invitation font?
December 23, 2010 9:39 AM   Subscribe

Yet another font recommendation request.

My boss has decided I'm a graphic designer! I'm making invitations for a corporate event (think conservative-ish, somewhat formal & staid but not fancy.

There is unfortunately a vast wall of text on these things, despite my protests. So something professional, readable, looks good in print, and looks good while rendered in quite a small font size.

I have NO idea what type or style or what looks good. I'm no expert & I know it. So any help would be much appreciated.
posted by peep to Media & Arts (16 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Would you be okay with telling us what kind of business you work for and what kind of event this is? That will help us determine what kind of fonts to suggest to you. On preview, I would recommend using two fonts: a plain one for the main body of text, and a bolder/fancier one for the front of the card and/or header text.
posted by patronuscharms at 10:10 AM on December 23, 2010

Garamond isn't exciting but it's often recommended for resumes, which have pretty much the same requirements (conservative-ish, formal but not fancy, readable at small sizes).
posted by neushoorn at 10:11 AM on December 23, 2010

I'm not sure what program you're using, or what fonts are already on your computer. I guess I wouldn't use like, 12-pt Times New Roman, if you want it to look at all designy.

I'd try for free fonts if budget is an issue. Of course you should experiment a bit to see what has the characters you need (sometimes the free fonts don't include European symbols or even dashes) and what looks good at the point size you're using.
posted by blandcamp at 10:13 AM on December 23, 2010

Response by poster: Financial industry. We are using a professional printer so I assume they can do a lot of fonts I don't have. I have MS fonts only. If we had more time, I could wait for advice from the graphics people at the printer but they are a small outfit and not fully staffed because of the upcoming holidays.

This thing doesn't have to win awards. I just want it to not look like crap.
posted by peep at 10:22 AM on December 23, 2010

For a corporate event, one thing you can do is use the same font but in different weights. For headers, use heavy or black style (think bolder than bold) and book-style for the regular text, with italics and lighter weights as needed.

Baskerville, or its cousin Mrs Eaves, have lots of weights and styles. They are also suited for wall o' text—Baskerville has been used for a great deal of novels (including Jonathan Strange and Mr Norell, which is both formal and staid but not fancy.)

If that's too old school for you, Bodoni has a similar plethora of weights and styles but is a bit more modern-feeling (even though it was designed before Baskerville). Bodoni Black also has the advantage of resembling the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA text on Federal Reserve Notes.
posted by infinitewindow at 10:27 AM on December 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

If it's formal and staid you're looking for, try League Gothic for titles and subtitles. It's all the rage right now, so it should look modern for at least a few more months. Event name, date, etc.

You should probably pair that up with a serif font for the body copy. Pick a workhorse font like palatino or something.

Or you could just throw it all in Helvetica. It isn't gonna earn you any bonus design points, but it won't look like shit either.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 10:34 AM on December 23, 2010

On not preview:

Baskerville and Mrs. Eaves would be absolutely gorgeous for the body copy. If you use them in a header though, it might end up looking a smidge too victorian for a corporate event.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 10:40 AM on December 23, 2010

You can't use fonts that your printer has and you don't, btw. They can use fonts that you have and that you package and send along to them, if they're not standard comes-with-Windows type things (and it's best practice to send them anyway, as I understand it).
posted by blandcamp at 10:48 AM on December 23, 2010

You can't use fonts that your printer has and you don't, btw. They can use fonts that you have and that you package and send along to them, if they're not standard comes-with-Windows type things (and it's best practice to send them anyway, as I understand it).

You can always just embed them in the .pdf also, assuming you're putting this together in acrobat/illustrator/indesign.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 10:56 AM on December 23, 2010

Seconding both Garamond and Baskerville--either would look fine, and IMO, better than Times New Roman.
posted by J. Wilson at 11:28 AM on December 23, 2010

posted by derbs at 11:29 AM on December 23, 2010

I recommend a nice heaping plate of copperplate. 9 pt/11 pt leading, go to condensed versions if needed, and use space after (e.g. there's a little extra leading between each informational chunklet.) but then, i'm old fashioned that way. good luck!
posted by Rube R. Nekker at 11:56 AM on December 23, 2010

For corporate stuff, I always go with Garamond as a body text (i.e. serif font) and Gill Sans as a header (i.e. sans serif). Both of those are I believe available with the default MS font packs.
posted by ErikaB at 11:58 AM on December 23, 2010

Caecilia is my current favorite for paragraphs/lots of text and looks great in smaller font sizes.

No offense, but IMHO you should stay away from the built in Windows fonts like some of the other posters suggested, to me they don't look professional at all. (ie Copperplate, Garamond, Baskerville).
posted by wongcorgi at 12:28 PM on December 23, 2010

Response by poster: It looks like this won't get done until next week, but it's probably going to be Helvetica. Thank you all!
posted by peep at 2:05 PM on December 23, 2010

I'm late, but for what it's worth, I would totally use Calluna for this. It's a free download, just scroll down on the linked page.

It's beautiful and elegant but not overly mannered. I would use the ligatures in the larger main text ("You're Invited" or whatever the header is), then the smallcaps for the body text. They will read nicely even if there's a lot of copy, and they're particularly well done.
posted by ella wren at 4:57 PM on December 23, 2010

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