Gotham + Times = legible on screen and... boring?

Joma's picture


I am designing a brand that will rarely, if ever, be used in print. Screen legibility is crucial. It's hard to explain the context but think "Audi meets The Economist" or something like that.

Web-fonts in high volume destroy loading time to a degree that I can't tolerate, so keep in mind that I need a body font that is a system font and doesn't kill the branding.

Originally I had almost decided on Bodoni and Gotham in various weights (Helvetica as a body font) which was a nice pair, on paper. I have since arrived at Gotham Narrow with Times.

Bodoni Bold had caps, punctuation, and numbers that I loved, but as an on-screen font it made me lose sleep. Gotham Narrow/Times is amazingly legible, but seems a little dry as a brand pair. Or does it?

Please offer your opinions so I can make a choice! Was I better off with Bodoni/Gotham, am I fine now with Gotham/Times, or would a third font spice up my safe pairing?


.00's picture

Help indeed. You're the designer of the brand, you'll have to make all of those decisions. Do you want to solicit opinions so when your font mix goes horribly wrong you can blame it on someone else?

Nick Shinn's picture

Unless your audience is typographers, I doubt they will feel one way or the other about whether the fonts you mention are dull, but will be more receptive to the way they are speced.

So using those well-tried fonts will be safe.

However, if you are trying to impress your peers or stave off your own ennui, you might consider something off the beaten path.

I for one am most impressed by people who use fonts I am unfamiliar with in novel ways.

The challenge is to invest the effort in making them work on the job in hand, because there is no easy template, of what others have done, to follow.

Many designers feel that fonts which have not been assimilated into the collective by wide usage have too much personality.
You will have to draw the balance for yourself, between the personality of the font and that of your layout. That's style.

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