As a designer i find Typography to be one of the most important aspects of my design work. Over the years i have become slightly obsessed with exploring typefaces and how they can enrich the visual appearance of design projects.
Personally there are certain typefaces whose character and beauty never lose their appeal, while they may not be the ones i use on a regular basis they are the ones that i couldn’t live without. My favourite 10 are listed below:
- 1. FF Din – Regular
- 2. Helvetica – Neue Thin
- 3. Museo Sans – 300
- 4. Depot – Regular
- 5. Myriad – Pro-Light
- 6. Seravek – Extra Light
- 7. Ronnia – Extra Bold
- 8. Relato Sans – Regular
- 9. Geogrotesque – Light
- 10. Neo Sans – Std Light
FF DIN was designed in 1995 by Albert-Jan Pool, and based upon the earlier DIN typeface family. DIN Schrift is also the official German tyepface, it was from this that Albert-Jan Pool designed a family of five weights including my favourite font of all time FF Din Regular. It has such a strong presence combined with a bold, sharp structure. It was because of these qualities i chose it as the typeface for my brand – Postscript5.
Helvetica is a sans-serif typeface developed in 1957 by Swiss typeface designer Max Miedinger. It grows continually in popularity both for use online and in print, it also has it’s own movie! While i love the entire Helvetica family (perhaps not as much as Graham though), my favourite is Helvetica Neue Thin (Neue being German for New Helvetica). It is a reworking of the original typeface with a more structurally unified set of heights and widths and was launched in 1983.
Museo Sans is based on the lovely Museo. Designed by Jos Buivenga in 2008 it is a sturdy, low contrast, geometric, highly legible sans serif typeface and just so happens to be exceptionally beautiful and striking. It is one of the most popular font’s among many of the designers i know with Sans 300 being my favourite of the family.
Depot was designed by Chris Dickinson of MoreType in 2006 (who also designed the beautiful Alber). Depot is ideal for corporate use, but with enough character to tackle a variety of branding and identity applications. Personally it stands out for me because of it’s sheer versatility and broad appeal which lends itself to a variety of applications with the Regular weight being my favourite.
An Adobe Originals design first released in 1992, Myriad has become popular for both text and display composition. Designed by Robert Slimbach & Carol Twombly with Fred Brady & Christopher Slye, Myriad has a warmth and readability, in particular im drawn to the letter proportions and design detail, especially in the Pro-light weight. It has a wide variety of weights and widths in the family provide a generous creative palette for even the most demanding display typography.
Seravek is a linear sans serif designed for identity, editorial and information design and was designed by Eric Olson of Process Type Foundry in 2007. Five weights spanning Bold to Extra Light with italics and small caps allow for a range of applications both typographic and utilitarian in nature. I find the gentle curves of the Extra-Light weight are beautiful and uncomplicated.
Designed by Veronika Burian, JosÃ© Scaglione in 2007 it is remarkable sans serif with alot of character and versatility. It performs superbly in headlines but Ronniaâ€™s and has been successfully used for branding and newspaper headlines because its properties: economic in use, highly legible, and approaching the reader with some friendliness and charm. The Extra Bold is one of my favourite heavier weighted typefaces.
Relato Sans was designed by Eduardo Manso of Emtype Foundry in 2005 (who features again on this list with Geogrotesque). It is the other face of Relato Serif, although this version of the typeface is more austere with a contemporary cut (with the Regular weight being my favourite), it was created for general use in texts and holders and with a great variety of weights, which allows enough flexibility for projects of great magnitude.
Designed by Eduardo Manso in 2008, it has a geometric construction with the rounded finish providing it with a warm appearance, my favourite of the family is the Light weight. The typeface was conceived to be used as a display typeface in publications or intermediate length texts, most of all the Thin and Ultralight weights which were meant to be used in big sizes. It’s subtle curves combined with it’s more geometric structure give it a commanding yet friendly feel.
Neo Sans was designed by Monotypeâ€™s Sebastian Lester in 2004. It originated from a custom design project that was cancelled in its early stages, Lester then developed his initial sketches into two Neo typeface families (the other being Neo Tech). It has a pure, unfussy quality with my favourite being Std Light which is shown above. Lester summed it up perfectly describing it as being “…expressive without being distracting.â€
I find it’s always great to broaden your knowledge of typography and the range of typefaces available. With that in mind i have compiled a small list which will give you an insight into some of the most beautiful and versatile fonts available to any designer:
- 30 Fonts That All Designers Must Know & Should Own
- 40+ Excellent Freefonts For Professional Design
- 101 Awesome Downloadable Fonts for Designers
- 80 Beautiful Typefaces For Professional Design
- 104 Free Fonts for Web Designers and Logo Artists
- 10 Beautiful and free fonts for web designers
- 16 Best-Loved Font Bits In Web Design
- 25 Font-tastic Type Resources for Web Designers
- 23 amazing modern clean fonts
- The Top 100 Best Fonts Of All Time
- 21 Most Used Fonts By Professional Designers
- 30 Incredible Free Fonts for Designers
- 45 Beautiful Free Fonts for Modern Design Trends
There are other typefaces which i adore such as Univers and Interstate however in choosing my top 10 i decided to focus on those that got me excited when i used them in a project (yes im a typophile!) and somehow those i use on a more consistent basis such as Univers just don’t hold the same sparkle.
And yes i do love my Sans-Serif’s, while i like a lot of Serif fonts, the Sans-Serif’s will always hold the number one spot in my typography obsessed heart!
I would love to hear what your top 10 are, so please drop a comment telling everyone which typefaces rock your world!
Photo by jonathanvlarocca