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LUC DEVROYE


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Best typefaces of 2021



[The best typefaces of 2021, the year of the ox, selected by Luc. Illustration by Chiharu Tanaka (2020, for Morisawa).]








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The best commercial typefaces of 2021: Luc's selection

This is my own selection of the best commercial typefaces published in 2021, grouped by category. The list will grow until December 31, 2021.
Text typefaces:
  • Sienna (Paulo Goode).
  • Indigo Antiqua 2 (Johan Ström).
  • Capricho (Dieter Hofrichter). In the style of the post-Romain du Roi period.
  • Selva (Fanny Hamelin at Colophon). A Scotch roman and accompanying script.
  • Avona Serif (Alanna Munro).
Sans typefaces:
  • Urbanist (Corey Hu). A geometric sans family, together with two variable fonts.
  • Grato and Gratimo (Mona Franz and Jakob Runge, TypeMates).
  • Muoto (Matthieu Cortat, Anthony Franklin and Sander Vermeulen).
  • ABC Gravity (Robert Janes at Dinamo). With a variable font and styles that vary from wide to compressed.
  • Ingeo (Juan Luis Blanco).
  • TT Fors (Antonina Zhulkova, Pavel Emelyanov and Yulia Gonina).
  • Code Next. A 20-style geometric sans by Svetoslav Simov, Mirela Belova and Stan Partalev.
  • Otterco (Adam Ladd). A 32-style condensed geometric sans.
  • Kolka (Andrejs Kirma).
  • Arpona Sans (Felix Braden). A 20-style humanist sans with rhombic tittles.
  • Lightbox21 (Ben Jones, Protimient).
  • Inklination (Eduardo Manso).
  • Apparat (Botio Nikoltchev).
Rounded sans typefaces:
Type systems:
Art deco typefaces:
  • Interbellum (Kristof Van Proeyen).
  • Parafina (Mario Feliciano).
  • Pacaembu. Advertized as a tropical art deco sans, this seven-style sans serif typeface by Alvaro Franca and Felipe Casaprima finds its roots in Brazilian soccer.
  • Sharf (Barbara Bigosinska, Blast Foundry).
  • Tankobon (Studio Aurora).
Hipster typefaces:
Script typefaces:
Calligraphic typefaces:
Brush typefaces:
Sketched, Layered or Poster typefaces:
Blackletter typefaces:
Dingbats and ornaments:
Programming fonts:
Garalde typefaces:
Display typefaces:
Slab serif typefaces:
  • Postulat (Alexey Chekulaev at Paratype). A 16-style geometric slab serif.
  • Chom (Stawix Ruecha).
Copperplate:
Wood type revivals:
  • Paraiso (Lucas Descroix).
  • Manuka (Kris Sowersby, KLIM). Compressed typefaces for large sizes. Described by Klim Type: With deviant details pilfered from Teutonic timber type, Manuka grafts a contemporary antipodean aesthetic onto 19th century German root-stock. Tight spacing, closed apertures and sharp joins make a compelling texture, like sunlight sparkling through a forest canopy.
Letterpress emulation:
Didone typefaces:
  • Fiona Pro (Sebastian Hilgetag). An extra-condensed set of fonts.
  • Bw Pose (Alberto Romanos).
  • Magari (Alejandro Paul). In the fat face and Normande genres.
Baroque typefaces:
  • Elaine (Pedro Leal, DS Type).
Fashion mag typefaces:
Revivals:
  • Tuppence (Roberto de Vicq de Cumptich). A revival of the Victorian typeface Blackfriars (1910, Stephenson Blake).
  • Tekst (Lewis McGuffie). A revival and extension of the famous Russian book typeface Literaturnaya.
  • Crabath (Tomas Brousil). Rather an exponential expansion than a revival, this 72-strong family is based on the 1761 specimen book of Czech typefounder Vaclav Jan Krabat.
  • P22 Graciosa (Matthias Beck).
  • Mercure (Charles Mazé at Abyme). Mercure is based in part on Beaudoire's Elzevir, and also goes back to the epigraphic origins of Perrin's Augustaux.
  • Oceanwide (Dave Lawrence). A revival and modification of a forgotten geometric sans by Adrian Frutiger for British Petroleum.
  • P22 Glaser Houdini (Richard Kegler). A layerable family, after Milton Glaser's Houdini from 1964.
  • Werner (Claudio Rocha, Now Type). A revival of A.D. Werner's art deco inline typeface Dubbeldik (1972, Mecanorma).
  • Normandia (Patrick Griffin and Hans van Maanen at Canada Type). This revives Alessandro Butti's fatface Normandia (1946-1949, at Nebiolo).
  • Orla (Pedro Leal, DSType). Based on Skeleton Antique No2 by Stephenson Blake.
  • P22 Underground Pro by Richard Kegler (1997), Paul D. Hunt (2007), Dave Farey (2021), James Todd (2021) and Patrick Griffin (2021). The ultimate implementation of Johnston's Underground?
Stencil typefaces:
Variable fonts:
  • Flexible (Art Grootfontein).
  • Seiva (Fabio Haag Type).
  • Stadio Now (2020). A revival by the Zetafonts team of Aldo Novarese's Stadio (1974), a reverse contrast sans that was published only as a rub-on transfer typeface. It comes with a multi-axis variable font that greatly enlarges the design space.
  • PF DIN Max (Panos Vassiliou). With weight, width and italic axes, this superfamily covers Latin, Greek and Cyrillic.
  • Garet (Stan Partalev and Mirela Belova at Spacetype).
Multilingual typefaces:
  • Dardashah (Mostafa El Abasiry).
  • Awesome Pro (Diab Jaser).
  • Ploni (Avraham Cornfeld). An 8-style geometric sans designed for simultaneous use of Latin, Hebrew and Cyrillic.
  • Waon Pro (Kazuo Kanai). Harmonizing Latin and Japanese.
Wonderful, adorable, refreshing typefaces:
  • PGF Americas (Pedro Gonzalez). Lifting the carved lettering of Rudolf Koch to new heights.
  • The Strattos (Suandana ipandemade).
  • Plethora (Alejandro Paul). A variable font family influenced by Julius Herriet Sr.'s Old Style Ornamented.
  • Klangfarbe Script (Mott Jordan).
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The best free typefaces of 2021: Luc's selection

This is my own selection of the best free typefaces published in 2021, grouped by category. The list will grow until December 31, 2021.
Text typefaces:
  • Calmadita (by Sic Typus Creatus Est, a group of five Mexican type designers).
  • Atkinson Hyperlegible (Applied Design Works, Braille Institute).
  • Newsreader (Hugues Gentile, Production Type). Made in 2020, but showcased at Production Type in 2021, this is an extensive optically corrected family (Caption, Text, Display) for reading on screens.
Sans typefaces:
Rounded sans typefaces:
Type systems:
Art deco typefaces:
  • Moniqa (Rajesh Rajput). In 162 styles, including variable fonts.
  • Italico (Antonio Filigno).
Hipster typefaces:
Script typefaces:
Calligraphic typefaces:
  • Ballet VF (Maximiliano Sproviero, with Eduardo Tunni and the Omnibus team). A variable Spencerian penmanship font with optical sizing from 16pt to 72pt.
Brush typefaces:
Sketched, Layered or Poster typefaces:
Blackletter typefaces:
Dingbats and ornaments:
  • Sébastien (Vanessa Zuñiga). Patterns and color fonts based on the 17th centry tilings of Jean Truchet.
  • Botana (Masyafi Studio).
Programming fonts:
  • Drafting Mono (Owen Earl). A typewriter-like font but in which slabs are added not just to the lower case i and l as was the practice in the past. In eight styles.
Garalde typefaces:
Display typefaces:
Slab serif typefaces:
Copperplate:
Wood type revivals:
Letterpress emulation:
Didone typefaces:
Fashion mag typefaces:
Revivals:
  • Aboensis (Tommi Syrjänen). A very carefully researched revival of 15th century alphabets used in Codex Aboensis (1430s) and The Black Book of Abo Cathedral (late 15th century).
Stencil typefaces:
Variable fonts:
  • Ballet VF (Maximiliano Sproviero, with Eduardo Tunni and the Omnibus team). A variable Spencerian penmanship font with optical sizing from 16pt to 72pt.
  • Truculenta (Ivan Castro, Eva Sanz and the Omnibus team). An enormous vernacular sans family with optical size, weight and width axes.
Multilingual typefaces:
Wonderful, adorable, refreshing typefaces:
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