Font pairing question (for the web!)

giulianovelli's picture


I am looking at a good font to pair with Vollkorn. Possibly another font from the google web fonts directory.

The font will be used as a support font for meta informations (author name, dates, etc.) so a simple, clean, anonymous one would be a good fit. The website use Vollkorn for all the other text, titles and body, with generous use of bold weight for the titles. The mood of the site is straightforward (the site is about quality content from professional to professional, of every discipline) but elegant (do you think Vollkorn is an elegant font? I feel the italic is and the bulky bold, while a lot "in the face" i think maintains a more refined esthetic than other fat bolds).

Thanks in advance

Frode Bo Helland's picture

Hope you don't have any Win XP users.

giulianovelli's picture

I am aware of the rendering problems of the (mostly non Clear Type enabled) windows XP font rendering. But, if you would have looked at Vollkorn in Windows XP before answering, you would have discovered that it renders good with Clear Type enabled, OK with the standard font smoothing, and a bit less good of Georgia without font smoothing at all.

Vollkorn has been probably hinted for screen and its letterforms shapes and high line–height help a lot with screen rendering. That said, your point is generally valid if you mean you have to look at the fonts in various systems and settings before using it on the web, but is not a universal rule valid for all fonts and all people.

poms's picture

Vollkorn means wholemeal, whole grain. It's a very nice "rustic-style Antiqua" not something i would call elegant in a traditional way. The "drastic" bold refers to that nicely.

Té Rowan's picture

How about Ubuntu?

Frode Bo Helland's picture

I’m looking at Vollkorn on XP now and I’m not sure what you mean. Good is relative, right.

giulianovelli's picture

frode frank

this is a quick comparison beet wen georgia and vollkorn on windows xp with clear type, standard anti aliasing and no anti aliasing at all. Honestly I don't see differences that make me hope no one of the user is on windows XP.

giulianovelli's picture


thanks for your input. Maybe "elegance" wasn't the best word in this case (not native english speaker). As I said I need something straightforward but not too much cold or rational/functional. Vollkorn seemed to be enough clear but not too anonymous (the bold is quite heavy) or cold (the italic has a warm feeling to me) . I will think more about it.

Thanks again

giulianovelli's picture


as I said I don't think XP is a problem here, not for the user base but for the font rendering in itself. In addition the W3C stats are the stats of the W3C website not general web traffic stats. From what I know most of the current XP user base is in countries where there is no audience for my projects; being W3C a global site on average it register more XP user than websites visited only in certain countries. Also worth nothing that in the W3c stats you can see as XP is losing half of its share per year.

Frode Bo Helland's picture

Here's an image of Vollkorn in Greyscale. On my Win PC this looks pretty bad. Both the spacing and the rendering of similar features suffers. That's just my opinion, anyway.

giulianovelli's picture


it's a lot different from the one on my XP installation (the above linked screenshots). I will look into that.

Frode Bo Helland's picture

PS: The gamma differences in Windows and OSX can make samples like these misleading. Another factor that can have a pretty dramatic effect on Greyscale rendering is the brightness and constrast settings on your Windows computer.

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