Forager, designed by Topos Graphics and Flying Pyramids, is typeset in four different fonts: Poster Bodoni, Garamond, Rongel, and Futura.
The use of Poster Bodoni with Garamond are both references to The Macmillan Company’s 1942-published edition of The Birds of America — the wonderful and classic book by naturalist and painter John James Audubon. The Birds of America contains lusciously colored illustrations (or engraved plates) of a wide variety of birds in the United States. This particular edition uses Poster Bodoni as the typesetting of bird species names, with tracked out Garamond small caps as the ‘setting for those species’ scientific names.
With Forager, we set out to instruct the audience in a similar way to Audubon’s classic—designing the layout to mix full-page “plates” (in our case, photographs) with descriptive texts. Because of this formal, aesthetic, and historical influence, it seemed appropriate to use both of these typefaces for our display typesetting of Forager’s botanical plate names.
Rongel, released by Mario Feliciano in 2004, is an historical revival of a font in the style of Garamond — the latter of which is considered to be among the most legible and readable serif typefaces for use in print applications. While Garamond dates back to the 1560s, Rongel is based on Feliciano’s interpretation of Muestras de los punzones y matrices de letra que se funde en el obrador de la Imprenta Real, Madrid, published in 1799. Forager’s descriptive body copy texts are set in Rongel. This is to both read as somewhat nondescript yet classic and scientifically legible.
There is no special reason for use of Futura, save for its also being straightforward and workmanlike — a nice counter to the serifs used throughout the book.
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