Rethinking architectural illustrations and avoiding over complicated and lengthy rendering times. This site focuses on Photoshop techniques and is constantly experimenting and iterating with ways to generate unique and expressive imagery. Run by Alex Hogrefe
I am a big fan of podcasts, maybe too much. I listen to them all day everyday while I work. Some of my all time favorites include 99% Invisible, Freakanomics Radio, Revisionist History, The Tim Ferris Show, This American Life, Comedy Bang Bang, Judge John Hodgman, Bill Burr’s M.M.P, and the list goes on. Relatively recently, the arch viz community has started to produce some really great podcasts. While the list isn’t huge, the content is quality and growing. Below are some of the best Architectural Visualization Podcasts that I have been listening to lately:
Fabio Palvelli with the occasional help of Jason Bergeron (Creators of the huge D2 Conference) interviews the biggest names in the arch viz community. Fabio, a comedian at heart, keeps things light while teasing out interesting and useful information from his guests. A good place to start if you’re thinking about entering the industry.
Hosted by Hrvoje Čop and Mike Golden, two titans of the arch viz community, the podcast explores how asking better questions can lead to a better approach and mindset to image making. The podcast is relatively new, but they have already been able to put together a robust series of episodes that I have really enjoyed listening to.
While there has not been any new content added for quite a while, there are still about 11 episodes in the archives that are worth the listen. Ronen Bekerman of the well-known self titled blog hosts the podcast and has talked to some stellar guests.
Christopher Nichols of Chaos Group (makers of V-Ray software) sits down with a variety of guests in a broad range of digital fields. While this podcast is not solely focused on arch viz, there are some really nice interviews within the arch viz community.
After many months, I have finally finished Portfolio Volume 05. I can honestly say that I have put more time into this book than I have on anything else I have ever worked on. So many new illustrations were generated beyond what was shown on this blog and a lot of thought was poured into each layout, graphic, and flow of the book. It has been a lot of late nights and weekends, but all of this hard work has not only lead to a book that I am proud of but also has lead me to a much better understanding of how to create images and graphically present them in my own personal way.
You can get more information on the book and see some of the final spreads by visiting my store
If it seems like I have been posting less and less lately, it is because all of my time has been going into my next portfolio. This book has been in the making for the past 3 years. However, I have taken the last several months to invest all of my free time into developing tons of new content, finalizing the graphics, and writing. I finally feel I am in the homestretch with just a few more things to button up. The last steps will be getting some test prints and have a few friends give me their last minute critiques.
I am usually pretty good about managing my time and setting internal deadlines for myself, especially when it comes to renderings. However, with this book, I have become obsessed with having every square inch of it designed. This includes designing the table of contents, the title page, the forward, and all of the other non-project pages. For each one of those spreads I am creating multiple iterations to get to the final design.
I should also point out that with this portfolio and many of my others, I purposely don’t setup a conceptual framework that then informs the design and layout of all of the spreads throughout the entire book. Instead, I treat each spread as its own style which gives me freedom to explore with a lot of different ideas and experiment with multiple graphic approaches. This makes for what I think is an interesting book to look through as well as a place to pull ideas from. But, it also means it takes a lot of time to work through and design of each spread.
The one part of my portfolios that I always seem to get lost in the design of is the cover. Partly because I realize the importance of the cover and partly because I always struggle with how complex or minimal to go with it. Early on when I was in school, I tended to go more complex. Today, I lean minimal. Because the interior pages have such highly textured, colored, a geometrically rich graphics, I like the idea of contrasting the interior pages with a super simple cover. With that said, whether the cover is minimal or complex, I always have a ton of ideas, many of which I fall in love with early on and have trouble distilling down to one final choice. If it were up to me, I would print 10 different books all with different covers, but that obviously isn’t practical.
I see these portfolios all the time, so when I design them, they first and foremost must be something that I enjoy looking at. With my last portfolio, volume 04, it was extremely minimal and really came down to color. To this day, I like that red just as much as the first day I saw it.
Portfolio Volume 04 Cover
For Portfolio 05, I am leaning towards cool blue hues for the cover. I still have not decided whether I am going to relate the style to the Volume 04 cover or go with something completely different. There are positives and negatives to both options. Below is the group of designs that I have narrowed it down to. The final will most likely be some combination of the options below.
One of the images not initially generated for the Philly Bridge Project was the south side of the pedestrian bridge. Here, the bridge turns into a park-like setting with lots of trees, vegetation, and a grand stair connecting down to the street level. This was an important view because of the bridges connection to the convention center and the activities that are formed around this relationship. I therefore started looking at potential views that would tell the story of this place. I struggled deciding on a single view because of all of the information this illustration needed to convey. Below are some of the options that I looked and my thinking behind them.
View Option 01 and 02: Street Level Looking North and West
The first set of views that I looked at were at street level looking up the tiered seating. The problem with these angles was that too much of the upper level was out of view. The view looking more down the street was more interesting to me, but both images felt too disconnected from the “action” happening at the upper level. Compositionally I liked them. They just were not succeeding in telling the story of this area.
View Option 03: Street Level Looking South
A key idea of this zone of the pedestrian bridge is how a large proportion of the foot traffic will flow up and down the ramp and wrap around the convention center as marked by the dark red line. This view shows this relationship well and I liked the idea of placing the large sloped grassy area in the foreground. However, similar to the other street level views, I still felt it was too disconnected from the upper terrace.
View Option 04 and 05: Aerials
Next, I looked at some aerials views. The aerials did a good job of clarify all of the geometry and probably explained this area of the site the best. However, there were two problems. First, there was a large amount of context that I would need to define. I had limited time to generate this image and I couldn’t spend all of it on the city in the background. The other problem was that the aerials did not feel intimate enough. This is the case in general with most aerials. I wanted the viewer to really connect with the space and feel like they were there. These aerial options, while compositionally interesting, would not have provided that intimacy I was looking for but instead, would have felt more diagrammatic.
View 06: Upper Level
I moved the camera to the upper level since this is where a lot of the action would be happening, but the tiered seating ended up being steeper than expected and was completely cut out of the view. I needed to get pretty close to the edge for the seating to appear again. I looked into placing the camera on the hill to the right, but it still was not high enough to capture the seating.
View 07: Raised Upper Level
One option to get the tiered seating into view was to raise the camera. While this was closer to the ground than the other aerials, the same problem remained. The view felt too disconnected from the project and was at a vantage point that visitors would not experience.
View 08: The Chosen One
Ultimately, this view checked all of the boxes. Compositionally, it wasn’t my favorite, but it told the best story. The ramp cuts across the scene and wraps around the convention center. The upper level is in view as well as the tiered seating and large grass hill. The viewer can see the relationship of the bridge to the Convention center but the bridge is still the focal point. I also knew that I could use the trees and people to help frame the view and strengthen the composition.
With the view decided, I rendered out the base image. As I mentioned before, I didn’t have a lot of time to piece this illustration together. The model was simple, but I did take some time to add some details to the ground plane such as the stone edging. Most everything else would be handled in Photoshop.
There was a lot of Photoshop that went into this illustration. The vegetation was intense, but helped add lots of texture to the image. I wanted the space to be activated, but I didn’t over-do it with entourage. With so much going on in the image, too many people could have hurt the flow of the scene.
Black and White
I didn’t mind the color version, but I really liked the image in Black and White. The light and shadow reads better in my opinion. I still haven’t decided which option will go in the portfolio though.
If you haven’t been to my site in a while, I have been taking the past several months to piece together my new Portfolio Volume 05. As I go from project to project, I look to fill in gaps of missing information in the storytelling of the design. In this case, I had previously put together some abstract illustrations of the interiors of my Desert House Project. These illustrations helped me explore some color and texture ideas without getting lost in the details. However, later, I became interested in taking these interior images one step further and developing illustrations with more resolution and clarity.
I don’t create many interior illustrations on this site partly because interiors require well resolved models with lots of detail. I can’t simply rely on Photoshop to fill in information of interiors like I do for exteriors. This usually translates to more time, and since all of the work on this site is done in my free-time, I tend to steer clear of a lot of interior work. However, with the Desert House Project, I felt more resolved and realistic interior images were needed to close out the narrative.
While I didn’t have a lot of time to break down these images, I still wanted to post them here rather then keeping them hidden in the portfolio. I am including images of what the Sketchup model and base renderings looked like so that you can get a sense of how much the 3D model was developed versus how little things were manipulated in Photoshop.
01. Original Abstract Images
The above illustrations were first created a while back to explore some color and texture ideas as well as get a quick sense of the interior volumes. I still plan to put these illustrations into the portfolio, but I also need something a little more real to better explain the final result. The original post for these abstract images can be found Here.
2. Sketchup Model
Upon revisiting the interiors, I started with adding more detail such as window mullions, high poly furniture, and better textures. I already had much of the interior built from when I generated exterior images. However, I added a louver system on the inside ceiling to help relate to the exterior louver system and to also help define some of the larger spaces inside. A fireplace and stair were also added in.
I really don’t like seeing textures repeat aka tiling, so I ended up building two large textures for the wood floors and plaster walls. . Each texture is made up of several smaller textures copied/cloned/overlaid together and setup to be seamless. I also made corresponding bump and reflection maps.
3. V-Ray Base Renderings
The scenes are largely lit by the sun to highlight the fact that even though the project is recessed into the ground, lots of natural light still gets in. For the kitchen view (seen below) I did add some additional interior lights to create some strong focal points in that view. Above, the image on the left is straight out of V-Ray while the image on the right shows some quick level adjustments I did before starting the Photoshop work.
I started with the vegetation in Photoshop because I figured this might help inform what I do with the entourage. I focused on strong highlights and shadow with the vegetation to help dramatize these areas and draw attention as these are key features to the design. The entourage was limited to just a few people in each scene. In this case, I placed just one person off to the side and relatively small in the composition to help play up the grandness of the space.
5. Final Adjustments
Finally, I didn’t want to lose out on the vibrancy and strong colors that many of the other images of this project have, so I increased the color saturation of these interiors quite a bit. I especially wanted the warm tones of the plaster and wood to pop, so I increased those areas even more. Also, the detail was intensified by running some Topaz Filters at the very end.
One of the new images I generated for my upcoming Portfolio Volume 05 was an aerial view of the Research Lab Project. Because I have many new images to generate in a short amount of time for the portfolio, I have been trying to minimize time spent on each image. In this case, this image was created in less than a day start to finish. With that said, aerial images with a lot of trees such as this can look complex and difficult to create, but in reality, it’s not that bad. For me, it is all about being systematic with the workflow and keeping the layers clean and organized in Photoshop.
Below is a quick break down of the illustration and the simple process I used to create the aerial forest.
1. Base Rendering
I first setup the view in Sketchup and rendered it out using V-Ray. I also dropped in some trees (hidden in this view) to cast some shadows on the roof. I could have Photoshopped in these shadows but decided to go the 3D route because of all of the geometry happening on the roof.
2. Ground Vegetation
Next, I setup a new group in Photoshop and added in some ground vegetation. I wasn’t too concerned about how clean the Photoshop was on the vegetation because it was largely going to get covered up with trees. The texture is made up of about three images Cloned Stamped together.
3. Ground Shadows
The first thing I typically do when setting up the ground shadows is to extract the shadows from the base rendering. In this case, I grabbed the shadow that the building was casting on the ground, brought it into my “Ground Vegetation” Group, and set the layer blend mode to “Multiply”.
Since there will be a lot of trees covering the site, there will also be lots of tree shadows on the ground. Therefore, I created a tree shadow by taking one of my cutout trees, darkening it, giving it a blue tint to match the ground shadows of the base rendering, and finally added some motion blur. Once I had the tree shadow ready to go, I simply copied it untill the ground was mostly covered.
One quick tip, I setup a new group to contain all of the shadows including the ground shadows from the base rendering. All of the Layer Blend Modes of the individual shadow layers were set to “Normal” so that they did not multiply on top of themselves. I then set the group Layer Blend Mode to “Multiply” to get the final effect.
4. Adding Trees
I compiled five cutout trees that were more or less the type that I need for the forest. Some were older and some were younger for some more diversity. I then copied them throughout the site making sure that I was angling the trunks to match the perspective of the image. Since I only had five different trees, I did a lot of flipping and toning to avoid the trees feeling too copied.
I created a tutorial a while ago going into more depth on this idea of avoiding that copied look Here.
5. Roof Gardens
The steps used to add in the roof gardens were identical to those used to add the ground vegetation and shadow. I compiled a group of textures, stitched them into the illustration, and then multiplied the base render shadows on top. I also reworked some of the glass and brought in a few people.
6. Final Toning
Finally, I adjusted the toning of the image. Not much was done here though. I adjusted the contrast, ran some Topaz filters to pull out some detail, and added a slight atmospheric haze over the entire image.
If you read my first post, you understand that Alex and I chose to start his Portfolio design process by selecting fonts. Anytime I begin any kind of design project I always start with type. Others may tell you they start with a grid, color palette, forms, and shapes, but for me, it all begins with type. Whether I’m starting a large scale environmental design project or visual identity and logo, I always start with type. That’s because type allows me to determine what kind of visual voice to give a project. For me finding that voice is the foundation for any visual design endeavor.
The first step in determining what kind of font to use is to look at your project and see what other projects are out there that have the same qualities as yours. See what they’re doing and make a determination whether or not you want that same look or feel, or whether you want to be completely different. A great resource I use is Fonts In Use. This resource allows you to see real-world applications of who’s using what fonts and how they’re being applied. Fonts In Use is also a great resource to discover new typefaces to add to your now ever-expanding library.
Another great resource for conducting precedent research is Typewolf. Just like with Fonts in Use, Typewolf posts contemporary projects from around the web and highlights the typeface’s featured in each project. The feature that I enjoy the most from Typewolf is their guides and resources section. Although you have to pay for some of them, they are some of the most help type guides on the internet.
Finally, the most helpful resource for me, believe it or not, is Pinterest. It’s honestly a great resource for zeroing in on specific project typologies that might be harder to find on a google image search. It, of course, makes it easier to develop a mood board to really determine how you see your project shaping up.
Let’s talk about some basic terminology.
Serif vs San Serif
Simply put, a serif is a font that has a small line/stroke that finishes off a larger stroke. A sans serif is a font that doesn’t have any of those small strokes or serifs.
Tracking or letter-spacing is the uniform spacing between all the letters and characters in a given word or sentence. Tracking often gets confused with kerning, which is the individual spacing between two letters or characters. Be careful when designing to not track your letters too closely or too far apart. This can lead to major legibility issues.
Leading or line spacing is the distance between two lines of type. It’s very important to pay attention to the leading when you start to deal with type in uppercase vs sentence case. When your type is in uppercase you can start to adjust your leading to be a lot tighter because your not dealing with varying heights within the typeface. However, when dealing with sentence case be careful that your type doesn’t get too close or too far apart. When lines of type start to collide it can make it very tough for your eye to follow along.
03. Do’s and Don’ts
Let me just mention these are just suggestions, there’s no wrong or right answer here. These are just some simple do’s and don’ts that can help guide you when you’re putting together your own spreads and portfolios.
Do Keep It Simple
The best piece of advice I can offer is to keep it simple. When putting together a spread try to keep your use of different typefaces to a minimum. I would suggest using 1-3 typefaces max on a spread. If you can, just use one typeface that has a number of different weights. This way your spread will feel more cohesive. Using too many typefaces can become chaotic quickly, especially when you start to factor in your imagery and color usage.
Do Stay Consistent Throughout The Document
Another tip is to determine different weights and sizes early in your design and then replicate that throughout your other spreads. Start with one spread. Figure out what the most important information is. Maybe it’s a heading or some kind of call out making reference to an image. Give it the biggest presence on the page whether that’s size or weight. Secondly, determine your secondary information. Is it a subheading or is it body copy? Give that a substantial size difference from your primary information. Lastly, if you have captions or any type of tertiary text make sure to make it the smallest size on the page so that it doesn’t start to compete with the rest of the spread.
Do Not Stack Vertically
In general here are some things I would stay away from when you start putting a project together. Stacking text vertically. Seriously, don’t do it. It’s always tough to read especially in a book format. You’re asking the reader to put in more work to understand what it is your trying to convey.
Do Not Use Script Typefaces
Definitely stay away from script and handwritten typefaces unless a project really calls for them. If the project does call for it write it out yourself and scan it in. Typically these kinds of typefaces come across as forced and inauthentic. When in many cases your use of script text is meant to come across with a high sense of authenticity.
04. Other Resources
In our previous post, we spent a lot of time talking about free font resources like Google Fonts and Adobe Fonts. This time around I wanted to highlight some of my favorite type foundries that produce really great typefaces. I would suggest checking out the following; Grilli Type, Commercial Type, Klim Type Foundry, Colophon Foundry, Dalton Maag and Village. These are the type foundries I go back to time and time again.
For this year’s Winter Special illustration, I decided to create a series of images partly because I couldn’t decide on one view, but also to experiment with the effects of thick snow at different view angles. I was less interested in the architectural clarity of the images and more interested in the atmospheric depth and how light and color react in a thick snow storm. I also forced myself to spend less time on these images than I normally would so that I would get less distracted by the details and focus more on the big moves.
I am breaking down one of the images below to show the layers of color and fog inserted into the image throughout the process. One of the most important steps was to separate out the light and move it above the fog because of how light seems to cut through the haze whereas everything else softens and absorbs the tones of the fog.
01. Base Rendering
The V-Ray Base rendering used a simple overcast light and some minor interior lights. The fog/snow diffuses the light so much that there are no sharp shadows from the sun. I also knew going into this that the image would be heavily Photoshopped, so the details and quality of the rendering were less important.
02. Darken The Scene
Next, I darkened the image. I did this by painting a dark blue color over the image and setting the Layer Blend Mode to “Multiply”. This was done to further remove some detail from the geometry, give the scene more of a blue overtone, and help create more contrast between the shadow and light coming in the next step.
Here, I amplified the interior lights. This was done by first masking away the dark overlay from the previous step. Next, some textures were added in and some warm overlays applied on top. Because of the layers of fog coming next, I again ignored the details and just focused on getting things close.
04. Fog Round 1
The first layer of fog was created with grainy textures that have a movement and energy to them. This layer of fog will be softened by other fog layers coming next.
05. Fog Round 2
The next layer of fog was applied using the Brush Tool. In the top left corner, I layered in a light blue paint with a darker blue paint in the bottom right corner. I was trying to create a gradient over the image as well as fade out the architecture as it goes higher in the sky.
Applying a blue overlay brought together all of the different tones in the image. This was done by painting a blue paint over the entire image and setting the Layer Blend Mode to “Color”.
07. Background Details
Not much will be seen in the distance, but I still took this time to insert some subtle tree silhouettes and ground textures.
08. Light Amplification Again
This is where the image gets some of its energy back. Now that I have applied several layers of fog, the interior light is largely covered up. Therefore, I went and grabbed my interiors group, copied it, and brought it above the fog layers. Finally, I set the group’s Layer Blend Mode to “Soften”. This increased the light in some areas, but left others still muted. Also, as the light moves further up into the denser areas of the fog, I painted in a soft glow to spread the light out more.
09. Foreground Elements
In order to increase depth, I placed in some shadowing foreground elements. The sharpness of the foreground elements also helps to increase the sense of softness in the fog beyond.
For the really foggy scenes, I often do a copy merge of all of the layers at the top of the layer stack, then give the new layer a slight blur. Then I lower the opacity of that blurred layer to around 50 percent. This adds just a little more softness to the image and really plays up the idea of light bouncing around the atmospheric molecules.
11. Snow Texture
Finally, I added some snow textures to convert the foggy scene to a snow storm. I used to generate my own snow texture, but there are actually some good textures you can get if you simply do an image search for snow textures.
The Final Series of Images
Finally, you can see all of my past winters special images by following the links below
For the first time on Visualizing Architecture, I am bringing in a new voice to help discuss some important graphic design related topics for the upcoming design of Portfolio Volume 05. Matt Uminski is a really good friend and encyclopedia of knowledge when it comes to graphic design. He has extensive experience in branding, print, and environmental design projects. Matt has worked with a range of public, institutional, higher education, and real estate clients on developing compelling brands that translate into real-world applications. He currently works at Sasaki in Boston. You can see more of his personal work at studiooffset.com (http://www.studiooffset.com)
Portfolio Volume 05: Typography Part 1
By Matt Uminski
Today’s post is about typography, and specifically type that will be used in the upcoming Portfolio Volume 05. The topic of typography is broad and can get overwhelming fast. However, if used correctly, can significantly enhance the narrative of a design. The fonts below cover a broad spectrum of situations and uses in the architectural industry and are meant to give you a solid foundation to start from.
The first recommendation I typically give to designers in the search for a typeface is to use an online font library like Google Fonts or Adobe Fonts (previously Typekit). These online libraries allow designers to test, download, and use any number of typefaces. Unlike other online libraries, Google and Adobe fonts are all licenced and FREE to use. The only major difference between each of these libraries is that in order to install Google Fonts you need to download and install them on either your Mac or PC. Adobe Fonts, however, is a cloud based system, so no installation is necessary. All you need is an Adobe CC licence and you’re ready to go. For Portfolio Volume 05, we are going to limit ourselves to only use Adobe Fonts.
Below is a breakdown of some of the typefaces that will be considered for Portfolio Volume 05.
01. Underlying Typeface
If you plan on having more than three typefaces in a project (which we are) the first step is to pick an underlying typeface. The underlying typeface runs through the entire book or project and pulls it all together. Main or orienting copy like page titles, body copy and page numbers should all share the same typeface.
For Portfolio Volume 05, I suggest Aktiv Grotesk as the underlying typeface. It’s an extremely legible grotesque sans serif that has a wide range of weights and styles. I personally use this typeface for a variety of applications. It’s a great complementary typeface to have available.
02. Research Lab
Rather than focus on the architecture here, the typefaces chosen are meant to evoke a conceptual take of what a laboratory space is: a place for exploration. These typefaces are meant to be techy. They relate to computer screens both classic and contemporary.
My first suggestion is Titling Gothic Wide Standard, a wide grotesque sans serif. Use this typeface to mimic the motion messaging that appears on a digital display like a ticker board. The lingering width of the Titling Gothic gives the illusion that the copy is moving across the screen or page.
My second choice would be Tephra 0 Regular. Tephra is a purely decorative display font that should only be used to indicate a small amount of information. Whether that’s a brief, bold statement or just a few numbers. This isn’t a font to use at a small pt size. It’s far too illegible to be used as body copy or captions.
IBM Plex Mono
Lastly, I offer IBM Plex Mono. If you’re talking about anything technology or code related, I recommend finding a mono that works for your project. IBM Plex is a great contemporary interpretation of a classic mono typeface. Briefly, monospaced fonts were used in early computers, due to lacking graphic capabilities. The goal was to create a typeface in which all characters had the same width rather than proportional spacing like many fonts have.
03. Philly Bridge Fonts
How do you pick fonts for a bridge? I look to signage. Typically traffic signage typefaces are bold and legible to help viewers quickly find their way. As a designer this is the perfect opportunity rethink an existing type application and conceptually work it into your project.
The first typeface I suggest is Interstate. This is the same sans serif used on the Federal Highway Administration official signage. Interstate has a lot of subtle characteristics that differentiate it from other sans serifs. For instance the terminals (endings) of the lowercase characters are all angled at 90° from the stroke (the main diagonal of a letter.) For example take a look at the lowercase t and l. These little details allow for increased legibility at all scales.
A complementary typeface to interstate is something tall, condensed, and bold like Trade Gothic Next LT Pro Bold Compressed. A sans serif I would use in order to reflect bold, impactful messaging on a sign or poster.
04. Desert House
The Desert House is, again, a perfect opportunity to let architecture influence type. The house’s bold form and sharp angles can start to be reflected within the typography.
Using the sharp angles of the house, I searched for a serif that had bold, sharp terminal endings. Enter Freight Micro Pro Light & Italic. A serif that strikes the perfect balance between being both harsh and soft. However, the italic allows it to become extremely angular and reflective just like the architecture. This is a great way to use one typeface but end up with two different visual representations.
I also wanted to find a sans serif with the same angular qualities as the architecture and the Freight typeface. Rigid Square Light is a complementary sans serif that has an extremely angular expression on its characters compared to other sans serifs. It will be most effective in larger type applications within the spreads.
05. Mountain Hotel
The Mountain Hotel is another great opportunity to use the architecture to our advantage. The project is extremely vertical so it makes the most sense to use a typeface that emphasizes verticality. Also it’s an opportunity to use the mystique that comes with a hotel. Many hotels are associated with a certain sense of luxury and timelessness which can easily be translated into a typeface.
Take for example Condor Compressed Medium. A high contrast sans-serif that when used in a compressed style makes the typeface appear taller than a traditionally compressed sans-serif like Trade Gothic that we’re using in the Philly Bridge section. I suggest using this typeface to display large headline text rather than smaller body copy.
In order to achieve the sense of luxury and timelessness, use a modern serif like Miller Display Light. This typeface is typically used in magazines and newspapers because it has a classic elegance and legibility associated with it. Typically serifs are associated with characteristics of being traditional, respectful and legible. Whereas sans serifs are clean, modern and objective.