What to do when using only two fonts doesn't seem to work

cjmacfad's picture

I previously asked a question about using two different sans serifs, but I don't want that to turn into a "don't pair two sans serif" argument, so I'll try to come at it from a different angle.

I'm designing a book layout for an industrial design portfolio. I'm going for a modern appearance. I want to use a thick geometric sans serif like Gotham Ultra for headings, and either Mercury or Miller for body copy such as multiple paragraphs of text. My problem is what to use for a collection of only a few sentences? I like the look of a sans serif, but gotham doesn't look appropriate. Do I use a different sans serif all together that works for headings and body copy? Do I keep Gotham and use the serif anyways? Do I just use gotham for body copy? Or is it acceptable to use a second sans serif such as Benton Sans or Whitney as long as I keep the headings in all caps?

Gotham and Benton Sans69.05 KB
Gotham and Whitney72.67 KB
Alright Sans68.46 KB
johnerikB's picture

By a collection of a few sentences, do you mean pull quotes, etc? I may get flayed for saying so (I am a noob typesetter in the real world and a noob on this board), but I think Avenir looks good in sentence case (initial uppercase followed by lower) alongside all-caps Gotham headlines, and yeah, I'm not that sold on Gotham in sentence case.

cjmacfad's picture

I understand that it's confusing. I couldn't insert an image for whatever reason, but I've included what I'm trying to refer to in the attachments. I'm only planning on using a serif for a couple pages at the end and beginning of the portfolio, that are in paragraph form. The majority of the text in the portfolio be short descriptions such as this.

Andreas Stötzner's picture

I can’t help the impression that you may got *a little bit* tired of Gotham ;-)
Try this one. There are other good choices as well, of course.

cjmacfad's picture

Not a bad suggestion at all. I like the style and it is something I could use for sure, but not quite what I'm looking at for this project.

I've posted another option (Alright Sans) in the attachments that get's closer to what I'm looking for. I like that It's somewhere between gotham and Whitney or Benton Sans. The Caps are perfect, and I like the lower case a and g, but the x height seems a little too high for my taste. Is there anything else that someone can suggest? Or is this the closest I'm going to get do you think?

Té Rowan's picture

Are the various faces' italics/obliques of any help to the mission?

Frode Bo Helland's picture

Yes, I suggest you pick a different sans that works in both levels. Your challenge is finding a face with enough punch for headlines that still reads well smaller. For a few sentences, like a lead in or pull quote, you don't need go as far as a text face.

Indra Kupferschmid's picture

Alright looks good to me, not too high, the x-height.

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