthaddock's picture

Hm.. after getting no ideas the first week, I was going to go with Cronos. Kind of goes against my theory of needing a serif face, but I thought it looked okay next to Interstate.

hrant's picture

No, man, don't do that... If you must, use Today Sans.
But don't use a sans. Well, if you must, maybe Franklin Gothic?

Hey, I got it! Use Patria:
http://www.typophile.com/forums/messages/29/805.html
:->

Or really, any somewhat rigid wedge-serif (thanks, John H) design, like Le Monde Courier?

hhp

capthaddock's picture

I like Patria. :-) But is it for sale?

Paul

PS Hrant, I wish you'd put more of your designs on the Microfoundry website.

marcox's picture

I'd pair Interstate with a serif that has a little heft and character of its own. Cronos seems too mushy and feminine to stand up to the crispness of Interstate. What about Bembo, or Scala, or Miller, or even Hrant's fave, Egyptienne?

Or try an earthy serif like Adobe Caslon. Or go entirely post-modern and pair it with Filosofia.

keith_tam's picture

I really don't think Cronos works at all

hrant's picture

> I think Interstate works quite well for text.

Yeah. About 2 lines worth.

hhp

jfp's picture

Adobe Caslon and Filosofia seems good choices.

As Hrant pointed out about LM Courrier, and I'm there, I'm happy to do some pdf sample with some of your specs, just tell me or send me a file, privately.

The best will be a AI file with some Interstate tranformed as path, to let me compose same text in LM courrier on same page?

Bald Condensed's picture

Keith, I must agree with Hrant here. Interstate looks pretty rigid and unwieldy in text settings, a bit like looking at a fence when driving by: the rhythm just smacks you in the eyes. I did some try-outs just when we purchased our licenses, and I abandoned the idea very fast.

But maybe you've seen examples where it does work. Please prove me wrong, because I'm really interested.

JF, tu poss

Bald Condensed's picture

Oh yeah, to return to the topic: we used Interstate as a headline face in combination with Proforma and FF Scala, and it both worked fine. I agree with Keith's suggestions at the beginning of the thread: ITC Charter also looks a sound advice. I haven't set Miller yet.

Bald Condensed's picture

Paul: Cronos is a big no-no. Today Sans is the reason why. I agree with Hrant. And with Marc.

jfp's picture

Yves, Interstate is more and more used in France when its not FF Din, hum. In T

keith_tam's picture

Yves, maybe you're right. I've never used it myself, so who am I to say that? A larger leading might work better, or maybe even slight tracking? I don't know. I don't think I would pair it up with another sans though. In one of the examples in Roger Black's book 'Web sites that work', Interstate is paired with Miller and it works very nicely.

capthaddock's picture

JFP: I might take you up on your offer and send you an AI file.

I find it weird that the French like using such blatantly foreign faces as DIN and Interstate. Here in Canada, no one uses Interstate that I've seen (except for highway signs! but they came first).

I used it for this project because my client is American, and I like its modernity and honesty.

Paul

keith_tam's picture

Paul: We do see Interstate quite often in Canada. Vancouver Magazine uses it, and I think you're right that it's almost too American. But the reality is that we don't have that many Canadian typefaces. We should have our own Canadian highway type, don't you think?

keith_tam's picture

Don't get me wrong though. I really like Interstate as a typeface. There's something really urban and honest about it. It's funny how Sainsbury's, a big UK supermarket chain, is using Interstate for all its packaging and ads.

capthaddock's picture

Keith: I highly agree, we should have our own highway type.

It would also be nice to have more of our own typefaces for other signage, newspapers, books, etc.

Paul

karen's picture

>In one of the examples in Roger Black's book 'Web sites that work', Interstate is paired with Miller and it works very nicely.

Hmm, interesting. When Roger Black redesigned my local paper (the printed version, of course) in 98/99 he used Interstate as the primary sans and paired it with Garamond. They have used Plantin and Century Schoolbook on some previous incarnations of the paper.

The way they used it, Interstate is rarely used for more than three lines of text, in headlines or the stand-first. But sometimes they do go berserk and use it in a whole sidebar.

Recently, they have started using the whole gamut of widths and weight. Very distracting, IMO. They should just stick to what I think is the original Interstate, the Regular Condensed. Funny, when I first noticed Interstate, I don't remember it having so many weights and widths. Were those added later?

hrant's picture

The original Interstate is the "Series E Modified" here:
http://members.aol.com/rcmoeur/alphabet.html

hhp

Bald Condensed's picture

Karen, as Interstate became wildly popular, they expanded the family in 1999 to the current number of styles to meet popular demand for italics and lighter and bolder weights. You really can't blame them for that, it's a real money-earner. Some purists might argue that it dilutes the original concept, but it was an interpretation to start with, so...

From the Font Bureau, Inc. website:

Familiarity is the foundation of legibility, lending this sans serif a strong edge as one of the most legible faces. Interstate is based on the signage alphabets of the United States Federal Highway Administration, alphabets that we read every day as we drive. Tobias Frere-Jones designed Interstate in 1993-94 and, with the assistance of Cyrus Highsmith, has expanded it into a plethora of enticing text and display styles; FB 1993-99

karen's picture

Only Bold and the Bold Condensed are true to the spirit of FHWA Series E (modified) (aptly and thankfully renamed Highway Gothic by the computer company who digitized the face).

Following Hrant's link, I got this:
The reason Series E Modified is called 'modified' is because the letter stroke (width of lines making up letter) is modified to be 20% of the letter height. The lower case loop height for Series E modified is 75% of the upper case height.

Now none of the Interstates follow that specification. Except for the Bold, Bold Condensed and possibly the Regular and Regular Condensed. It's silly to name a font Interstate and the add on illegible hairline weights, don't you think?

hrant's picture

> it was an interpretation to start with

"Interpretation" is generous.

>> "Familiarity is the foundation of legibility, lending this sans serif a ....

I really like FB overall, but this is just hogwash.

hhp

jfp's picture

To tell you my truth too, I really don

cchs's picture

> I think Interstate works quite well for text.
> Yeah. About 2 lines worth. -hhp

Hrant, I must disagree, with respect. I recently set an annual report in Interstate and I have to say it works quite well.

hdschellnack's picture

Eureka would be a good choice. But since Interstate, is like DIN a constructed Sans, I'd go for maximum contrast and use a classical typeface, even with OSF and SC... should be fun. Interstate is a bit overused this days, though... I've recently seen a book by Grappa Oro in Berlin about archtect Christoph Ingenhoven, for whom I work every now and then and they mixed Interstate and Din. Oooouch. And, much as I love the FF DIN, it just isn't the right face for an archtect who is anything BUT Deutsche Industrie Norm :-).

Stephen Coles's picture

I think Vigor is very nice, but it's not a new idea.
I'd go with PMN Caecilia or The Serif unless I
needed a condensed cut.

Stephen Coles's picture

Oh, no. My post is poorly worded. I suggested that
those two are preferable to Vigor, which Hrant asked
about. I don't think they go well with Interstate at all.

I should pay better attention to the original question.

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