What is a beautiful font for printed quotes?

Some time next month I plan to have a water bottle “pressed” with a custom logo on it. Part of the logo might contain a quote. I would like it to look great.
What is a beautiful font for printed quotes?

6 thoughts on “What is a beautiful font for printed quotes?”

  1. If it’s a computer science quote, the most poetically just font choice would be Knuth’s Computer Modern.

  2. At the risk of sounding like an old bore, I’d say a beautiful typeface is one that supports the mood and message you’re trying to convey. If these bottles are given as a souvenir in a situation where image is important, I’d consider retaining a commercial artist to handle the design.
    Letterforms are drawn by humans for humans, but the tool for this drawing imposes its character on the design. When prolific type designer Frederic Goudy went from drawing, to paper cut out, to metal matrix via pantograph, the machining would no doubt affect the character of the design. Nonetheless, the execution of the design was essentially visual in nature. Modern tools for computer type design such as FontForge, FontLab, Ikarus, present GUIs to the type artist, and permit a similarly visual design method; the computer respresentation of the type (PostScript type1, TrueType, Open Type Format) which tells very little about typographic quality, is textual and distinct from the presentation of its design for use by humans. CMR was written, as I recall, directly in MetaFont without aids. Hence rather than being simply a vehicle for recording the design, it was a tool for executing the design. This is much akin to trying to implement a very high level program design directly in assembly language or C; there is a strong temptation to take short cuts.
    While I’m no big fan of modern types in general, in comparison with Monotype Modern, I feel that Knuth made some unhappy simplifications to a good design yielding a typeface which more than its share of warts. If you look at specimens of Monotype Modern, the difference are glaringly obvious. I think we have merely become inured to these deficiencies through repeated exposure to them in academic papers and technical manuals.
    I have a deep respect for Knuth and his contributions to our field, and I deeply appreciate TeX and its derivatives. Nonetheless, I can’t CMR is not one of his finer moments. There are far better examples of typefaces commonly associated with computing. Consider ITC Garamond Light from the covers of O’Reilly’s books.

  3. Errata: In the last paragraph, the text “can’t CMR” should read “must say”. Why oh why can’t these beasties provide for editing submissions via a cookie ident?

  4. This is embarrassing! Read that sentence as “Nonetheless, I must say that CMR is not one of his finer moments.” As a pun spoils a rhyme, a clumsy mistake weakens the impact of an argument. “Proofread carefully to be sure you’ve not any words out,” and all that rot. Happy New Year anyhow, and happy Scheming!

  5. Christopher:
    Thank you for your feedback (on both the fonts and the blog tools)! 🙂
    The audience is more or less me and perhaps a couple of other folks who would probably get more of a kick out of using CMR the worrying too much about what is better.
    Perhaps I have myself to blame for becoming inured to font quality today.

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