Cites & Insights 2010: A Third Option?

I’ve received four varied responses to my request for opinions on a typeface change for Cites & Insights.

Based on those responses and thinking about it a little more, I believe there’s a reasonable third alternative, thus this post.

So you don’t have to jump between two posts, I’ll repeat the cogent text from the previous post–but pay attention to the new “What Do You Think?” section:

For the last five years, Cites & Insights has used Berkeley Oldstyle Book as a text face (with Berkeley Bold for boldface, since Berkeley Book doesn’t have a bold version and “bolded” typefaces are inherently ugly). It’s one of the most readable serifs in the business; my alma mater knew what they were doing when they commissioned the typeface from Goudy nearly a century ago.

But it’s also very much a book typeface, a little light on the printed page.

I’ve become quite fond of Constantia, one of the typefaces introduced by Microsoft along with either Windows Vista or Office 2007. I love the traditional non-lining nature of its numbers (to me, they’re much easier to read than modern lining numerals). I like the overall flow of the typeface.

But it’s heavier than Berkeley Book–and sets just a little wider as well.

What Do You Think (revised)?

The third option changes the body typeface from Berkeley Oldstyle Book to Berkeley Oldstyle–the bold version of which is currently used for bolded text.

The basic difference is that Berkeley Oldstyle (or Berkeley) is a little heavier than Berkeley Oldstyle Book. Otherwise, the letterforms are nearly identical.

I can see that one reason people might prefer the Constantia option is that it’s easier to read if you’re reading the PDF on-screen: Berkeley Book is a little light for comfortable on-screen reading (which is inherently lower-resolution than print). Regular Berkeley is heavier than Berkeley Book and lighter than Constantia. (Testing a duplex print sample on 20lb. paper, I find that showthrough isn’t bad with Berkeley, while it’s pretty apparent with Constantia.) Of course, Berkeley has lining numerals, just like Berkeley Book.

So here’s the new deal:

They’re all PDFs. The HTML versions won’t be changing, and don’t use any of these typefaces.

(The Berkeley version’s also longer than the Berkeley Book version; I think nearly all of that difference is because I haven’t redone copyfitting.)

Once again, the deadline is Friday, December 18Wednesday, December 16, at which point I’ll start assembling and copyfitting the first 2010 issue…

And thanks to those who’ve already answered. In case it’s not obvious, this is a real request: I have in no way made up my mind on what to do!

5 Responses to “Cites & Insights 2010: A Third Option?”

  1. Mark Says:

    The 3rd option is nicer for on screen reading as you mention as it does seem darker.

    The only thing I noticed though with a fairly cursory look was the ugly, overly “fat” 9s. Hard to believe they are so different between the 2 Berkeley’s but they are. Again, I imagine I’d get use to reading them though.

  2. Michelle Says:

    Still like Constantia. :)

  3. Blake Says:

    For me it’s flip a coin and go with the heads. They all look fine.

  4. Kathryn Says:

    Oh my goodness, but the Constantia typeface is so much easier to read! It’s really apparent when looked at side-by-side. I definitely prefer that option.

  5. laura Says:

    I’m fond of the original Berkeley, but as I’m most likely to read C&I via HTML + Readability, it hardly matters.


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