Using display type for small amounts of body copy?

shielddesign's picture

My work is mainly big headings (80 pt type say) and small body copy (12 pt). However the most easily readable text typefaces don't add much personality to my pieces and since there are only those two kinds of type I have been feeling that I need to add some personality to my body copy (usually only a paragraph). So here are the problems with using display type for my body copy paragraph:

1. readability is diminished
2. some times it fills in when reversed out
3. some times it fills in when screen printed (not the end of the world since my look is very organic)

What can I do?

The only other thing I can think of doing is making the body copy paragraph bigger but then the heading loses dominance.

Please make suggestions!

Nick Shinn's picture

1. Season your body copy with: Drop/raised cap, small caps, italicization, em/en dash rather than comma, swashes, quaints.
2. Experiment with leading and rag.
3. Surely you can find some sturdy body types with a bit of personality! (Hint: I've made a few.)
4. Apply a teensy bit of "stroke" to the text to beef it up.

shielddesign's picture


These are great suggestions.. I have to admit that I don't know what a quaint is?

You are absolutely right about the leading and rag that should do the trick and a few swashes would not hurt either!

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