Visual Alternatives to Times New Roman?

Hello,

This might sound a bit nitpick: I have a paper to turn in, and my teacher demans that it be Times New Roman. However, I really dislike Times New Roman (whether or not because of it's design or because of it's popularity, I don't know). Are there any fonts that are visually similar to Times New Roman, especially since he will have to look through many papers after another, so any deviation will be noticeable.
(I apologise for putting this in the Education category, it is just that it technically is)

Comments

  • Yes. STIX Two.
  • Also: Georgia (or its close relative, Miller)
  • Source Serif could be a good alternative.
  • my mindset as a student would have been to turn something in that they probably wouldn't even be able to distinguish from times despite being a little different. items from schick toikka fits the bill


  • However, your teacher may be impressed if you use true small caps with discretion (some versions of Times have small caps), whether they recognize that nuance or not.
    Sooo, stick to a level playing field for fairness, but also try to get ahead of the rest by using typography. How is that different?

    I agree with Nick's main sentiment though. If they want Times, just give them Times. Also speaking as a teacher here.

    If it hurts your eyes too much you you can always do a font swap at the very end.
  • If I recall correctly, the STIX Two roman weights were based on Times Ten or some other smaller optical size of Times. The standard Windows and Mac OS bundled versions can look spindly when printed at typical body copy sizes. The italics may vary a little more noticeably from Times italics.
    If you’re submitting your paper printed on actual paper, definitely go into your printer settings dialog, max out the resolution setting (1200 if available) and turn off all default ecobollocks. Printers default to printing text uglier than they need to.
    Also note that the Times New Roman bundled with recent Windows versions contains many OpenType features they never bothered to announce. Bold Swash Italic with small caps, old style figures, etc, and various lil shurrbidurrs and astergasms.
    You can get to the swashes and true small caps using LibreOffice Writer instead of Word. Or use Scribus if you want access to more rubbery H&J. If you’re limited to Word, you can at least turn on old style figures in the body text.


  • Other fonts related to Times are Lido STF and Starling. Starling has novel italics that will stand out too much if you’re trying to be sneaky about it.
  • Nick ShinnNick Shinn Posts: 2,145
    @Jasper de Waard
    Sooo, stick to a level playing field for fairness, but also try to get ahead of the rest by using typography. How is that different?

    Using Times Roman small caps is playing within the rules of the game.
    Like using both hands to hold your tennis racquet.
  • Teacher and font-geek perspective: There could be a number of reasons why the teacher requested Times. Rather than try to sneak something by, I'd suggest asking the teacher what those reasons are. If it's the "level playing field" idea then obviously use Times. But it might also be that the teacher gets annoyed by long texts in a sans-serif, or that they are just trying to cut off the old gambit of setting short papers in Courier to make them seem longer, in which case a wide variety of proportional serifs might be perfectly okay. Ask and adjust accordingly!
  • I suspect Curlz MT is ultimately at the bottom of this.
  • Craig EliasonCraig Eliason Posts: 1,398
    edited November 2023
    I suspect Curlz MT is ultimately at the bottom of this.
    Very likely. One goofy student -> generations that are typographically straitjacketed.
  • Don’t you drag Curlz into this; He’s done nothing wrong here. /s

    A possibility not yet mentioned: Yes, the teacher can assess writing with all other variables removed. That has its own benefit. But another benefit of standardizing on a specific typeface is Characters-Per-Line or overall length. Many students have perceived that setting their paper in Bookman, for example, yields a much “longer” paper, with the same number of words. Restricting everyone to the same typeface limits anyone’s ability to falsely pad the apparent word count or essay length. 
  • Lyon, from Commercial Type.
  • Nick ShinnNick Shinn Posts: 2,145
    I would have thought that a comfortably line-spaced “typewriter” font would have been preferable for student manuscripts, with plenty of room for editor’s marks.
    What say you, Craig?
  • In the old printout days, double-spaced Times or the like gave enough space for feedback in my experience. Courier meant a whole extra tree chopped down for no good reason. But in those days, number of pages was the standard for length requirements, and speccing double-spacing and particular fonts and point sizes were ways to take care that all 8-page papers were more or less the same length. It's a measure of the supersession of print that teachers (and professional academics) more often now specify word counts rather than page counts. 
    Nowadays I'm mostly reading student work on a screen, and typing insertable comments rather than marking up margins. For both reasons, I now ask students to single-space their work (and I'm not a stickler for font choice). 
  • Nick ShinnNick Shinn Posts: 2,145
    Movie scripts are a hold-out, then, still with the Courier format. 
  • It depends. Times New Roman Regular or Bold? These are two different typefaces united under the same name. The models that inspire the Regular are from the 17th century, those of the Bold from the 18th century.





  • ...and yet match widths!
  • I really dislike Times New Roman (whether or not because of it's design or because of it's popularity, I don't know). Are there any fonts that are visually similar to Times New Roman
    What I don't understand is that you don't like TNR but search fora visually similar font !?
    Normally, you will dislike it as much !?
  • Typofactory wants a visually similar font to escape detection by a high school teacher who demands papers be set in Times New Roman, with all the arguable shortcomings of its early digitizations. He or she wants to adhere to the spirit of the rule and not the letter. This desire, right or wrong, resonates with me.
  • c.g.c.g. Posts: 53
    Rhymes (Maxitype)
    Equity (Matthew Butterick)
    Helvetius (205TF)
  • Typofactory wants a visually similar font to escape detection by a high school teacher who demands papers be set in Times New Roman, with all the arguable shortcomings of its early digitizations. He or she wants to adhere to the spirit of the rule and not the letter. This desire, right or wrong, resonates with me.
    I simply would ask the teacher the reason for him wanting Times New Roman. It's the simplest way to know. He's got maybe a very good reason for that. Moreover, this would spare the various explanations of self-declared experts in education.
  • Igor FreibergerIgor Freiberger Posts: 253
    edited November 2023
    Sometimes, it's not a teacher demand, but an institutional rule. At least here in Brazil most universities have norms demanding the use of a given font at a given size.
    I am ashamed to reveal that Arial 12pt is the more frequent choice, by a huge margin. Times New Roman, Calibri, and Courier New come after. And this typographical ignorance goes far beyond. All decisions by our Supreme Court are published with Courier New, for example.
    You can't be the last country in the world to allow book publishing without some painful consequences.
  • Before personal computers, I don't remember teachers insisting on any particular standard "font" for typewritten papers. Generally, there were two options: 10 pitch and 12 pitch, indicating the number of characters per inch. (I don't know what the equivalent was outside the U.S. where metric was presumably used.) Even if one of these two standards were required, each typewriter came with an unchangeable "font" style. The type and age of the ribbon could also affect the appearance.

    I do recall that double-spaced lines (vs single-spaced) was usually a requirement. In the absence of a pitch requirement, I imagine students would have preferred 10-pitch.
Sign In or Register to comment.