I’m looking for a sans-serif font that I can pair with Bembo Book.

I’ve tried quite a few so far, and it’s pretty clear that the sans-serif needs to have a cap height to x-height ratio similar to Bembo Book (otherwise it just looks ungainly by comparison), and a vaguely calligraphic influence too, or at least some contrast between thick and thin lines (otherwise it colours the page differently, and looks quite stark.)

I can’t find any sans-serif that satisfies both those requirements. Does any exist? It can be a paid font.

Bembo Font

  • 1
    Are you looking for a display face or a book face? May 26, 2015 at 9:48
  • 1
    A family that includes styles for both, preferably, but I'll settle for a book face.
    – hcaulf
    May 26, 2015 at 10:07

2 Answers 2


The Optima Family seems to fit the bill pretty well. Variable width strokes, similar cap height to lc ratio, and a large variety of weights to choose from. I hope this helps.


Futura is a classic with a modern look, not outdated, very versatile, has many different weight and styles too and I guess it could be considered lively. Not really calligraphic I suppose.

Futura font family

And there's Mesmerize that is a bit less straight and more calligraphic, and what I also consider lively.

Mesmerize font

And Kabel if you want more curves and angles!

Kabel families

Kabel Font 1 __

Opinion: If you use Bembo for the body text, it looks good and adds contrast to use a thin condensed sans-serif or a demi/bold one that doesn't look too heavy, and play with the font size.

For example, below is a sample of ITC Franklin Gothic Book and Bembo.

Franklin gothic and bembo font

...and ITC Franklin Gothic Demi

ITC franklin gothic demi and bembo

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