Font choice

Anyone using Equity or Valkyrie (or both): which do you like best, and what made you choose whichever one you’re using?

I’ve always enjoyed serif fonts— old style, especially—but I’m fighting the urge to break with tradition and buy Valkyrie instead of Equity. I’d be interested to hear some opinions on this. Primary usage would be on the web, though I can see it finding its way into documents as well.

Selecting a suitable typeface is akin to prospecting a fine liquor (hehe). I prefer to pair Equity as the body typeface for company documents with Concourse for the document headings. This combination works exceptionally well, especially for legal documents like proposals and contracts.

It conveys a sense of professionalism and implies that your business is highly competent in legal matters. I use this combination nearly on everything related to the company’s internal documents.

The author already provides a good example; his works heavily inspire how all documents look. Try to read the book repeatedly, three times a week, and you’ll get what I mean.

I have never used Matthew fonts on the web, though.

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Thank you for your great response. Ironically, I ended up buying Equity—the pull of the old-school serif font was too strong. Haven’t figured out a potential pairing font yet, though Concourse is definitely on the list of contenders, along with Hermes Maia.

Funny you mention rereading the book, as I’ve already gone through Practical Typography twice. It’s such a worthwhile deep dive, and both times I’ve gained new perspective on things I’ve done wrong with layouts—digital and analogue—but also what I’ve done right. Matthew’s ideas and pointers not only make sense, but serve to highlight the role some of these old anachronisms have played in poor typography and design.

Your document layout looks clean, readable, and focused—exactly the kind of document I find inviting to read. It clearly shows you’ve had multiple read throughs of Matthew’s work, so well done. It’s no surprise I’m especially drawn to the same kind of websites as well; those with well-balanced text and white space. There are exceptions for vibrant or old-school (web 1.0-inspired) designs, provided they’re done well without sacrificing readability. I suppose the only “negative” to reading PT, is I now nitpick in my head much of what I see. :slight_smile:

Hermes Maia conveys a sense of modernity; my next wishlist would be a monospace font like Triplicate for syntaxes and code blocks.

I have seen that most MB’s sites use serif as the body font. A neatly crafted typeface makes the sans-serif vs serif argument on screen a bit irrelevant nowadays, IMHO.

That’s my only “hesitation” around Hermes—pairing a modern font with something classic. Though I suppose it could be seen as an intentional choice to have those two play against each other. To be fair, I had looked at Futura as another possibility, which is also a super modern design.

I agree that a better and well-proportioned sans font can be very readable. For me however, it goes beyond preferring a classic typeface—vision is a huge factor. My astigmatism makes it common for me to get halation on characters, and it’s typically worse on sans fonts. I find the glyphs help my eyes to distinguish between characters much easier, since they have better differentiation. The halation effect is more pronounced in dark mode, though I still sometimes experience issues in light mode—even when wearing my glasses.

If you’re looking for another deep dive, read up on light vs. dark modes and their respective influence on typography. Talk about a debate that will go on until the heat death of the universe.