*A False Choice

tp•dx's picture

Consider a scenario wherein a financial services business wants a postcard to send to their clients, their clients being other businesses and organizations in the financial and legal fields; the postcard announces their new level of certification which qualifies them for handling specialized financial services. As a marketing piece it should communicate an attitude of: "We aren't a big business, but we are absolutely professional, have decades of experience, and the service you'll get with us will be top quality, creative, and personal."

Obviously there are many types one could employ here, but consider this one artificial constraint: it is to be either FF Scala Sans or Atlanta. One or the other. Without poisoning the well, I can say that I'm not so much seeking guidance — I already know what I think — as I am curious for anecdata of a consensus of expert opinion. So, if you had to choose between the two, which one would it be?

riccard0's picture

Atlanta could give a bit of a vintage feeling, which may or may not be wanted.

jonathanhughes's picture

Who makes Atlanta? It looks to be just a knock-off of Avant Garde with a few minor changes.

Anyway, aside from Atlanta looking really dated, I don’t think it looks all that professional. The upper and lowercase S in Avant Garde have always bugged me. They're so narrow that they look like a mistake. To me, those characters alone make the whole font look cheap.

To me, Scala Sans looks much more professional, much more clean, and much more modern, without being trendy or gimmicky.

I guess Atlanta/Avant Garde only implies "decades of experience" in that it might look like the postcard was designed decades ago, in the 1970s, when Avant Garde was first popular.

tp•dx's picture

Thanks so much — and for what it's worth, the copyright on Atlanta is Brothers Industries, Ltd.

jonathanhughes's picture

Ah, okay. So Atlanta is probably a knock-off specifically created for Brother Printers.

Andreas Stötzner's picture

There seem to be no choice at all.

SBieber's picture

Scala sans, no contest.
Reading Avante Garde at length is like slogging through mud. It's a capital letter display face. Don't force it to do what it can't.

Joshua Langman's picture

Absolutely Scala Sans. Much more clean, professional, and modern — and, in my opinion, much more beautiful.

Josh

Nick Shinn's picture

The upper and lowercase S in Avant Garde have always bugged me. They're so narrow that they look like a mistake. To me, those characters alone make the whole font look cheap.

They are a mistake in the Brother font. The original S's are much wider.
Why would that company produce what is obviously a knock-off, yet cock up several characters? (R, S, s, y)
As noted in a recent thread, if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, than a bad imitation is no flattery at all.

Si_Daniels's picture

We aren't a big business, but we are absolutely professional, have decades of experience, and the service you'll get with us will be top quality, creative, and personal. And we won't waste your money on fonts. We use "Atlanta", a font we got for free with some laser printers we bought in 1997.

quadibloc's picture

I don't know. I felt that Scala Sans looked too much like other popular typefaces (Lucida, Stone) of the present day that people wouldn't notice it, whereas Atlanta would look more comfortable to the intended audience of people who are not typographic experts.

What I'd expect bankers to use would be, say, Caslon, or Helvetica Extra Light (but not Futura) if the two faces shown were being considered. The shape of h, m, n, and q in Scala Sans looks uncomfortably unconventional.

So, basically, the reason for my dissenting opinion is the fact that the question asked was, "which typeface is more suitable for this specific application", and not "which typeface has more typographical props".

tp•dx's picture

This being the internet I certainly would not have expected unanimity, but this is about as close as one can get for a random and unscientific sampling.

processcamera's picture

Think about using Scala Sans LF. For the purposes of marketing a financial institution, I suggest Lining Figures convey balance and security whereas Old Style figures impart a sense of temporary wealth and over-indulgence.

riccard0's picture

this is about as close as one can get for a random and unscientific sampling.

For one thing, it seems that the consensus (with one exception) is at least against Atlanta.
But you're right, design decisions should be done scientifically.
Ask Google if they could lend you their method for chosing between 41 shades of blue.

quadibloc's picture

@ricard0:
But I'm not so much rooting for Atlanta as noting that the reasons for choosing FF Scala Sans over Atlanta seem to be related to an extrinsic factor not really related to fitness for the specific purpose. Now, a "good quality" typeface is always better than a "poor quality" typeface, and so typographic cred does matter... but since that seemed to be almost the only factor discussed...

it seemed to me that most of the people rooting for FF Scala Sans would have, as far as one could tell by their responses in this thread...

opted for a genuine authentic version of Cooper Black over a cheap imitation knock-off of Times Roman...

if someone asked for a suggestion for a text typeface.

That isn't actually fair, since the current application is a text typeface, and one of the reasons given for rejecting Atlanta is because it resembles Avant Garde, a display typeface. So suitability to purpose was, in fact, considered by some. What surprised me, though, is how little it figured in the comments compared to the issue of typographic authenticity.

tp•dx's picture

Just to reiterate, I was wondering over the possibility of a general consensus among informed, knowledgeable, experienced designers and typophiles in an admittedly constrained example. This is not the same as asking Google and the subjectivity of taste does not preclude the importance of earned and informed judgment. As I originally said, I already know what I think — I'm interested to know what you think.

And it is a fair point that quadbloc raises about the situational criteria. It is possible to conceive of an appropriate use for even the most hideous font (perhaps a postcard advertising hideous fonts!); the question here is which font would you proceed with based on this imperfect information?

Syndicate content Syndicate content