Turning what has become the normal pairing scheme for this series on its head is Griffith Gothic and Velino Display / Velino Text. Here it’s the sans that has been engineered to hold up at small sizes, and the serif that takes up the role of the urbane, dominant voice.
The shared formal characteristic of the pair that sold me on its compatibility was its use of stroke contrast. In Velino, Dino dos Santos uses contrast to impart stateliness and control to the characters. Chauncey Griffith’s Bell Gothic, the original archetype of Griffith Gothic, uses high contrast (most notably in its heavier weights) out of purely functional concerns, counteracting the spread of cheap ink applied to cheap paper on a fast printing press. Griffith Gothic’s designer, Tobias Frere-Jones takes advantage of this functional adaptation, turning it back into a stylistic choice. If you’re interested in the history, Nick Sherman shares a concise run-through of Bell Gothic on his website.
Velino has a great text variant with lower contrast for handling text sizes. Put in the service of text, Velino adds a sophisticated feel that marries well with Griffith Gothic’s plainspoken delivery.
Great Pairs continues here Wednesday.