Sans-serif body text

typesupported's picture

Hi Typophiles,

My client wishes to use a sans serif typeface for a book project. There are certain limitations on the point-size and number of pages.
When I substitute the serif body text with a sans serif, the page count exceeds the page limit by several pages. I wish to find a sans serif text face that has an average line width similar to serif fonts such as Times New Roman. Can you make a few suggestions? Legibility and simplicity are key.

TS

hrant's picture

Economy is a more complex animal than might seem...

Narrowness might seem like the secret ingredient, but a large x-height is actually even better. For one thing, narrow fonts (like Times) do save horizontal space, but when you hit a paragraph break the savings can disappear. Fonts that are wide can be set smaller: they will appear just as large as the narrower font, and save vertical space on every line no matter the paragraph breaks. And Times isn't just narrow, it also has a large x-height. What I'm getting at is this: look for sans fonts with a large x-height, and play with the point size to see how it fits your economy needs. Just make sure the font isn't saving space by being too tight: that ruins readability (like Helvetica).

BTW, I hope we're not talking about a long book, because sans will not work. If you have no choice in this respect, check out FF Legato.

hhp

Nick Shinn's picture

Here are a few of mine that might do, at the same size as Times Roman.
Sense
Sensibility
Figgins Sans

J Weltin's picture

When set at the same optical size both Agilita and Mantika Sans take up the same space as Times New Roman. Both have a large x-height: http://www.typematters.de/_archive/1

typesupported's picture

Thanks for all the great suggestions!

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