• Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,115
    I remember seeing an old thread on fonts with tons of helpful information, but I can't find it, so I'll start another, if you don't mind.

    What are your favorite fonts for worship aids or other projects, for both inner content and for titles/headings?
    (for each font:) Is it free? Where can you get it?
    Thanked by 1tomboysuze
  • I use Minion as my body font as it is very readable with its high ascender height.

    Trajan Pro is a great titling font, but I also use Celtic Hand.

    Minion and Trajan are both installed with Creative Suite, and Celtic Hand can be found online.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,577
    look at old books like the liber or the new missals

    in general a serif is good for reading

    palatino, times roman, garamond, galliard, are examples of top classical fonts
  • aldrich
    Posts: 226
    Adobe Garamond Pro
  • Paul_D
    Posts: 133
    I thought this was going to be about baptismal fonts. In which case, my favorite is Octagonal.
  • tomboysuzetomboysuze
    Posts: 289
    hahaha....so funny...never knew liturgical musicians could be so entertaining....actually, never mind...I did know that.

    Well, I like round baptismal founts
    and I'm rather partial to Goudy Old Style....but I'm very old school....
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,713
    A typical practice is to choose one serif font and one sans-serif: use one for the titles and headings and the other for the paragraphs.

    In print, I'd opt for sans-serif titles and serif paragraphs; on computers, I'd go the other way, because research has shown a user preference for it.
    Thanked by 1tomboysuze
  • Mark M.Mark M.
    Posts: 632
    Bernhard Modern
  • aldrich
    Posts: 226
    Adobe Garamond Pro. The entire font family is downloadable but very tricky to find.
  • You can get Adobe Garamond Pro right at adobe.com. Not difficult to find. If you find a site with it offered for free, it is illegal, and would be unethical--I would argue--to use that in the service of the church.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,713
    Just to provide some sort of comparison, I am attaching a print sample for Garamond, Book Antiqua, Bookman Oldstyle, Palatino Linotype, Cambria, Georgia, and Times New Roman. The text is Adorna, Sion, thalamum (in italics) together with Kathy Pluth's marvelous translation (plain text). The type is uniformly set at 14pt, and the PDF was created at a resolution of 2400dpi.
  • I agree: octagonal is best, preferably in a 'Gothic' style... seraphs are optional.


    And, CHG and KP - thanks for the above! Kathy, your translations do have something of the ethos of JMN about them; or, perhaps, the sensitivity of C. Winkworth.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • I use Goudy Old Style for text, Gill Sans for small bold headings and italicized directions, and Perpetua and High Tower Text for special titling/headings. For a number of years I used Garamond instead of Goudy, but eventually found it to be too delicate, especially the italic version. I find Times Roman to be too spike-y and inelegant.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,713
    I think the Garamond italic is too delicate, too, and agree about Times New Roman.
  • Sorry to revive such an old thread, but I was wondering if anyone knows of a good serif font that includes the stressed version of æ. I have a few fonts that I love that include the usual é ó í etc. but none that include such an accent over the æ which is required for indicating the stressed syllable in chant.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 2,728
    Liberation serif includes ǽ, whether it is a good serif font is a matter of opinion. As do Linux Libertine and Gentium Book Basic. All free fonts, whether you need to pay to get good fonts these days is also a matter of opinion.
    Thanked by 1JonathanKK
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,154
    Here is an incomplete list of fonts with this character, https://www.fileformat.info/info/unicode/char/01fd/fontsupport.htm
  • GerardH
    Posts: 229
    More rare in my experience are sightly fonts which correctly render œ with an acute accent in gregorio scores
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • @a_f_hawkins, Gentium might be the winner. Thanks. (Liberation is not for me.) @Tomjaw, thank you for this comprehensive list. I will peruse it further once I have more time.

    @GerardH, I almost mentioned œ too, but I find I use that character substantially less often and it's less of a concern for me. Æ, by contrast, is very prevalent.

    As an aside, do you all add these characters in English too? I find I can't stop myself from adding them places like, "St. Michæl the Archangel" etc.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,374
    Times Roman fonts were invented for compressing newsprint; one only inflicts them on people that one doesn't want to read.

    Golden Cockerel is a lovely serif font.
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,382
    as to "Garamond is too delicate": which Garamond? System Garamond on a PC is not exactly the same as Adobe Garamond Pro, which isn't the same as the free versions one especially might turn to on Mac, nor ITC Garamond… And EB Garamond is woefully incomplete, yet still runs races around its competitors.

    Anyway, I'm a pretty big fan of Rosart if people want a Baroque-to-classical font; hopefully, someone does something similar with the rest of Robert Granjon's work and with Plantin's, because those are two of the greatest typographers and type designers ever, and both were committed Catholics; Plantin also engraved plainchant.
  • The rosart fonts are very lovely, but they are pricey.
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,382
    As are virtually all well-made fonts. This is the problem with EB Garamond. It is free and open-source, meaning that it is a pure labor of love, but with no financial incentive of any kind, it's not the designers' actual job. There are only so many hours in a day, and things languish or are not seen as necessary, and when they are discovered, they take forever to insert.

    That said, Rosart is not that expensive. One need not purchase all of the weights; text regular, italic and maybe medium are all that one would ordinarily need. Anything above that would now be included customarily, but it's inauthentic to traditional typography before the nineteenth century, so one can certainly do without. You might need one display weight, which brings you out to 200€, and non-EU customers can get the VAT refunded apparently. That's not free, which is what upsets people, but you now have this font for a long, long time, if not for "life."

    Now, some free Google fonts have decent paid work behind them, but the reality is that free fonts tend to pale in comparison to professional fonts. The kerning, that is, the letter spacing, is set by the designer in a way that won't be entirely subject to the whim of your program and your OS's handling of type; EB Garamond has this problem.

    Real small caps are generally de rigueur with professional fonts; it's hit and miss with free fonts. Do you have old-style proportional figures, which can be used as a contrast to Roman numerals? For example, Ps CIX, v. 4 (in old style figures) would make for a very elegant presentation of the introit for the Mass of Jesus Christ Eternal High Priest. Do you like the punctuation? It shouldn't stand out in a liturgical booklet, but it shouldn't be shockingly ugly, and the dagger and start need to be (at least) serviceable, else you'll be borrowing it from another font, which is just ridiculous considering the number of times that you'll use it. The ampersand, the quotation marks (including guillemets depending on how you typeset Latin), and the double punctuation marks (exclamation and question marks, colon, semi-colon) merit consideration; ironically, this rules out Hoefler's Requiem font. The punctuation is too colorful, even though the letters are quite nice, it has small caps, and it has "ct" and "st" ligatures which make liturgical typesetting look just conservative enough without being hard to read, as much as I am a fan of the long initial and medial s that was supplanted by the "st" ligature. A professional font will also have a properly done "fi" ligature, which shows up often enough, even in lowercase when it's not in reference to the Son of God.

    This is another reason why I'm not convinced that throwing our eggs in the Gregorio basket as such is good, not without a substantial grant to study Granjon, Plantin, and other early printers and finish the EB Garamond project, revive actual Plantin work (not the early twentieth century fonts inspired by his typefaces), and to digitize the type used by Solesmes and its associated printers. Why? Those faces were actually used for authentic Gregorian chant and look good. The fonts which would be legal to include with Gregorio on the web are thus limited, as you can't violate the license, and if it's not impossible to use a professional font in Gregorio on a computer (via BasicTeX or TeXLive and so on), then it'd be really, really difficult.

    All free fonts, whether you need to pay to get good fonts these days is also a matter of opinion.
    Oh, I don't know. As I said, I really like EB Garamond, at least in theory, but the reality shows the shortcomings of free fonts. Liberation is a replacement for TNR to break the stranglehold of system fonts and particularly Microsoft and Monotype, with the TNR-Arial-Calibri triumvirate. That's a good thing, but I wouldn't use it for anything where I wouldn't use TNR, which is to say most things, and Linux Libertine is exactly the same. Plus, it just looks so flat, which is a problem with a lot of modern digital faces. That said, I like some of its capitals

    I'm not a professional typographer; this is a hobby for me, but "one generally needs to pay to get quality fonts" is not really just a matter of opinion. Yes, type designers and type experts have vested interests in you paying for fonts, but that also means you get a complete font that is beautifully designed, containing all of the characters that you need, that you get it legally, and that you can get updates, assistance, etc. There's a lot out there which is just bad, which is illegally copied or distributed, or which just doesn't work.

    I realize that this might be scoffed at, given the sorta-libertarian tendency here in regards to copyright, the love of free and open-source programs, etc. but if you're making such booklets regularly, then a budget of three weights at around 50 dollars or euros pays itself off in a year; you can also spend that much on entire families for very good results. Yes, one can get all of the features (small caps, punctuation, ligatures, etc.) in free fonts, but not necessarily in a font designed exclusively or primarily for printing (avoid web fonts, which people do not do…) and for printing documents that are meant to actually look beautiful.
  • That said, Rosart is not that expensive. One need not purchase all of the weights; text regular, italic and maybe medium are all that one would ordinarily need. Anything above that would now be included customarily, but it's inauthentic to traditional typography before the nineteenth century, so one can certainly do without. You might need one display weight, which brings you out to 200€, and non-EU customers can get the VAT refunded apparently. That's not free, which is what upsets people, but you now have this font for a long, long time, if not for "life."


    I am not against paying for fonts, as I already have multiple times in the past. But it's usually more like $70 for the whole font, not each individual style. There's the rub. (I am aware that there are other fonts priced similarly.) I actually use multiple font weights in my scores and worship aid designs, so I would need more than just two or three of the variants; on an organist's budget, it becomes cost-prohibitive almost immediately.

    To be clear: I'm all for people getting paid for their work, and I agree that "you get what you pay for". Sadly, I can only afford a Toyota right now, not a Cadillac, as shiny as it may be. I will probably invest in one of the blackletter fonts once they are released though. I also tried to purchase the flourishes font but the website rosart pings you to is unfunctional to the point of absurdity.