Typography: The Dallas Morning News

The Dallas Morning News employs a mix of both serif and sans serif for their publication. Labels, banners, refers, the folio, and all credit and bylines use variations of a sans serif, grotesque-like typeface. This typeface is used in both slab and thin variations depending on the importance of each item. The label at the top of this page “In Depth”, for example, is bolded, while the label above the headline “the news in context” is thin. The awkwardly placed “adolescent behavior” is also thin,  but I think this decision was not a good one, since now there are so many labels and banners competing for attention. I’m confused, frankly, by this decision.

Headlines, decks, and article text all use a serif with a tall x-height.  Headlines and decks are a bold and regular variation of each other. The text type looks similar as well, but looks like the kerning is tighter.

This package shows how the different typefaces work together to create enough contrast between items, and yet still be part of the design package. The bylines, employing the bold sans serif, is also put into all upper case, same as the most important part of the see line, the name of the story. The all upper case can also be seen on the label for the graphic “by the number”, but it is not bolded. Instead, the name what the information is referring to is bolded, but in normal case. The only bold in the photo cutline is the noun at the beginning, which is naming what is in the picture. Again, it is not all uppercased.

All of these changes and modifications with the type are used to signify what the reader is reading and how important something is. The heavy bolded banner that says “in depth” gives that sense of important investigative journalism. The bolding of important nouns, the name of what the story is jumping to, and the name of the writer tells us these parts are important. Overall, I think the DMN uses typography very well as far as using flexible typefaces that can be used in various parts of the paper. There is enough contrast to tell the difference between different areas, but they are simple enough to not distract the reader from the content.

This is the biggest takeaway I’m getting from this assignment. I want to use functional typography that looks good and clean, but that doesn’t distract the reader.

luisrendon