Field Notes | The Nation | Week 4 – Typography

The Nation uses a variety of typefaces. The nameplate is Modern No. 20, a unique serif that conveys intelligence and has a political vibe to it. The nameplate is large enough to grab the reader’s attention, but not too large that it is overwhelming. The typeface for the nameplate adds an elegance to the cover and conveys to the reader that The Nation is a serious news magazine.

The typeface for the headlines were confusing to understand. Most of the headlines in the first half of the magazine, in the Upfront and Features departments, were Swiss 721 Bold Condensed. These headlines are not that big and don’t take up much of the page. This plain, sans serif font did not add much to the story or entice readers. The only draw is the boldness of it. The headlines that use this font are not large and fit into the page in a drab way. This typeface suggests an ordinary story that is not exciting.

The magazine uses other typefaces for headlines further on in the magazine, like Eqyptienne Condensed Bold. This font is more exciting and is an uppercase font. These headlines are in much bigger font than the body copy and really attract the reader to the page. This serif font is a bolder introduction to these articles. This typeface has a more exciting feel to it, especially the all caps. It makes me want to read these articles over the other articles with the Swiss typeface earlier in the magazine. This typeface choice affects reader perception because it suggests that these are the better and more exciting articles.

The typeface used for the body copy is Tyrnavia Regular. This serif typeface is official looking and easy to read. It is a nice reading size, around 11 or 12  points. It is plain, but it supports the news-y feel of the magazine. This typeface suggests that The Nation is a news magazine that is meant to be taken seriously.

The typeface used for cutlines is Nimbus Sans Novus D Condensed Medium. This narrow sans serif typeface is a nice contrast to the surrounding body copy. It is slightly smaller than the body copy, around 10 points, which also sets it apart. The medium typeface makes the cutlines stand out and signals that it is not part of the story. This typeface suggests that the content is important for the picture or illustration.