Like Palatino in strokes and serifs; like Open Sans in letterforms

Amado's picture

Hi, all:

I'm still looking for a typeface for this project.

I love Palatino's readability in print when set at typical body-text sizes, and I find it beautiful and full of character set at display sizes.

Similarly, I really like Open Sans's screen readability for setting web body-text. Print and display, not so much.

So I'm looking for something Palatino-like that harmonizes well with Open Sans. Or, I'm looking for a superfamily with serif fonts that have some of the same DNA as Palatino and sans fonts that the layperson might not notice is any different than Open Sans.

Closest I've come: I'm looking at some other typefaces by to see if they look more Palatino-like to me. Orbi seems softer than Palatino; some aspect that I like about Palatino isn't there.

I thought perhaps someone here would have some ideas without having to search too hard.


hrant's picture

Actually Palatino is a display font. Aldus is its texty brother.


Amado's picture

Thanks, hrant. I see what you mean. (I looked stuff up based on your post; learned stuff.)

I'm not looking for "a near-Palatino that's more suited to type." I'm more looking for a hybrid of sorts.

I find no comments on this site about Open Sans ( I find plenty about its designer, Steve Matteson. Be that as it may, Open Sans works really well at text sizes on the web, to my eye, for whatever reasons. I tried it in print at display sizes, and... just, "no."

So I find myself asking, what if there was a sans face that works well in print for captions, headings, and at display sizes, one that Open Sans could somewhat "pass for" for the purposes of websites. What if that face were the sans part of a superfamily, and its serif counterparts were influenced by the same era that influenced Zapf's designs for Palatino/Aldus? (And if not a superfamily, at least a handsome pairing.)

Does such a creature exist?

typerror's picture

Although it is panned here (typophile) Optima (Nova) is part of that generation... and it was updated several years ago.

Amado's picture

Thanks, Michael. I like Optima quite a bit.

I don't think that's the direction I'm going, though. And someone just nudged me in this direction: they observed that Open Sans is Frutiger-esque.

(There seem to be so many of them these days. I love the face! Except that I like a double-story /g/ (as well as /a/). Plus, many type designers are pushing the x-height quite large.)

So! Frutiger! Or: I also love Avenir! (Though Open Sans has more of a chance of being mistaken for Frutiger, I think.) Especially if I find out that they have the double-story /g/ available as an alternate glyph. Paired with... Breughel? Apollo? Meridien? Frutiger Serif?

What would YOU do? (Monthly newsletter for local Jazz Society; various brochures and advertising; website.)

Amado's picture

paired with

Is Stella a Frutiger-esque, to your eye? If not, what type-design tradition does it get its DNA from? Just tryin' to learn, here.

Amado's picture

No. Not the resolution. New resolution:

Legacy (Serif and Sans).

It perhaps loses some of the Golden Type chunky charm, but it makes up for it -- in spades -- in readability. And the sans, to my eye, does a lovely job of straddling Frutiger and Optima while harmonizing perfectly with the serif.

Plus the wide variety of weights, plus I found Legacy Sans Condensed which looks awesome as a headline, and there's a "square-serif" in the family that looks like it has fun possibilities, perhaps for display use.

This feels like it has been a long time a-comin'. I hope it sticks this time!

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