A new style
We communicate with our readers using type -- lots of it. The challenge is
to make the type speak through the use of distinctive shapes, styles, curves
and sizes.We've met that goal by creating a new typeface we call Mencken. Headlines
Readers should be able to recognize the importance of a story and its message through
the kind of headline type that accompanies it. Headlines also play a key role in the
organization of a news page. Larger, bolder typefaces appear at the top and decrease
in size to the bottom of the news page.
Learn more about the namesake for The Sun's new type font.
Captions, graphics and info boxes
All Sun photographs are accompanied by a caption, usually directly below the photo,
indentifying what's happening in the picture as well as the photographer. In the new
design, the caption is larger and bolder. This same type, called Nobel and created by The
Font Bureau, will be used in indexes, information boxes and graphics.
New type reads well at small sizes
The smallest type in the
newspaper is known as the
Readers see this type in
stock tables, sports stats
and roundups, TV listings
and entertainment capsules,
such as movies and
concerts. These lists are
long and require much
space, so a special typeface
is used that allows reduced
size without compromising
The Sun recently switched
the stock tables to a
newer agate typeface called
A version of this type was
originally created by typographer
of Hoefler & Frere-Jones
for use in The Wall Street
With the redesign, all of
the agate in the newspaper,
including the crossword
puzzle clues, is now presented
in this easier-toread
TYPOGRAPHY Jean François Porchez Porchez Type Foundry
Every newspaper uses
typography to distinguish
itself from other
publications. The goal
is for readers to be
able to identify your
newspaper at a glance.
Most of the type you
will see in the new
redesign was created
by Jean François Porchez, a typographer in
France, for the exclusive use of The Sun.
You won't see it anyplace else for years.
We commissioned Porchez, an awardwinning
creator of type whose work is
well-known in newspapers in France -- he
also designed the lettering for the public
transportation system -- to create a family
of typefaces for use in our newspaper,
from headlines to the text.
Porchez is the President of the Association
Typographique Internationale and
teaches type design courses in Europe and
conducts workshops across the world.
Understanding the new font
The most important type for readers is
the story text, known as body type. Our
new design modernizes the typeface and
also allows for an increase in the size of
the body type. These factors combined
result in improved readability. What makes the new type easier to
The new body type has a larger "xheight,"
which means the text is taller
and displays larger than the former body
text. Meanwhile the ascenders, such as
lower case L, remain the same.
It also looks darker. Why is that?
It is slightly bolder than the former font,
and it has been optimized to the current
Won't the paper look boring with just
No. We actually have several different
fonts called a family that have similar
characteristics, but look different. Some
are bolder, some are lighter and some are
curvier.We plan to use this variety to create
interest and depth on our news pages.
Why call it Mencken?
To honor H.L. Mencken's contributions to
The Sun. According to the London Daily
Mail, H.L. Mencken even ventured beyond
the typewriter and into the world of
typography. Because he felt Americans
did not recognize irony when they read
it, he proposed creation of a special typeface
to be called ironics, with the text
slanting the opposite direction from italics
type, to indicate that the writer was
trying to be funny.