What goes with Bank Gothic?

Linda Marie's picture

Help! I need suggestions for a text font for an annual report that will be compatible with Bank Gothic as the display font.

Chris Keegan's picture

Try Minion.

Linda Marie's picture

I'm thinking of Cambria. It's a little bolder than Minion.

Tomi from Suomi's picture

How about something different: I've used my Tang with Bank Gothic. Because of the difference it worked for me.

Nick Shinn's picture

Bank Gothic is, as its name suggests, a conservative style of sans serif.
Even though published in 1930, widely interpreted as an art deco face and oft compared with the genuinely modernist City, it is a late 19th century throwback style, as attested by the narrow centre stroke of E, the diagonally chamfered terminals of the "rounded" letters, and its lack of a lower case.
So a good text face to complete an authentic retro look would be another Benton revival of a vertically stressed "geometric" style, Bodoni, or one of his Centuries.

Linda Marie's picture

Thanks. Bodoni is too hard to work with for so much text. I'll try Century Schoolbook. Not sure it's the cutting edge geometric look my boss was going for...but he wants to use Bank Gothic because it's squarish and I'm at a loss of what to go with that. Using a serif by the same designer makes sense. Can authentic retro be cutting edge?

nina's picture

Honestly, Bank Gothic hasn't been cutting edge for a while. :-\

You could try pairing not historically but stylistically, meaning looking for something squarish and with relatively low contrast, but fresher / newer?
(I can't think of actual fonts to suggest right now – sorry.)

William Berkson's picture

If you want a squarish serif, Melior is the classic one, though I never liked it. Fedra is a bit squarish and much more fresh.

Linda Marie's picture

Neither Melior nor Fedra are square enough for this design. Forget cutting edge. Think square edge, right angles.

Linda Marie's picture

Any thoughts about pairing Bookman Old Style as text with Bank Gothic as display?

William Berkson's picture

The new Ibis just out from FontBureau. You can be hip and square at the same time!

kentlew's picture

Since Bill mentioned it . . .

I hope folks won’t mind this blatant promotion for FB:

Bank Gothic BT Medium with Ibis Text Extra Light by Cyrus Highsmith

I think it looks pretty fresh; but if Melior isn’t square enough for you, then perhaps Ibis isn’t your cup of tea either.

Nick Shinn's picture

Frankly, there is no serif face that will redeem BG into a contemporary look for an annual report, unless the layout is real wacky.
As Kent has demonstrated, the effect is dreary, in a Dodge Reliant kind of way.

Better to go with a contemporary sans, light in tone. Gotham would work well, with its wide, big-x look. More Plymouth Fury...

Linda Marie's picture

Thanks for all your suggestions. I'm going with Melior for text type. When William suggested it, I thought he meant in place of BG. I realize now he meant pairing it with BG. (I know, my brain is fried over this typeface issue.) Unfortunately, the other suggested fonts did not fit my budget. I don't know exactly what vintage car Melior and BG make but I'm driving it. I'm using BG light condensed, which I find less objectionable than the other weights, and using it sparingly. The layout is NOT wacky. That wouldn't work. But I am trying to make it as acceptable as I can given what I have to work with. Sometimes that's all we can do.

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