I have been printing several texts using Plantin for some months. All of them have been copied from the Internet (they are mostly articles on topics than I enjoy taken from the digital edition of a newspaper) and then printed on DIN A4 paper of medium quality. I first chose Plantin because I felt there was something reassuring about its design - regular Plantin is satisfyingly heavy and I found its shapes to be agreeable to my eye.
Over time, I have realized there is a weird gap between classic typefaces and modern ones. I find most classics (Garamond, Caslon...) to be exceptionally beautiful when rendered at a large size. I don't mean these letters should be used in posters or any other graphic job at very large sizes. I mean that their character/nature and their shapes just look beautiful when enlarged on a computer screen. Alas, I've already had the awful experience of having to print text using a Caslon variant or a Garamond and setting the text at 11 points. When seeing the result, I feel that the outcome is just not visually pleasing... and not very legible, either. Could it be related to the fact that I'm printing on a DIN A4 format and perhaps creating a line lenght that is at odds with the proper usage of a Garamond/Caslon?
After I revised several of those printed documents earlier this week, I realized that Plantin is most definitely the typeface I don't want to use to print those texts. If pressed to say what I'm exactly looking for, I would say "friendly and highly legible, without being overly cute". I tried to print some texts with the light version of Eames from House industries but I found it too spindly. The regular version of it, as lovely as it looks on their website, just doesn't do it for me when I print it at 11 points.
Could someone please offer some orientation on the typeface I should use?
Thanks for your help and advice.