"Palatino Linotype" Alternative

Hey, new to typophile, but really enjoying it. I originally came here for more selection of fonts.

Anyway, I'm in the business of web design, and I use the font "Palatino Linotype" alot, just love the serif feel to it and that it's a system font so it's compatible with everyone that happens to come across my site.

However, I think that I overuse it too much, and need some alternatives. Have anything in mind, EXCEPT "Times New Roman". Thanks!

Robert Trogman's picture

Brioso Family

oldnick's picture


Not cheap, but not overused, and a quite tasty design...

Frode Bo Helland's picture

Palatino isn’t web safe, and neither are these suggestions.

Below are some CSS font stacks that you might want to consider. I don’t have time to go into all the specifics, but they should all give a relatively similar look in most cases. I have screenshots of the Cleartype rendering, but I’m not sure how well they work with Greyscale/B&W rendering. About 31% (although the number is declining rapidly) sees Greyscale/B&W rendering.

I assume you’re designing on a Windows computer as you mentioned Palatino, so you could easily check the rendering yourself by changing the font smoothing settings.

Web safe font stack suggestions:

  • font-family: Perpetua, Baskerville, "Times New Roman", "Nimbus Roman No9 L", serif;
  • font-family: "Bookman Old Style", "URW Bookman L", Georgia, serif;
  • font-family: Baskerville, "Baskerville Old Face", "Times New Roman", "Nimbus Roman No9 L", serif; (only regular weight and no italics)
  • font-family: Garamond, "Hoefler Text", serif; (different x-height at same sizes)

Your other option is to make use of the @font-face tag and rent or buy a font from Typekit (varying quality and rendering), Fontfont (not cross browser yet, unless you also rent from Typekit) or someone else – a web search would give you more options. Google also offers the Android fonts for free, and they are hinted for screen use.

By the way, your safest bet if you stick with Palatino is to code your CSS like this:

  • font-family: "Palatino Linotype", "Book Antiqua", "URW Palladio L", serif;

Palatino Linotype is covered with Windows and all MS Office versions. URW Palladio L is bundled with Ghostscript and has a 91% Linux coverage and Book Antiqua is bundled with MS Office 04 on OSX. Mac users might not have MS Office, so you’re not covered all the way. What Palatino Linotype does offer is decent rendering, as it has been hinted extensively.

gargoyle's picture

As far as I know, Apple still bundles a well-hinted Palatino with Mac OS X, so I'd put that as the first alternate.

  • font-family: "Palatino Linotype", Palatino, "Book Antiqua", "URW Palladio L", serif;
Frode Bo Helland's picture

Umph. It appears my sources are contradicting Wikipedia, and I’m not really sure which is right.

forrest's picture

What is a "web safe" font?

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