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Asking for help: Which sans-serif to go with Gentium?

Lukas Novak

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Lukas Novak

Soliciting expert opinion: which sans serif is the better companion for Gentium? Alegreya Sans or Linux Bioline? To me, Alegreya Sans is much more similar in style (sharp angles where bowls/shoulders connect ot the stem; shape of the y tail, large x-height, rounded spurs of a,u,d..., even more similar cursives), but it is less readable and not so orderly and clean-looking. Linux Bioline is very clear and readable, but a slightly different cup of tea, so I am not sure if the two do not clash. (And yes, I do know about Alegreya serif to go wit Alegreya sans, but I have to use Gentium (and morover, Alegreya has some glitches...)) Please see the attached PDFs.

Many thanks for any feedback!


linux_biolinum.pdf alegreya.pdf

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Riccardo Sartori

In the specific setting presented, I think Biolinum works better. But, given its noticeable inscriptional qualities, it would also depend on the subject matter of the text.

In general, a contrast in style when pairing a serif with a sans can be intentional and welcome, when they interact on a hierarchical level.

In that regard, I would experiment using the sans also for headings and drop caps.

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Lukas Novak

Many thanks for your input! LB was indeed my first choice (the subject matter is serious Roman Catholic theology, so "inscriptionality" is welcome, I suppose). I agree about the contrast in general, I just was not sure if it isn't stuch half-way, so to speak: not enough different and not enough similar. 

I have already experimented with LB for drop caps (indeed, its style calls for such a usage), but haven't been convinced. But I will give it one more try; Gentium indeed doesn't seem to work very well in large size. As for headings, I will consider that, too, although I am afraid there is too little "hierarchic space" between title(s) and headings to make them all sufficiently distincs using the same font...

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