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I am planning to make a scientific poster with the comic style. The idea is inspired of the comic poster from Michael Barton's blog:

enter image description here Everything is fine. However I kinda feel that this font is not very suitable for poster, by which the viewers stand from a distance. On the opposite side, if I decide to use a more formal font like Helvetica, I think it won't get along with comic style. Is there a solution for this problem?

  • The font in the poster goes well with the comic style speech bubbles. You may already get an entirely different effect by using more 'scientific' rectangles and simple arrows, in combination with a more serious font. – usr2564301 Oct 22 '14 at 22:14
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    A comic typeface is suitable for a comic. It may be that a comic isn't suitable for something to be read from a distance. – DA01 Oct 23 '14 at 0:09
  • @Jongware: so if I use rectangles rather than bubbles, I can use a serious font without losing the comic feeling? What about the box of frames? – Ooker Oct 23 '14 at 13:45
  • the allcaps really doesn't help legibility. How's about a comic-like typeface that does have lowercase? I know Order of the Stick uses a nice one. – Vincent Oct 23 '14 at 14:16
  • @Vincent: do you know what font it is? – Ooker Oct 23 '14 at 14:22
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I think you can use a comic font, which is appropriate for a comic, but still improve the legibility by changing other aspects of your typography:

  • Use a font that uses both upper and lowercase for the longer explanations (all caps might be fine for titles
  • Give the texts more "breathing room", separate them more from the container edges
  • Be careful with your text widths. AN ideal line length is about 60 characters.

You might need to rearrange stuff a bit to make this work, though

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Choosing a typeface is about pairing the elements in your design together. Designing an invite for a high-fashion event? Consider a Didone. Working on a menu for a BBQ Joint? Consider some vernacular retro wood type. Working on a thesis? A sturdy serif text face is probably a safe bet.

The key is that you're pairing the typeface with the design moreso than the substrate it will be used upon. That certainly matters, but it's more important that it fits your overall aesthetic.

So, in general, if the theme is a comic, then a hand lettered typeface is typically the most obvious choice.

If the issue is readability from a distance, the key factor there will be size more than anything.

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That font definitely feels unprofessional to me. If you want to keep with the form and feeling but add readability & professionalism, I'd probably use a 'loud' font that looks good in all caps (or small caps, which may be a good solution here).

Possible free fonts that I can think of that may work well for you:

Bebas Neue

Montserrat

Gotham, Interstate, and Futura are horribly overused and not free, but they're overused for a reason. Any of the above may serve your purposes.

  • If you want to add readability, you likely want to avoid 'loud' and 'allcaps'. – DA01 Oct 23 '14 at 0:11
  • It's a tradeoff between 'comic-like' and 'still readable from afar,' to me. Comic fonts are terrible for long-range readability, but a nice loud headline font keeps the vibe but improves on readability. In his example specifically, the use of a comic font 'kiddiefies' the serious nature of the piece to me, as well. – Pixeltramp Oct 23 '14 at 1:15
  • @DA01: the title of the example is used all caps – Ooker Oct 23 '14 at 14:21
  • @Pixeltramp: what is "kiddiefies"? – Ooker Oct 23 '14 at 14:22
  • @Ooker and, generally, ALL CAPS reduces readability. – DA01 Oct 23 '14 at 17:04

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