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Paul Shaw: Ten Typefaces of the Decade [Paul Shaw]

In an article in Imprint, sure to get many reactions, Paul Shaw reveals his top ten typefaces of the decade from 2000 to 2010. He says: It is not a list of my favorite typefaces, nor is it a list of the most popular typefaces. Instead, it is a list of typefaces that have been important. Here is the list, with Shaw's own reasoning.

  • 1. Clearview [2004, James Montalbano and Don Meeker]. The first professionally designed typeface to be accepted for use in American road signage. This is a landmark moment in graphic design and typography, an instance where both professions will have a broad impact on the average American who will have no idea that he is a beneficiary.
  • 2. Retina [2000, Jonathan Hoefler and Tobias Frere-Jones]. A worthy digital successor to the composing machine and phototype work of C.H. Griffith, Matthew Carter and Adrian Frutiger in the area of typefaces designed for legibility within specific circumstances.
  • 3. Minuscule [2004, Thomas Huot]. A fascinating experiment in rethinking our views on what makes a typeface legibile at small sizes.
  • 4. Magma [2004, Sumner Stone]. Intriguing for the halo concept as a means of compensating in the digital world for weight loss or gain through various printing techniques.
  • 5. Warnock Pro [2000, Robert Slimbach]. The first OpenType font with contextual features according to Adobe; and thus it gets my nod over Adobe Garamond Premier Pro. I would champion the latter as the first revival of a revival. Slimbach has made an authentic design even more authentic as he had the rare chance to start over and do what he couldn't do the first time.
  • 6. Burgues Script [2007, Alejandro Paul]. This is the script typeface that has made graphic designers realize the possibilities of OpenType; its alternates, contextual characters, swash characters, loose flourishes, etc. go beyond Bickham Script and paved the way for other typefaces such as Compendium Script and Champion Script. Moreover, it is amazingly true to its source.
  • 7. Studio Lettering [2009, Ken Barber]. For adding a new wrinkle to the idea of smart fonts with the contextual language alternates. Underware's Liza has taken this even further and could have been added to the list.
  • 8. Freight [2005, Joshua Darden]. Of all of the font families that have attempted to go beyond the now standard dichotomy of serif and sans, this seems to be the most successful with its wide range of sizes. Other choices could have been Nick Shinn's Scotch Modern and Figgins combo or Jeremy Tankard's Trilogy.
  • 9. Yale [2004, Matthew Carter]. The first custom typeface designed for an institution (not a commercial entity) in this country; and one that is being used in a broad manner from official documents and signage to student term papers. Another candidate would have been Peter Verheul’s Rijksoverheid Serif and Sans for the Dutch government.
  • 10. History [2008, Peter Bilak]. A glorious failure; a new way to look at digital letterforms that is more thrilling for its ideas than its execution.

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file name: T D C2006 Robert Slimbach Garamond Premier Pro


file name: Adobe Garamond Pro


file name: Robert Slimbach Garamond Premier Pro 1992 2004


file name: Robert Slimbach Garamond Premier Pro 1992 2004b


file name: Robert Slimbach Garamond Premier Pro 1992 2004d


file name: Robert Slimbach Garamond Premier Pro 1992 2004f


file name: Robert Slimbach Garamond Premier Pro Greek 1992 2004


file name: Joshua Darden Freight


file name: Joshua Darden Freight


file name: Joshua Darden Freight


file name: Joshua Darden Freight


file name: Joshua Darden Freight


file name: Joshua Darden Freight


file name: Robert Slimbach Adobe Garamond 1989 2001 poster by Dayne Petera 2014


file name: Robert Slimbach Adobe Garamond 1989 2001


file name: Robert Slimbach Adobe Garamond Poster by Eva Antoinette 2015


file name: Robert Slimbach Adobe Garamond Poster by Eva Antoinette 2015b


file name: Robert Slimbach Adobe Garamond 1989 2001b


file name: Robert Slimbach Adobe Garamond 1989 2001d


file name: Robert Slimbach Adobe Garamond Bold 1989 2001







Luc Devroye ⦿ School of Computer Science ⦿ McGill University Montreal, Canada H3A 2K6 ⦿ lucdevroye@gmail.com ⦿ http://luc.devroye.org ⦿ http://luc.devroye.org/fonts.html