Megan Taylor

front-end dev, volunteacher, news & data junkie, bibliophile, Flyers fan, sci-fi geek and kitteh servant

La Times got “fonthappy”

Daryl Cagle notes that the LA Times print edition uses 22 fonts – just above the fold on the front page.

Cagle has a great graphic showing where and how the different fonts are used.

Here’s his list:

1. The logo font, we’ll excuse this one.
2. A font that’s used only for the date on the left and the price, on the right.
3. A serif font used only for “Valley Edition,” of-course, the Valley need’s it’s own font.
4. Here’s a different serif font for the copyright notice.
5. A condensed, sans-serif headline used for two of the stories on the front page.
6. This serif font is also used twice, in combination with the san-serif headline font above it.
7. And then switch back to sans-serif, twice, but it’s not quite the same font as that headline font above.
8. Oh! A new font, in regular and italic, just for the photographers credit, and it’s a different font than the copyright notice above.
9. This font is only for the names of the reporters.
10. This bold sans serif font is printed in a halftone gray and would seem to be used for the titles of photos, “Spy Uncloaked” and “Fred Thompson” – but no, it’s not just for titles, because the third time it is used to direct readers to another page, “NATION, A19.”
11. This serif font is black, and goes with the gray font #10; it is used only for the caption under the photos
12. This red, bold sans serif font is used only for the words “Column One.” (A great name for a column, huh? There isn’t any Column Two.)
13.”Column One” also has it’s own, Italic headline font, which is used nowhere else on the front page.
14. Here is a serif headline font that is used only for the Fred Thompson story (it is used for two other stories below the fold).
15. This italic font is only for the words “Times Staff Writers” under the names of the reporters.
16. This Bold, serif font is used only for the name of the city where the story is filed from.
17. This is the standard body type for the text of the stories, we’ll excuse this one.
18. This italic headline font is used only with “Column One,” where the columnist seems to have his own font preferences.
19. This sans serif font is found on the front page only once, with the words “RELATED STORY.”
20. Here we find out what the “RELATED STORY” is, and we find out in an all new font.
21. Oh! I just realized that the photographers credits are in two different fonts, regular and italic, and I only counted one of these fonts before, so I’ll count the other one here.
22. Wow, here’s a giant, red, Italic letter “I” – it made me jump!

This is a redesign of their former front page, which I can only assume accompanied the reorganization of their newsroom.

Wow. The mantra for beginners in typography is “no more than three fonts.” I know you’d like to draw attention to different items on the page, but that is accomplished by good design and use of space and color – not fonts.