Coffee-table book fonts?

kaisa's picture

Hi all,

I'm designing layouts for a coffee-table book of very organic photomontages of the rainforest. Some images have text incorporated in them, and some may even have text that spills onto the page.

I'm not a typographer by any means; but I love type and I'd so appreciate suggestions for a text face that could complement such images. Something versatile, with a nice big family? Flourishes... It may (or may not) even be appropriate to experiment with fleurons (mmm...fleurons...) to complement the face.
Something like ITC Galliard? Anything by Lanston Type ? (divine fleurons!!!) I love their Jenson Oldstyle but I think I need something with true italics.

Any suggestions you could give would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks in advance,
Kaisa

dan's picture

Kaisa, if you could, would you post an image especially one that already has type incorporated into it? It would speed up the process

Toby's picture

I like it when the the content and typeface contrast. If the pictures are of flowers or trees, and the face is a bit on the Jugend side, it gets too much. I would go for a nice modern text face, like Proforma, which has great abilities

hrant's picture

When you say "coffee table book", do you mean something where people won't actually read the text too much? I'm not trying to be fascetious, it's just the nature of coffee table books - you could say the type becomes a texture, more than a carrier of language.

I ask this because if readability is secondary that would affect the font choice.

hhp

kaisa's picture

Well, it's to be very much a visual book, but the text is very much a part of the message. The two work together - it's not just a "pictures with captions" book. It needs to be both readable and an extension of the images.

Stefan H's picture

Ciao Kaisa!
I'm not sure If Delicato is the perfect typeface for this project, but have a look at www.macrhino.com and find out yourself. It's made to be a typical book face but also carry several alternates and ornaments. Informative pdf also available. Good luck!


application/pdfpdf
0220_mrf_delicato_specimen.pdf (222.5 k)

hrant's picture

Well, there's all kinds of fonts. But:
1) Versatile and expressive tend to be strongly opposed (at least the way I use those terms).
2) Low contrast and expressive can be somewhat opposed.
3) Really large x-heights (like in ITC Garamond) are bad for readability (at least at normal reading sizes).

If you want something mannered, beefy and organic, what about ITC Barcelona?
http://www.myfonts.com/fonts/linotype/itc-barcelona/

hhp

Stefan H's picture

Sorry about posting several times! I got a message "Internal error" so I retried. I'm feeling bad about this...

Stefan H's picture

Thanks a bunch Tiffany!

kaisa's picture

Well, it's to be very much a visual book, but the text is very much a part of the message. The two work together - it's not just a "pictures with captions" book. It needs to be both readable and an extension of the images.
Is there such a font as: Versatile, large x-height, perhaps something not high-contrast, readable yet expressive??

kaisa's picture

Mmmm...I like Delicato!
Hrant - how do you think Barcelona would hold up in an essay?
Thanks for these suggestions, guys!

pablohoney77's picture

do you know if you want a serif or a sans?
Personally i would think a serif would make for a richer image. I would suggest Emigre's Mrs. Eaves but it may be a bit overused (and I hear its not to great for long passages of text).
I would definately look at some stuff from Storm. I always get an exotic vibe from their stuff that i think would go well with a book on rainforests. Some suggestions from their library Serapion, Mediaeval, Biblon, or for a nice clean look Andulka.

kaisa's picture

Yes, Paul, I love Mrs Eaves too but was put off in that it's been overused. I agree with you - I think it will need to be a serif face.

pablohoney77's picture

oooh, if you like Mrs. Eaves, i just posted some good alternates (IMO) above.

kaisa's picture

Great suggestions, Paul. Know if any come in OpenType?

kaisa's picture

There's a few essays, of a few pages each, and perhaps a paragraph or two per page.

hrant's picture

> how do you think Barcelona would hold up in an essay?

By "hold up" do you mean in terms of extended reading?
I think if it's a short piece and you set it at a smallish point size it'll manage.

hhp

pablohoney77's picture

Kaisa,
Here's info on formats and platforms.
http://www.stormtype.com/fonts.html
apparently no OT yet. do you need an OT font?

kaisa's picture

Yes, I quite like Barcleona but I might develop a nervous tic or something after setting or reading a bit of text in it. I very much like Delicato, the suggested Storm fonts and Atma.
I'd like to try to get an OpenType font so I can use lovely ligatures and such in InDesign easliy. But if it's a choice between a really exceptional font and a not-so OT font, I'd choose the exceptional one.

kaisa's picture

Thanks Stephen; silly me - I should have looked up the OT fonts at Adobe first!

hrant's picture

I could agree that Barcelona is a bit much, but Jenson is a bit little. Too refined, not expressive enough. I really think the readability factor is being over-estimated here, even though we might all like to think that many people read all the text in a coffee table book. I think this is a good opportunity to get a bit funky.

BTW, here's something interesting:
http://www.myfonts.com/fonts/paratype/etienne/
The bold could even serve as a titling companion to Barcelona.
Or maybe this:
http://www.myfonts.com/fonts/paratype/lehmann/
:->

hhp

kaisa's picture

Thanks, Hrant, I like your point.

dan's picture

Hrant: "I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now"

kaisa's picture

I wish I was brave or competent enough to set something like Barcelona in this situation. I just don't think I know enough about typogrpahy to do it...
I think I'm leaning towards Serapion.
When I get some layouts done, would I be able to show you guys and get you to critique it??

pablohoney77's picture

When I get some layouts done, would I be able to show you guys and get you to critique it??

definately! there's a section for typesetting in the crit section. we'd love to see your work. And there are so many helpful people on here, it's a great way to have your stuff looked at by a fresh set of eyes.

Miss Tiffany's picture

Don't worry Stefan, I will clean up after you. ;)

Miss Tiffany's picture

Kaisa, how much text is there? Just one paragraph per page? Small text or large text?

Stephen Coles's picture

Another nice alternative to Mrs. Eaves is the very versatile FF Atma.
Interview with designer Alan Greene.

Stephen Coles's picture

And for "mannered, beefy and organic", Barcelona is a little too
wacky for text. Have a look at Mendoza.

Stephen Coles's picture

Just saw that you are a fan of Jenson. Can't believe no one's
mentioned Adobe's Jenson Pro. It's OT and a dream to use in
InDesign. This was even mentioned a few weeks ago here in
another thread during which Yves Peters and I soiled our pants
going on about the wonder of Jenson Pro's OT features.

The design is a bit on the antique side, but if you're not worried
about being modern in this piece I think it's just the ticket.

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