What body face to compliment Bank Gothic?

VickersCreative's picture

I'm trying to find a typeface which will compliment Bank Gothic, but I'm not sure how to go about pairing an upper case only typeface with a mixed case one.

It will be used for body copy - paragraphs, titles etc, and extended sections of text.

Any tips?

hrant's picture

BTW, Bank has lc now (right?).

hhp

Nick Shinn's picture

No doubt Bank Gothic’s squareness is supposed to look up-to-date, but to me it just seems old and boxy, like the cars of its era.


City was also designed in 1930.

riccard0's picture

It will be used for body copy - paragraphs, titles etc, and extended sections of text.

So Bank Gothic will be used just for the logo?
I would try something "cut and then curved" (http://typophile.com/node/41687) to reference Bank Gothic's construction.
Periódico (http://www.myfonts.com/fonts/emtype/periodico/) too has nice cuts, but I'm not sure they could harmonise with Bank Gothic's.

VickersCreative's picture

Ok, interesting suggestions... I'll look into the cut'n'curved faces.

Yes, the font used in the logo is established, therefore unchangeable (also not my design!). The secondary face will be use for print literature from now on. Obviously I'm giving more consideration to the fonts used than the original designer!

riccard0's picture

Personally I find Bank Gothic's design a timeless classic, that could be used to great effect.
Unfortunately it has been overused to death not least by every sci-fi movie and TV-show for decades now.

Nick Shinn's picture

Far from being timeless, Bank Gothic is a late 19th/early 20th century style, revived in 1930 for its proto-modernist affinities, I would imagine.
If it were truly, reductively modernist, it would not have the chamfered or angled terminals which are its most distinctive feature, and the D would not chicken out of being a true match for O and C (note that Trump’s City holds the line in that respect).
Another giveaway to its 19th century origins: the short central bar on E.

Its name refers to how this square style was used in bank signage, often in brass. Here is an example (photo from 1905)—on the scaffolding, not above the door.


And another:

Although a sign style, it was probably more popular engraved. As Mark Van Bronkhorst notes re. his Sweet Square:

The engraver’s square gothic has been one of the more widely used stationer’s lettering styles since about 1900, made popular long ago by bankers and others seeking a serious, established feel to their stationery.

Here is another square style from the turn of the century:
http://www.letterheadfonts.com/fonts/hamiltonnailhead.php

riccard0's picture

Far from being timeless, Bank Gothic is a late 19th/early 20th century style

And Trajan is a late 1st/early 2nd century style, but still going strong.
That’s what I meant by “timeless”, not that it hasn’t a specific and recognisable point of origin in time, but that, despite it, it has proved useful in a variety of situations far removed in time and intent from such origin.
And I suspect one of the reasons is also because it isn’t “truly, reductively modernist”, but have distinctive features.

All that said, nowadays I wouldn’t use it (and that holds true for Trajan too), if not for a parody piece.

Nick Shinn's picture

Well yes, but doesn’t that logic make any old face which happens to find some usage at the moment a “timeless classic”?

There was a time, in my pre-digital career, when Bank Gothic and “Trajan” were nowhere to be seen. Trajan had yet to be designed, and Goudy’s Trajanus and Bank Gothic were not carried by most type shops. Some of the larger shops did have Bank Gothic on typositor, though.

This “timeless classic” business is, I’m afraid, a bit of a cliché.

riccard0's picture

doesn’t that logic make any old face which happens to find some usage at the moment a “timeless classic”?

Well, yes. Or a revival, or a regurgitation.

This “timeless classic” business is, I’m afraid, cliché, hokum, platitude, and ultimately BS.

I would just call it hyperbole.

Nick Shinn's picture

Fair enough.
Just don’t get me started on “neutrality”!

VickersCreative's picture

Thanks guys, interesting background info on Bank Gothic...

Back on topic - apart from a 'cut and carved' face, any other suggestions on how to pair a square, caps only display face with a (perhaps serifed) body face?

tmac's picture

If you want to pair your type in a complimentary way, you might try Apex Serif.

Apex Serif is super-elliptical (squarish circle), which would reference the Bank Gothic. And the S in both -- they're not related at all of course, but there's something of a resemblance.

I will try to insert an image now.

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