What makes the type foundry Hoefler & Frere-Jones great? Lots of things. But one thing in particular is the attention to detail that they lavish on their projects. And one example of that is their great advice for choosing fonts in financial reports.
As they write:
Annual reports offer designers a marvelous opportunity to strut
their stuff. In the hands of a thoughtful typographer, a dense volume
of technical text can become warm and welcoming, its changing rhythm of
introductions, statements, analyzes, and disclosures calling for a
beautiful typographic system to help organize the text. Financial data
can be uniquely satisfying to design, offering an irresistible
opportunity to work with large type families in intricate ways. There
are tables both long and short, as well as charts, graphs, and
diagrams, all studded with headings, footnotes, and legends that defy
even the most ingenious grid.
Each of these details places a special burden on the fonts, making
it especially important to choose the right palette up front.
They came up with four things to consider when choosing a financial-report typeface, and offered a slew of the typefaces that they’ve designed which fit the bill, point by point.