News faces narrower than Utopia

Aaron Thesing's picture

Hello all,

So, I'm working with plain old Utopia in news copy right now. It is set 9/10 and the columns are 120 points wide. There are plans for a redesign later this year, and I had originally thought to just upgrade to Utopia Opticals, but wondered if there weren't other options for text setting. Sometimes the 9pt Utopia feels too wide (Is roughly 5 words/29 characters per line too tight?), and I'm reluctant to make the type smaller.

So I have been searching and I've come up with:
Kepler Semicondensed Caption (Onscreen this looks to be a better size/grade/weight than reg)
Pratt (Only a pinch narrower as I see it)
Quiroga (Too nontraditional?)

Know of any others?

Recommendations or suggestions are welcome. The plan is to pair this with Proxima Nova as the sans, if that matters.

Nick Shinn's picture

Utopia has quite long descenders compared with many news faces.
Pratt, for instance, has both shorter ascenders and descenders than Utopia, so will produce a more open look than Utopia at 9 on 10, or may be set at 9 on 9.5.

Worldwide is condensed. You could set it 8.5 on 9.5 and have a similar apparent size to 9 on 10 Utopia, with considerably more copy.

For something different, Goodchild is a news Jenson, and has a greater characters-per-pica count than Utopia.

(Shinntype news text faces.)

Igor Freiberger's picture

Have you tried to use Utopia with a small horizontal scale (96~92%)? I had good results with this in the past. Another try is Greta Narrow.

kentlew's picture

Aaron — Don’t know if you’ll like these stylistically, but both Bureau Roman and Miller Daily are narrower than Utopia at the same nominal size. FWIW.

(You can finetune the overall color with different grades. I just happened to pick Two for comparison.)

Aaron Thesing's picture

Thank you all for the suggestions.

Nick — I had not considered Goodchild for news. I very much like the look of it. Are you planning a pro release of it? Any dailies using Goodchild that you're aware of that might be on Newseum?

Igor – I hesitate to scale the glyphs, because I'm already allowing my H&J settings to scale glyphs ±4%. I suppose just scaling all the type from the start would be more consistent. Squishing it slightly just feels off to me.

Kent – I like the warmth/softness of BureauRoman. Unfortunately, both families are out of the budget range for our modest weekly.

Is roughly 5 words/29 characters per line too tight? A rule of thumb I was taught in school is 1.5 lowercase alphabets, which would be 39 characters. I improved the text last year by taking it from 9.5/11 Utopia down to 9/11. The paper had not changed its body style to reflect the narrowing columns (as a result of narrowing web widths).

Thanks again.

Nick Shinn's picture

Aaron, I have a pro version of Goodchild finished, but not released. If you're further interested, please contact me.
I don't know of any papers on Newseum which use Goodchild for text, I'm afraid.
Try this PDF: Cold Type 44

Aaron Thesing's picture

Thank you for that PDF Nick. I'll have to make some test prints and check it out.

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