Efficiency in all things.
Not merely designed for newsprint, Chronicle was designed for the news column, that impossibly cramped environment where space is always at a premium. Chronicle takes every opportunity to make the most of the space available — here’s how.
Every typeface designed for small sizes begins with a large x-height, which helps a font feel bigger than it really is. Where Chronicle differs from most newspaper faces is in its ascenders and descenders: many fonts truncate these forms, rather than allowing their shapes to help define the lowercase.
Chronicle uncouples the height of the ascenders from the size of the caps, and introduces more compact capitals that help economize on space. As an added benefit, abbreviations set in ALL CAPS merge more seamlessly with the text, a useful advantage for older typesetting systems that aren’t equipped to handle true small caps.
Even many classic newspaper faces have sprawling capitals (Times Roman, despite its popularity, has some of the worst.) Chronicle’s capitals have been made as discreet as possible in order to look less conspicuous on the printed page — an especially important feature when setting news stories that are filled with proper names.
In traditional book typography, old-style figures are encouraged as the standard accompaniment for upper- and lowercase text. But in a modern journalistic setting, old-style figures look pretentious. For Chronicle, we’ve drawn the more conventional lining figures, but provided them at a reduced size that’s more visually sympathetic with the lowercase.
Italics with nineteenth century roots customarily have dainty serifs that are drawn close to the body of the letter. However attractive, this motif can quickly become troublesome at small sizes, especially under uncertain press conditions. By turning these gestures outward, Chronicle quiets the natural fussiness of italics, helping to reduce collisions between letters, and inviting tighter tracking for improved justification.
Chronicle’s staunchly extroverted “exit trails” are balanced by angular "flag serifs," which correspond directly to the shape of the roman lowercase, and further emphasize the horizontal flow of the line. Offsetting both of these bold gestures is a simple stem, whose shape has been flared in order to bring a balancing weight into this third corner of the letter. Chronicle’s consistent use of flared strokes helps produce an even texture at text sizes.