Body text replacement for Times New Roman?

Community Beginner ,
May 19, 2010 May 19, 2010

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I'd appreciate some suggestions.

I'm typesetting a publication of papers from a university conference (in InDesign CS4).  The publication will be in book format, A5 portrait, and part of my brief is to keep length (ie number of pages) to a minimum - which means many pages dense with unrelieved text.

The source documents are in Microsoft Word and Times New Roman - fairly standard, I imagine.  I find large tracts of Times New Roman laborious and tiring to read, and (possibly by familiarity with it in a certain context) that it tends to look like it was printed out of Word.  I need the end result to look intellectual and business-like, but hopefully to be a little fresher and inviting than I feel Times New Roman tends to look.

So can anyone suggest, please, a replacement face for this purpose?  Perhaps (mindful of copy length) one with similar x-height and width ratio?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 20, 2010 May 20, 2010

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MacEachaid,

There is a number of serif fonts to choose between.

One of the reasons for your being tired of Times, apart from its appearing everywhere, may be that it is narrower than most.

Bodoni, with its smaller x height is even narrower, whereas most/many other possible choices such as Garamond, Caslon, New Baskerville, Georgia, Palatino, and Bookman, are increasingly wider more or less in that order.

But readability is also a matter of letter shapes promoting pleasant and easy reading. One more reason to choose the fairest font, the one with the double name.

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Community Beginner ,
May 20, 2010 May 20, 2010

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G'day Jacob,

Many thanks for your reply.

In  the end, I've gone with Minion Pro, which I feel has a clean look, and a certain style without being distracting to the detriment of the text's meaning.  And the text volume is very much the same as under Times New Roman.

So, how do people choose and categorise type?  Is there such a thing as a guide to type -- "Garamond gives an olde-worlde classical look, New Baskerville is New World Georgian" -- that sort of thing?  Yes, I realise it's broadly subjective, the feel that certain faces give, but aren't there some broad categorisations that can be made?  Or is it totally subjective, and up to the designer's mood and whim?

I imagine everyone has his favourite faces -- my own for standard text is Caxton, but the Bitstream version, which is narrower and sharper than the Adobe one -- but if you want to branch out from the ones you're already familiar with, is there a way that people can get a guide or choose for a project, other than simply trying different faces until they find one they like?

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Adobe Employee ,
May 20, 2010 May 20, 2010

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You might start with

'Elements of Typographic Style' by Robert Bringhurst.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 21, 2010 May 21, 2010

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You are welcome, MacEachaidh,

I believe there are countless opinions based upon more or less intangible preferences, and (only) some of us have a single favourite.

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