Perfect partner for Franklin Gothic?

JDL's picture


Currently doing some editorial design work and selecting two typefaces, a serif and sans, for the project.

I've settled on Franklin Gothic for the first type family due to legibility, style and weight variations, but for extra flavour and for body copy in feature articles, I'm looking for a serif that matches the same kind of x-height and will harmonise nicely. I thought of Caslon but think perhaps the x-height is too small; Palatino compares in scale however I'm not too sure about the combination of style - any thoughts on these or any serifs that may play happily with Franklin?


Nick Shinn's picture

A good place to start font-matching is by considering era, genre and designer.
Franklin Gothic dates from 100 years ago, and was designed by Morris Benton as his update of the 19th century grotesque genre.
So his Century Schoolbook, and Century Expanded, would be good companions, as they were his updates of the 19th century Modern style of serifed text face.
All through the 20th century, Franklin Gothic was paired with such faces in newspapers and magazines.
Other vintage faces that have a track record of performing well with FG: Clearface (also by Benton) and Times Roman, of course.

Miss Tiffany's picture

I'll second Nick and thrown in the idea of using a Scotch or even a Bodoni.

JDL's picture

Thanks Nick and Tiffany.

Nick - thanks for your response, that's great. I always try to take into account historical context when possible, although dealing with limited [work] resources can be a little constricting at times!

Excellent suggestion, I like the idea of Centuary Schoolbook for it's aethitics and legibility, although the version I currently have access to is lacking in an embellished glyph set. Also, what's your opinion of this as a display face? (Character spacing looks a little suspect on my version? Also wondering if it's a little too wide-set for body copy, requiring larger measure length?)

Times Roman may break me out in a cold sweat! As a resort, if I can't utilise Centuary I may have to go with a rather less-historically rich combination of faces available - any thoughts on Bookman Old Style, Caslon or Palatino?


JDL's picture

* And spot the typo!

dtw's picture

...or three (sorry) ;^)

Syndicate content Syndicate content