Font suggestions?

NielsB.'s picture


I'm a bachelor in graphic design and I'm having trouble finding the right fonts to design a book about squatting. I'm looking for a good font for my body text & headers. I want my font to be correct in a iconographical way, and I have troubles searching for the right type because of the lack on background knowledge on typography.

Can anyone give me a good suggestion on which font to use on a bookdesign about squatting?



Nick Shinn's picture

A pirated font would be appropriate.

J. Tillman's picture

Nick Shinn, Funny!

NielsB., When you say squatting, are you talking about house-squatting? Or is this an exercise program? Or something else?

More details are really required to get an idea what the book is about. Assuming it's house-squatting... Is it a first person I-was-there adventure? Or is it a sociological book. Or is it from the property owners point of view, or maybe the cleanup or construction or security company's point of view? Are there a lot of statistics? Or pictures? Is it about a family? What?

Who's going to be reading the book? Paperback, hard cover?

NielsB.'s picture

It's a book about subcultures in society. I need to do research about house-squatting and transform it into a well-designed book.

I'm thinking about a hard cover book (165x235mm); about a 100 pages (black & white only to keep it sober). Primarily the book shows a study about squatting, so it's an educational book, but not with a lot of statistics. I am going to explain house-squatting (why? what? who? where?) with a good text and some black & white photo's.

I'm thinking about binding it with a jute textile around it and a black title silkscreened on the cover of it.

J. Tillman's picture

NielsB., It's a seriously designed book about a nitty-gritty subject. This is beyond my limited font experience. A font which might be appropriate for house-squatting might not be elegant enough for your design.

The font I wanted to recommend at first is Skolar, a seriously seriffed, low contrast font, but this might lack the necessary elegance. Perhaps someone else can offer a direction for a solution.

NielsB.'s picture

Thx J. Tillman,

So maybe a hardcover book in jute would be to fancy? Because it primarily is a book that is made for an assignment at my graphic design studies the design and binding should be well done. But in order to compeed with the content of the book I need to change the binding and design? Skolar seemed like a good body text letter.

Otherwise I was planning on binding the book, and let the hardcover open, combined with a sober, maybe recycled paper, black & white printed. photo This seemed like a good way to compare with content of the book, knowing that the design is there to support the content, not otherwise.

Any other suggestions?


Indra Kupferschmid's picture

Great topic! I have experience with house-squatting longer than I have with fonts.

I’d suggest a kind of “industrial”, idiosyncratic sans, like Trade Gothic, Bureau Grot, Bau, Hermes, Venus, Folio, Rhode, Franklin or Benton Sans, Dagny, Titling Gothic, Scout etc.
Most of them have wide as well as condensed styles which should give you enough possibilities for a varied layout, headlines and text, also on photos. (If it was about East Germany, Neuzeit, Super or a similar geometric sans-serif would fit too)
Grey cardboard, black and white photos, recycling paper, maybe some red …

charles ellertson's picture

I'm a bachelor in graphic design and I'm having trouble finding the right fonts to design a book about squatting. I'm looking for a good font for my body text & headers.

This may sound churlish of me, but I'm trying to be brief. First of all, book designers don't use the term "headers." There is a reason for that. Secondly, a book interior is not generally considered a "graphic design" project. (Yes, I know there are a exceptions. Especially for those books whose role is to rest on a coffee table and not be read.) There is a reason for that, too. Maybe a first step would be to read a book or two about book design. If you just need familiarization, Rich Hendel's On Book Design could be helpful. If you need a how-to manual, you'll need a different book. (I don't know of any successful how-to design manuals.)

Indra Kupferschmid's picture

Charles_e — Please keep in mind that not everyone here is a native English speaker. I think it’s perfectly understandable what Niels is asking about. Furthermore he mentioned this project to be a part of his graphic design studies though I would also argue against your opinion that a book’s interior, especially a photo-heavy book like this one, isn’t graphic design.

Als je wilt, Niels kunnen wij deze discussie ook in het Nederlands voortzetten.

NielsB.'s picture

@charles_e, I will keep it in mind, sorry for the bad English. I will check out the book suggestions.

@Indra Kupferschmid, thanks for the font suggestions!
I'm still doing research for my book and I'm still searching which regions are interesting to investigate. I was thinking about Germany, Belgium, France & Holland. I'm going to check out Bau, Bureau Grotesque & ITCFranklin Gothic. I'm not sure about Neuzeit for the entire book, but for the Germany chapter it wouldn't be bad.
If I'm using the grey cardboard I could silkscreen the cover with a nice black title.

Indra Kupferschmid's picture

Hach – that brings back memories …

charles ellertson's picture

Niels -- sorry for the remark on word usage. I apologize. I'll stand by the other one, that a book interior is usually not *graphic design.*

Nick Shinn's picture

Usually I would say sure, allude to the subject matter in one's design and typography.
But here it seems false; radical chic.
Try to find a way to embody the politics of squatting in your production design.
For instance, print your text in the white space of pages taken from coffee table books, palimpsest-style.
Then the choice of font would be one that contrasts with the original typeface.

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