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Space Saving Fonts

David Sudweeks
Last edited October 06, 2016

Made with economy in mind, these examples of typefaces fitting more characters per line and more meaning in less space demonstrate the different priorities that accompany a given exercise in designing efficiency. If for example you run an eight page weekly paper and have nothing to say, then say that and save yourself eight pages. But if you must say something, be clear and concise, set it in a typeface that reads comfortably while minimizing its own footprint, and use the space you saved to improve the reading experience for your audience.

Never put a sock in a toaster

Just about anything Gerard Unger specifies as well suited to newsprint, you can bet it also features an overall compact fit with short extenders.

Dried ball bursts into rage

Note the subtly narrow forms, high x-height, and overall loose fit. These qualities place a high priority on comfortable reading, while also fitting the maximum characters per line.

Technology is no place for wimps

Compact forms, high x-height, and modest extenders allow this easy reader to set nice and tight.

With the help of Paul van der Laan for kerning, spacing and production, Mike Abbink developed FF Milo Serif as a companion for his FF... Read More

Every encounter keep treasure

A lesser-known gem, FF Parable is used to typeset almost the whole range of printed editions of the Oxford English Dictionary.

FF Parable is a versatile text face designed with small text sizes (between 6 and 10 point) in mind, which makes it perfect for... Read More

In case of emergency, run like hell

Chris Burke is serious about making small text work. This adaptation of FF Celeste is just one.

FF Celeste is a typeface for designers who like the idea of a Bodoni or Walbaum, but look for a robust and readable text face which... Read More

Even fools are right sometimes

A sturdy serif designed primarily “for pocket books and budget editions”.

A nuclear war can ruin your whole day

Malabar pushes the limit to how high an x-height can go and still be considered normal.

Malabar is a type family for extensive text. Its design was developed with a nod toward newspapers. Malabar's characters are seriffed and... Read More

Entering shop by stroller you decline

FF Clifford Six very successfully enlarges its gestures to appear normal at smaller sizes. It’s charming in person.

The first sketches for the FF Clifford typeface were done in 1994. These drew inspiration from Alexander Wilson’s Long Primer Roman type,... Read More

Gerard Unger
Gerard Unger
Michael Abbink
FontFont 2009
Christopher Burke
FontFont 2002
Christopher Burke
FontFont 1999
Veronika Burian and José Scaglione
Dan Reynolds
Linotype 2008
Akira Kobayashi
FontFont 1999