NEWCOMER MARK WEBER sends along this tab spread…with some questions. So there’s no confusion, Southwest Newspapers is not in the Great American Southwest. They serve the southwestern suburbs of Minneapolis.
Mark’s page follows. Below it: Mark’s note to me and a response I emailed to him last week.
FROM MARK: A colleague and I caught your design workshop at the recent Minnesota Newspaper Association convention. Awesome!
Attached is a page I am offering up for review, and an offbeat question with it.
Like many newspaper organizations, we are charging ahead on the creation of niche publications, and getting into design issues that, for us, are uncharted.
One of those issues is the typeface used for body copy in alternative publications. The page I’m submitting is for a prototype women’s magazine (glossy) that we’re working on, and the graphic designer has chosen Rockwell Light 9 point (10.8 auto leading) for the body copy.
Is this an appropriate typeface? We’re looking for something other than what’s used in our newspapers, which is Nimrod.
MY RESPONSE: To my thinking, Rockwell is too stylized (extra long serifs, characters that are too round and geometric) for comfortable reading. There are some sans serifs that serve well for text. Franklin Gothic, Myriad and Frutiger are three that come to mind immediately.
You may also want to look at Benton Sans, Formata, Interstate and Meta. I’d stay away from Helvetica. Although it is highly readable, it also is highly boring. The others I’ve named all have some character in their characters.
What are your thoughts? What type faces would you recommend…and why?