Typefaces designed for extended reading need to be narrow enough to work in congested environments, yet energetic enough to encourage extended reading. Here’s how Whitney does it.
A font that’s expected to perform in small sizes naturally does well with a large lowercase, which helps it look bigger than it really is. Whitney’s ascenders and descenders are compact enough to allow for tight leading, but long enough to create shapes that help define the proportions of the lowercase.
Some of the world’s most common sans serifs have stroke endings that point inward, a technique that makes for handsome letters but ugly words. Whitney’s stroke endings point outward toward their neighbors, a “social” attitude which helps bind letters into more coherent wordshapes, and guides the eye along the line. These horizontal gestures also allow Whitney to comfortably accommodate more weight than many sans serifs, since even its heaviest strokes are never in danger of turning inwards.
Because Whitney’s extroverted forms invite more white space into each letter, they make it possible for the letters themselves to become narrower — without ever feeling narrow. Whitney’s compact proportions are vital in tight columns, especially when the family’s heavier weights are used.