My 10 Favourite Typefaces Of All Time

Beautiful Typography....

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
  • FF Din Regular
    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.

  • 2. Helvetica – Neue Thin
  • Helvetica Neue
    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.

  • 3. Museo Sans – 300
  • Museo-Sans
    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.

  • 4. Depot – Regular
  • Depot-Regular
    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.

  • 5. Myriad – Pro-Light
  • Myriad Pro-Light

    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.

  • 6. Seravek – Extra Light
  • Servek Light

    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.

  • 7. Ronnia – Extra Bold
  • Ronnia Extra Bold

    Designed by Veronika Burian, José Scaglione in 2007 it is remarkable sans serif with alot of character and versatility. It performs superbly in headlines but Ronnia’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.

  • 8. Relato Sans – Regular
  • Relato-Sans

    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.

  • 9. Geogrotesque – Light
  • Geogrotesque

    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.

  • 10. Neo Sans – Std Light
  • Neo Sans Std

    Neo Sans was designed by Monotype’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.”

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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:

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

20 Comments

  1. Greg says:

    Is it safe to say that you prefer Sans Serif fonts? ;-)

    Cool list, Grace. I’m in the beginning stages of typography love, so I still don’t know the best or most popular fonts… articles like this are giving me the opportunity to hear about some cool fonts.

    Greg

    • Grace says:

      @Greg I loves my Sans Serifs i cant lie ;-) Happy to help, there are lots of others i would love to add but i decided to concentrate on those which i just couldn’t live without.

      @Kris As a designer who worked in the print industry i know how useful and beautiful Futura can look.

      @Ryan Ooh I hadn’t heard of Neutraface before, its lovely, thanks for sharing your top 10 as well, some great choices!

      @Reza I’m with you on Eras light, thanks for stopping by.

      @Herne Adobe Caslon isn’t a font i would necessarily think of but is super clean and very versatile, though as you say not a great web font.

      @Kristian Fab list i was actually going to include FF Milo as i think its beautiful.

      @Veronica Love Museo, its so unique, thanks for commenting!

      @Fabian I’m with you on Gotham, i was just talking on twitter saying i was going to include it but decided on Neo Sans instead.

  2. kris says:

    Futura is the typeface for me!

  3. Ryan Lascano says:

    Great list, I agree these are some beautiful fonts!

    My top ten, in no particular order: Neutraface, Mostra, Avenir, Frutiger, Clarendon, Cambria, Helvetica Neue, Garamond Pro, Meta, Mrs. Eaves

  4. Cool list. I’m a big fan of Myriad as well as Helvetica. Lately, I started to appreciate Eras Light. Very clean and easy font.

  5. Herne says:

    I’ve been having a love affair with Adobe Caslon Pro for a while… but it doesn’t translate well to the web. I think I’m just addicted to swashes.

  6. Good list. Responding to your tweet, here’s my fave 10 (in no order)

    1. Adobe Jenson
    2. Univers
    3. Delicious
    4. NuetraText
    5. Giovanni
    6. Adobe Garamond
    7. FF MIlo Serif
    8. Proxima Nova
    9. Arno Pro
    10. Myriad Pro

  7. I’m a big fan of #3: Museo Sans as well as Trade Gothic. :D

  8. Fabian says:

    I am really liking the Gotham Family right now.

  9. Wayne D. says:

    My favorite sans is Gotham from H&FJ. I used to be hung up on sans for years and years. I have to admit that after reading ‘The Elements of Typographic Style’, I am leaning now more than ever to well produced and thought-out serif fonts.

    Caslon, if used correctly, can be sooo beautiful.

    Great post.

  10. Daus says:

    Georgia, Maratz, Soho, Auto, Amplitude ;)

  11. Geogrotesque is fab

  12. patrick says:

    thanks for giving us your favorites list. it seems everywhere i turn i see the same list, i.e. verdana, georgia, tahoma, etc so this is very refreshing.

    how do i incorporate these premium fonts (and other premium fonts) in my web designs? i don’t think i can use them in my css files yet because they aren’t widely installed. logos? where else do you see a good use for them?

    • Grace says:

      @Wayne Love Gotham, i have yet to read that book, it’s been on my wish list for ages! I will definitely have to buy it and get down to reading it.

      @Daus Great list, thanks for sharing!

      @Hernan It’s lovely i know. I have noticed a lot of google searches for the font since publishing this post which is cool.

      @Patrick Thanks for stopping by :-) You can certainly use them in your web designs with the use of dynamic font replacement techniques such as sIFR. A great post which outlines all of the ways to incorporate premium fonts into your design work is: Dynamic Text Replacement Solutions. Hope that helps!

  13. Emma Smyth says:

    Great article, I might steal some ideas :)

  14. Fantastic list. I’m in love with the top six. So fresh and so clean :)

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