I've been printing some texts these past weeks, as I had some texts I wanted to preserve on quality paper. I first tried the Archer typeface by Jonathan Hoefler and Tobias Frere-Jones. I chose a light weight at 11 pt. Upon seeing the final result, I realized the actual forms of the typeface didn't really seem to shine through when it is set at small sizes.
I conducted a little experiment and tried to give it a go at 25 pt. Obviously, the result is not not be meant for running text in an average book, but the difference is truly astonishing. Whereas Archer seems like a rather run-of-the-mill product at small sizes, it actually reveals all kinds of quirky, cute details and gives off a generally quaint, beauiful vibe when enlarged.
Could someone please tell me why this happens? Are there any typefaces that manage to maintain its basic essence no matter how large or small they are when printed?
Thanks for your help and patience.
If you’re looking for a text face with some sort of character, just test various fonts in that specific size.
The fewer fine details a design possesses, the more it will seem to retain the same essential character across a greater range of sizes. This is why many sans serif types will tend to scale in a neutral way, since they involve fewer fine details such as found in the shape and bracketing of serifs or treatment of terminals.
I noticed something like that when I designed Beaufort.
The sharply pointed glyphic serifs remain sharp at any size, this being a quality of vector-based digital fonts.
On another tack, I would say that the more unique and quirky a typeface is in its basic construction, that quality “shines through” across sizes. Hobo, for instance.