In his blog, [Adobe]( typography god Thomas Phinney [talks about]( the font [Chaparral](, which he describes as “one of our most overlooked typefaces.”

B Chap-10005010

Overlooked? Not be me. I *love* this typeface. The [C3]( logo is set in [Futura](, but I can’t stand using that face for body copy. I find it incredible difficult to work with in tight areas. It has a lot of movement (the lowercase “y” bothers me the most). Or maybe it gives me flashbacks…one of my first projects when I began working in advertising in 1992 was producing the handout materials for Nutri-System. It was all Futura and by the end, I couldn’t even look at that font without breaking out in a cold sweat. It works for the C3 logo, but I only work with it for display text now.

So when I started producing materials for C3, I was looking for a body copy font that could help me establish an identity for C3. I knew it was going to be a non-fussy serif face with a lot of alternates. I knew I wanted Open Type to take advantage of ligatures and the features in InDesign for working with OT faces. I wanted a typeface that looked sophisticated and professional without being stodgy and set as well at 8 point as it did at 72 point. When I saw Chaparral and started playing with it, I knew that was it even though I never expected to like a slab serif face this much.


I produced a bunch of documents using Chaparral exclusively and I loved the way it “felt”. Comfortable, yet serious. Approachable. Like buttah.

Works as nicely in body copy as it does in a 6′ x 3′ banner:


And it even works when paired with the dreaded Futura… when Futura is used sparingly. In the [C3 newsletter]( I set the headlines and subheads in Futura Condensed against pullquotes and body copy in Chaparral.


I’m working on building brand for C3, and the Chaparral font is a big part of that. I only hope it doesn’t go from overlooked to overused too quickly, and folks will look at the C3 stuff and say “Oh that font AGAIN?!?”

>Although Adobe has its corporate typefaces (Minion and Myriad), which reduce my opportunities to use other fonts, I have used Chaparral for a number of projects, to great success. I’ve recommended it for usage in a remarkable range of situations, **from the body text for a health-related magazine,** to general office use when something warm and not too clinical was desired.

Maybe I’m blogging this now so I can point to it later and say, “hey, I was using the heck out of it when it was still ‘overlooked’” 🙂

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