Field Notes- Typography of Today’s Zaman

Today’s Zaman uses multiple fonts (personally, I think far too many) throughout its print. There is a different typeface family for headlines, captions, folios, display text, body copy, pull quotes, etc. Multiple times there will be more than one typeface of a particular font displayed as well. Overall I feel that this creates a far too busy page for the eye to move through. However, that being said, there are certain times their font and typeface choices are quite effective. For example: their masthead.

Masthead Today’s Zaman’s masthead appears to be an altered version of Birch (though I would not swear to that). Personally, I think there is a lot being said by the typography of their masthead. In one way it seems traditional because of the serifs, yet in another the extended/ slim characters appear quite modern (as does the continuation seen in the Y ‘). Lastly, as this is a Turkish paper, I feel that with the slight angles in the serifs in the Z and T have a very middle eastern vibe.

Section Heads I quite like the fonts used for the section heads though I’m not sure I would say that they are cohesive with the masthead. The weight of the actual section head name stands out clearly against the slim typeface of the date, clearly differentiating them. This is a strong statement and the consistency from one section to the next make these elements quite readable and understandable.

Pull QuotePull quotes consistently contain oversized quote marks to draw the reader in and the rounder serif font is easy to read.

HeadHead2Head3  These are all examples of different headlines seen in Today’s Zaman. While I do at times appreciate different fonts used in a single publication, I also appreciate those fonts making sense together. These all tell such different stories, one is very novelty-esque, the other impactful, the third a tall font that goes quite well with the masthead and section head (connecting them together). I do however really think their use of color with this particular head was very smart and eye-catching, pulling the reader in. The graphic elements surrounding the “blow to justice” head was also very smart.

Caption Captions used are very simple, readable and a consistent font (see second head above). While I don’t particularly like this font because of the play on your with the altered letter i, I do think their choice for this as a caption font was justified.

Screen Shot 2014-02-16 at 9.06.06 PM Deks These promos are treated very similar, with a color behind the text and sans serif fonts. However, side by side I feel it is easy to tell that the red with gill sans and the blue with the tall unknown font are clearly different. The taller thin font goes well with the other typographic treatment in the paper and the rounder gill sans does not. I would no have suggested gill sans as a choice for this paper.

Body CopyAs a last example (though their are plenty more), I think the body copy font- which appears to be Baskerville, though, again, I would not swear to that)- is consistent with certain other serifs and sans serifs used, most particularly the caption font. Not the most readable of fonts because the sizing of letters seems inconsistent, the font is still pleasing to look at and not a bad choice.

Overall, this was actually one of the weaker elements I’ve seen of Today’s Zaman, however when they get their consistency in fonts correct, they really get it correct and pull those pages together quite nicely.