Narrow Fonts

“All about Narrow Fonts”

 

One of the main reasons for using Condensed fonts is to save space. That stated, design aspects may also play a role; the extremely narrow fonts have an entirely unique character.

In the following, we introduce the fonts that we have put together in our Narrow Fonts Selection: You get seven top fonts, which cover various styles and applications, at the sensational price of only 39 Euros.* This saves you 182 Euros off the normal price of these fonts!
(offer valid until 5/29/2014)

In texts like newspapers and magazines, space is very limited and expensive. Fonts with reduced spacing enable you to add more information and make better use of the available space. There is one caveat, however: the narrower a font is, the more difficult it is to read. If you use a larger font size to compensate for this decrease in legibility, you lose the additional space once again. For this reason, good magazine fonts find a compromise, and are legible in the smaller sizes.

A great example is the Monotype Grotesque Extra Condensed. The story of this sans serif goes back to the start of the 20th century; the font was among the first commercially successful sans serif fonts. The letter forms and the contrast in the weights recall an Antiqua and lessen somewhat the austere character of the Monotype Grotesque. Its good legibility and neutral look and feel opens the font to a wide spectrum of applications. The very narrow appearance of the Extra Condensed style makes for a great figure in text sizes.


Helvetica from Max Miedinger is similar to the Monotype Grotesque in its design. Both fonts orient themselves by the same predecessors from the 19th century. Font designer Tom Grace recently expanded Neue Helvetica with new, extra-narrow Compressed styles. In contrast to Monotype Grotesque, which only has one style, Neue Helvetica Compressed is available in eight weights, including a very delicate and noble Thin style.


Somewhat capricious letter forms with a high degree of contrast in the weights lend Norbert Reinersʼ Linotype Octane Regular a very distinct and unique character. Truncated tops and square dots serve for a certain clichéd hardness in the font. Even though Linotype Octane is most certainly not a reading font, it is legible even in smaller font sizes, thanks to its large x-height. This means it can definitely be used in shorter texts.



Outside of the realm of the small font sizes, the narrow fonts have more room to play in terms of design. In headlines and on posters, fonts have the chance to put their slender character to use as a design trait which in some cases is used to the extreme and in the smaller font sizes is absolutely illegible.

As a sans serif, Anzeigen Grotesk from the Haas Type Foundry draws on the first two Grotesque fonts. The strong letters, which are equipped with only minimal contrast in the weight, are legible even in small font sizes but were developed for job composition. The extreme x-height of Anzeigen Grotesk, which practically goes as high as the capital letters, is very distinct. This font feels most at home in the larger font sizes.


The extremely narrow ITC Roswell Two from Jim Parkinson is definitely illegible in the small font sizes. Curves that tilt inwards somewhat, for example in the case of “a” or “c”, and capricious forms as in the case of “f” lend ITC Roswell Two an individual, almost futuristic character, which is best suited to posters, in particular. The name, by the way, comes from the city of Roswell, New Mexico, the location of a UFO crash, according to legend.


While Monotype Design Studios designed Binner Gothic around 1900, the designed Grotesque nonetheless has a very modern appearance. In the upper-case, an extremely high median reinforces the very tall character of the extremely narrow letters. Round dots and slanted line ends in the lower-case lend the slightly technical font some liveliness.



The last font we’d like to introduce is Facade, from Steve Matteson. Small serifs, rounded, drawn-out line ends, an extreme x-height and many dynamic details give the font a happy, lively character. The crossbars in “A” or “H”, for example, are set at a diagonal; the upper and lower curves in “c” and “s” are asymmetrical and the number “8” is cut off at the top. This font also shows off its details best in the extremely large font sizes.


Narrow fonts not only save space; the extremely thin letters can also be used for their distinctive character and high degree of recognition value. For titles, large headlines or posters, they make for a design accent that stands out from the rest.
• Gross price 46,41 USD/EUR including German sales tax. The offer does not apply to holders of user accounts, who already receive a fixed price reduction.

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Monotype Grotesque® Extra Condensed
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Linotype Octane™ Regular
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Anzeigen Grotesk™ Regular
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ITC Roswell™ Two
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Binner Gothic™ Regular
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Facade™ Condensed
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