Monday, October 6, 2008

Body Copy

What I am going to talk -briefly- about is body copy. Body copy is:
"The main text found in publications we read, body copy is the text of the stories and articles. Body copy is not the headlines, subheads, captions, or pull-quotes. Body copy is usually between 8 and 14 points in size and readability is the key to selecting fonts for body copy."
Most of, if not all body text should be set in a serif type face. Why? Because this is a lot easier to read in print, it's not distracting, and looks more serious, professional, and finished. If you do decided to use a sans-serif font, I suggest to use it for a short sentence or as an eye catch. Sans-serif font's are also less formal looking than the serif.

To the side, we have an excerpt from some travel magazine or something... (I didn't read it, just liked the layout) See how the sans-serif font for the headers stands out against the body copy, and how the body copy is legible yet blends in with the document?

Popular body copy fonts include: Georgia, Times New Roman/ Times, Garamond, Bondi, and Book Antiqua, to name a few.

Why I brought this subject up is because at my job I have been doing some brochure and design work. Now a lot of companies have guidelines and rules as to what colors, fonts, images, logo specs and what not can be used. This is fine. The company that I work for, has 4 fonts that we are allowed to use. They are: Din, Helvetica Inserat (redrawn Helvetica Black Condensed [Imapat]), Arial, and Trebuchet MS. The later two are for web and email.
Also, I do brochures for another product that we distribute and the font that the guy likes me to use is Eurostile. These fonts themselves are all find and dandy, how ever the are all sans-serif, and all sign and poster fonts. (Arial and Trebuchet are okay for body copy on the web)
So now if you are to look at these in paragraph form as you would in print, they don't look so hot.

Click to enlarge

The sample on the left is set in Din with the Helvetica header, and the one on the right is all in Eurostile. They are both set is size 12 font with default leading. These two side by side would definitely make me choose the Din, how ever the shape of the letters on both of them are a bit distracting, making it harder to read as opposed to if it were set in Times or Garamond. Not proper looking for a high end product would you say?

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