HELP: Serif font to accompany Neutra

graphx7's picture

Hello all -

Working on a small publication that needs to have a bit of a mid-century modern feel.
Using Neutra for some of the heads and subheads, and I'm looking for a good font to pair with that for the body text - preferably a serif.

There are many large blocks of copy throughout the piece, so I was looking for something with a decent x-height for readability.
I'm not liking the feel of several traditional faces: Schoolbook, Clarendon, Garamond, etc.

Wondered if anyone might have some suggestions for a fresh serif with a lovely italic...I'd be most appreciative!

Nick Shinn's picture

FF Celeste

Alvin Martinez's picture

While there are many ways to build a type palette, one approach is to look into other typefaces designed by the same foundry. Sometimes this will give you clues toward a possible solution. Eames Century Modern (created by House as well) could be a good match for Neutra, evoking some of the attitude and personality associated with mid-century design stalwarts Charles and Ray Eames. It has an x-height that lends itself to small text sizes and the italics are very attractive in use.

I should mention that Eames has a very distinct personality. This may not suit your purposes if you are looking for a more subdued serif.

Neutra also has a complimentary slab version as well, which would not work as effectively as Eames in large blocks of small copy, but may work in a supporting role if you want to give your publication a bit more texture without being busy. Be forewarned that adding a third typeface and making it work is never an easy task to accomplish.

Also look at historical references of work done during that time. That can also help refine your choices in styles since you are looking to reflect that era.

. . . . . .

Building a typographic palette requires a lot of research, experimentation, and looking at the finer details, but I look at it as one of the more enjoyable aspects of typography.

~ A

graphx7's picture

Appreciation to both Nick and Alvin - I was not familiar with FF Celeste, and when Alvin reminded me of Eames, I thought "of course!" Great idea! Off to do some test paragraphs....

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