Which display type features do you find most useful?

Frode Bo Helland's picture

I've been drooling over the Fancy Diacritics group recently, and got to think about what it is that makes a typeface suitable for editorial work. News faces often raise the x-height, retract the descenders and tighten both spacing and letterforms, and wierd (and sometimes wonderful) variants of cap+diacritics are often deployed by the tabloids to set lines even tighter. Magazine type is less gross, with elegant logotypes, ligatures and alternate letterforms. Anyway, let's get to the point.

For the type designer: Which alternates, ligatures or treatments are clients most often requesting? Which ones do you find most interesting yourself?

For the graphic designer: In a display face, what kind of sprinkle do you find most useful in editorial design?

David Vereschagin's picture

As a type designer, I don't get a lot of requests, but the few requests I have received have been for additional weights or alternate forms for "g" or "a".

As a graphic designer, I tend to be a purist and try to avoid "sprinkle" or frosting or extra peanuts. What I look for are a good range of weights (more are not necessarily better - after a certain point it gets ridiculous), maybe a titling style, small caps, fractions, and old-style figures - useful stuff rather than frills.

Nick Shinn's picture

Which alternates, ligatures or treatments are clients most often requesting?

I get very few requests.
One can get an idea of what features are expected in a font (and at what price) from retail sales.
IMO, it's a good sales strategy to load up a typeface with weights, styles, and features, and price the full family package low. This results in a greater proportion of sales being packages rather than single fonts, and larger total revenue.

Which ones do you find most interesting yourself?

Contextual alternates.

sydneynewsom's picture

As a graphic designer, I would love to see more alternate characters for numbers. I often think I have chosen the perfect typeface . . . until I realize I need to use a few numbers. The numeral "1" can make or break type selection. This is a particular concern when using numbers for a year/s.

I appreciate the alternate numerals for 2 and 7 in Eames Century Modern

Santiago Orozco's picture

I have a few request, as type designer the most interesting ligatures are: double g, double e, on diacritics the tilde: ñ

As a designer, it depends of the solution you're trying to solve

Frode Bo Helland's picture

Double g I get, as these often collide. Double e though?

Santiago Orozco's picture

double e is purely stylistic, it wasn't a client's request, It just occurred to me it could be used in logotypes, I have a lot more on paper

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