Register FAQ / Rules Forum Spy Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read
Go Back   MacRumors Forums > Special Interests > Visual Media > Design and Graphics

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old Mar 21, 2007, 04:05 AM   #1
nicrose
macrumors member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Ideal font for white type on black background

I need to put a white type on a black background. I don't have that much room for the font so it needs to be a narrow font, preferrably bold, but very legible at small sizes, such as 8pt or 6pt.
does anyone have any suggestions on what font to use? I don't want to have to spend any money buying a font--are there any free fonts that can work? If there are no good free fonts, what relatively cheap font should I use? This is for an ad in a newspaper. It has to look very good and professional.

Thanks a bunch.
Nicrose
MBP
nicrose is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Mar 21, 2007, 06:45 AM   #2
Lunja
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Lincoln UK
I'd look at Gill Sans - a bit simple but it can look quite effective in print, and you should have it already installed in Word.

You'll be better off going for a sans font I would have thought, because the serifs on some fonts can blur or become less defined at smaller sizes/poorer print qualities.
__________________
"I don't mind going the extra mile... So long as it's not uphill" DF, 2006
Lunja is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Mar 21, 2007, 10:40 AM   #3
murdock25
macrumors member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Helvetica Bold Condensed. maybe play with the tracking a bit too.
Gill Sans is kind of a wide font. But yeah a Sans serif for sure.
murdock25 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Mar 21, 2007, 11:46 AM   #4
xfiftyfour
macrumors 68030
 
xfiftyfour's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Clemson, SC
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lunja View Post
You'll be better off going for a sans font I would have thought, because the serifs on some fonts can blur or become less defined at smaller sizes/poorer print qualities.
Actually I was always taught that serif fonts were easier for our eyes to read, especially at smaller sizes? The serifs help our brains differentiate letters (that's why books, newspapers, and textbooks use serif fonts as a standard).
xfiftyfour is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Mar 21, 2007, 11:56 AM   #5
CanadaRAM
macrumors G5
 
CanadaRAM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
Quote:
Originally Posted by xfiftyfour View Post
Actually I was always taught that serif fonts were easier for our eyes to read, especially at smaller sizes? The serifs help our brains differentiate letters (that's why books, newspapers, and textbooks use serif fonts as a standard).
Yes that is true, where the visual resolution is sufficient to distinguish the serifs. In the case of very tiny type, signage (which when viewed from a distance is tiny and at the limit of legibility) and when there is a background, the serifs become hard to distinguish or are overwhelmed by the background, and their advantage is lost. So a bold Sans font is better in those situations.

How many books and newspapers do you set in a sans? How many highway signs do you see set in something with a fine serif?

To the OP: I am really hoping here that this is not proposed to set long blocks of text in white over black? Hopefully it is headline, caption or call-out items only? Dark text on a white background is much easier to read body copy - size for size. You have to go up in weight and/or size to make reversed out text as legible.
__________________
Expert
Ex = former, no longer. Spurt = a leak, esp. when caused by water pressure. Expert = a has-been drip under pressure.
CanadaRAM is online now   0 Reply With Quote
Old Mar 21, 2007, 11:59 AM   #6
heehee
macrumors 68020
 
heehee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Same country as Santa Claus
Quote:
Originally Posted by xfiftyfour View Post
Actually I was always taught that serif fonts were easier for our eyes to read, especially at smaller sizes? The serifs help our brains differentiate letters (that's why books, newspapers, and textbooks use serif fonts as a standard).
IMO, sans-serif fonts are easier to read in small sizes. The reason why books and etc uses serif fonts because it's easier to flow from one word to the next.
heehee is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Mar 21, 2007, 02:10 PM   #7
iMeowbot
macrumors 601
 
iMeowbot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by xfiftyfour View Post
Actually I was always taught that serif fonts were easier for our eyes to read, especially at smaller sizes? The serifs help our brains differentiate letters (that's why books, newspapers, and textbooks use serif fonts as a standard).
With this case, white text in a newspaper, there are simple mechanical issues that throw all the nice theories about readability out the window. They're running thin, porous paper through high-speed presses, smears and bleeding happen. Fonts with thin lines and serifs will tend to get filled in and become illegible. For plain text, newspapers will typically recommend not going under 6 points, and a minimum of 8 or 9 for reverse text. Bump up a couple notches for color.

They don't all use the same equipment, so it's always a good idea to call up and ask (many papers now put this information on their Web sites if you're too busy or shy to call or something).

It's also not a bad idea to look at actual examples of other ads in the paper, to get an idea of what works and what doesn't work. You'll notice lots and lots of plain sans (Helvetica and the like) for reverse stuff; it's not just a lack of imagination, it survives the process and can still be read.
iMeowbot is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Mar 21, 2007, 08:09 PM   #8
DavidFDM
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Maine, USA
Send a message via AIM to DavidFDM
I would use either Frutiger or Avenir, both wonderful sans serifs. Gill Sans would not be a good choice because of kerning issues. My two cents.
__________________
The avalanche has already started; it is too late for the pebbles to vote.
Kosh Naranek

PowerBook 1.33GHz + 1GB iPod Shuffle + 80GB iPod Video
DavidFDM is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Mar 21, 2007, 08:14 PM   #9
Aniej
macrumors 68000
 
Aniej's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
gill sans is great as well as helvetica
Aniej is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Mar 21, 2007, 08:30 PM   #10
gnasher729
macrumors G5
 
gnasher729's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by xfiftyfour View Post
Actually I was always taught that serif fonts were easier for our eyes to read, especially at smaller sizes? The serifs help our brains differentiate letters (that's why books, newspapers, and textbooks use serif fonts as a standard).
White type on black background. The printer will hate him anyway, but white serif on black background is a nightmare. Ink will just be bleeding in and wipe out all the detail. Big fat strong Helvetica is probably the least evil font you can find.
gnasher729 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Mar 21, 2007, 10:05 PM   #11
macaddict23
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: MacVille, USA
I would look at Myriad or Trade Gothic Condensed. Here's a screenshot from an article at www.bamagazine.com. These guys know their stuff.

__________________
Think Different.
macaddict23 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Mar 21, 2007, 11:58 PM   #12
Stadsport
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
I'm in love with Monaco right now. It's simplistic but still looks kind of stylized.
Also, you might want to do white on dark gray, or light gray on black. White on black is pretty hard on the eyes, especially with smaller text.
Stadsport is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Mar 22, 2007, 09:35 PM   #13
nicrose
Thread Starter
macrumors member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
font issue

Hi,thanks for the suggestions.
Any body know where to get these fonts for free?

n.
mbp
nicrose is offline   0 Reply With Quote

Reply
MacRumors Forums > Special Interests > Visual Media > Design and Graphics

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Similar Threads
thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Reading: White Text/Black Background RMD68 OS X 0 May 16, 2014 05:55 AM
Why font type changes from Mac Outlook to others? kylelawkc Mac Applications and Mac App Store 1 Mar 10, 2014 08:19 AM
change a black background on a picture to white on os x mitch1211 OS X 2 Sep 26, 2013 06:44 PM
Flashing white dash on black background before Windows 7 startup drummerdimitri Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac 9 Jun 17, 2013 09:49 AM
Why did you swap your Black for White, or White for Black? (no scuff stories) super! iPhone 1 Sep 25, 2012 05:16 PM

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:55 PM.

Mac Rumors | Mac | iPhone | iPhone Game Reviews | iPhone Apps

Mobile Version | Fixed | Fluid | Fluid HD
Copyright 2002-2013, MacRumors.com, LLC