I recently purchased Zapfino, and I would like to know which non-script
fonts would work nicely as a sub-title or body text. I saw 2 or 3
recommendations on Linotype's site about a year ago, but I cannot find that
Any suggestions for companion fonts?
You're right in not wanting to use another script -- multiple script fonts in one document often do not play well together.
I would choose from some of the well-crafted, lighter weight serif fonts that look like they have roots in calligraphy. A few that come to mind include Brioso, Stempel Garamond, Galliard, or Palatino.
For a different, more modern feel, you can choose sans serifs, such as Futura, Myriad or Eras.
The important thing is to keep this other type from overwhelming Zapfino. Use lighter weights, conservative fonts. Keep it airy by adding a lot of leading. Use sizes and weights that contrast with the Zapfino without overwhelming it. Explore the alternate characters that are available with Zapfino and craft each word. Let the Zapfino stand on its own as a design element.
Although I agree whole-heartedly with Neil's serifed recommendations, if you're going to pair it with a sans serif I think Zapfino's humanist nature really calls for something more like Myriad, Gill Sans, or Frutiger. Rotis Sans and Futura would not make my list: too rational and constructed to go with Zapfino.
You could probably pair Bickham Script with Rotis or maybe even Futura, though. It would also work nicely with Kepler, I think.
The language of the text to be set can have a determining impact on the choice of a companion typeface to Zapfino.
If I were setting German text, I would
never pair Zapfino with Rotis. I can't fathom what Linotype was thinking when they put up that sample on their site. For example, the German Es-Zet glyph (German double s) follows drastically different and clashing (as in mutually exclusive, incompatible) design and construction philosophies for that character.
Myriad would work better in regard to that one glyph, although comparing the qualities of sans serif faces always strikes me as akin to debating the comparative merits of different type of enemas. :/
(Yes, I know, like enemas, sans serif faces also have their place.)
I would also want to know the texture, weight and color of the paper to be used, the nature of the text, etc.
There is, of course, another consideration: the message being conveyed. What or who is being represented by the text, who is the audience, what kind of mood or emotion the author is trying to convey...
The fonts used should reinforce this, and not be chosen merely because their design or construction is attractive.