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Typeface Review

Paperback

Reviewed by Paul Hunt on July 11, 2007

House was robbed! I was shocked when the last installment of “Our Favorite Fonts” was published with John Downer’s Paperback relegated to the honorable mentions at the end of the article. I didn’t think that was right, so when picking a typeface to recommend this time around, I knew I had to put my mouth where my money is. Even before I got my tax refund back this year, I licensed the complete Paperback set for a personal book project.

When deciding whether Paperback would be right for the job, I took several factors into consideration. First, I looked at printed samples to see how well the fonts function in real-world conditions. House Industries’ catalog is as luscious as an old ATF specimen inset. It was easy to see that this face looks superb in print. Paperback’s handsome appearance is enhanced by a range of optical sizes, so everything from minuscule body copy to ginormous headlines looks clean and crisp. The roman exhibits a warmth that is absent from most faces following the same rationalist construction principles. It pairs surprisingly well with the italic, which is more closely tied to the calligraphic tradition.

My second major consideration was the availability of typographic niceties. Paperback delivers with ligatures, small caps, text figures, lining figures, tabular figures, fractions, nut fractions, an extended character set, and more — all rolled into the OpenType font format.

This versatile family met all my qualifications. It’s appropriate for an array of projects, including my own family cookbook — coming soon in Paperback. — Paul Hunt

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Typographica is a review of typefaces and type books, with occasional commentary on fonts and typographic design. Edited by Stephen Coles and designed by Chris Hamamoto. Founded in 2002 by Joshua Lurie-Terrell. Relaunched in 2009 by Coles and Hamamoto.

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