Greta Text Narrow

Design concept

Space-saving versions of Greta is named Narrow to suggest that the level of condensation is not as dramatic as in Condensed and Compressed fonts. They are designed to give the designer a possibility to fit more text in a text block, without compromising the legibility of text.

Newspaper printing poses special challenges for font designers. While most text fonts are optimized for fine printing, they are not ideally suited to use in newspapers. In spite of the fact that newspaper printing has improved significantly, it is still inferior to most book printing and requires letter shapes which are resistant to the distortion which can be caused by high-speed web presses and cheap paper. Moreover, the unique nature of newspaper language requires adjustments to typeface proportions. Acronyms and abbreviations, for example, occur much less frequently in literature than in journalism, so capital letters, which serve mainly to indicate the beginnings of sentences, are typically designed to be rather large and dark. In newspaper articles, where acronyms, abbreviations and proper names are used much more often, the capitals must be smaller and lighter so as not to disrupt the text flow. Numerals also frequently appear in newspaper articles and must be proportioned somewhat differently than usual so that they function as an integral part of the body of text. Greta Text was designed from the first to respond directly to these special demands.

The economics of the newspaper environment also requires type which is highly space-efficient; Greta uses maximal shape counters to improve performance in lower-quality printing and at very small sizes. Although the typeface was created to function in the extreme conditions of newspaper production, it is also ideal for other modern typographic situations such as print and electronic editions of magazines or books.


Greta Text received Type Directors Club Certificate of Excellence in Type Design, in 2007.

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Greta Text vs Greta Text Narrow

The Narrow fonts are condensed to 87% of the width of the full-width Greta fonts.

design characteristics

Because of the nature of newspaper text (frequent sppearance of capitals and numbers in text) Greta features capitals which are much lower than capitals and even lower numbers.

While Greta has modern proportions with dominant x-height, it also leaves sufficient room for the diacritics. Lower capitals also allow the use of full-size accents above capitals. Greta uses robust triangular serifs which are based on the shapes of the accents. Thanks to the shared forms, the accents are closely integrated into the overall visual construction of the typeface, rather than being tacked on afterwards.

Languages which use lot of accents benefit from Greta’s proportions, as they can be set quite tightly with no extra interlinear space (leading). In fact, the default settings of most software, that is 120% interlinear space, works optimally with Greta.