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Type Worship [Jamie Clarke]

Type Worship is the official blog of 8 Faces magazine. Featuring inspirational typography, beautiful lettering, reviews, interviews with leading designers, and exclusive content from the coveted bi-annual publication. Curated by Jamie Clarke (London) with Elliot Jay Stocks.

Over four years and across eight issues they interviewed 64 world-renowned designers and asked them for their favorite fonts. These designers were Erik Spiekermann, Jessica Hische, Ian Coyle, Jason Santa Maria, Jos Buivenga, Jon Tan, Bruce Willen, Nolen Strals, Martin Majoor, Ale Paul, Stephen Coles, Tim Brown, Nick Sherman, Rich Rutter, Veronika Burian, José Scaglione, Ellen Lupton, Frank Chimero, Steve Matteson, Mark Caneso, Vincent Connare, Yves Peters, Jason Smith, Phil Garnham, John Boardley, Craig Mod, Kris Sowersby, Doug Wilson, Nadine Chahine, David Brezina, Silas Dilworth, Neil Summerour, Jonathan Hoefler, Tobias Frere-Jones, Mark Simonson, Trent Walton, Keetra Dean Dixon, Peter Bilak, Gerry Leonidas, Mark MacKay, Simon Walker, Dan Rhatigan, Seb Lester, Nina Stössinger, Grant Hutchinson, Mike Kus, Eric Olson, Nicole Dotin, Michael Bierut, Tomas Brousil, Georg Salden, Hannes von Döhren, Phil Baines, Ken Barber, Rudy VanderLans, Zuzana Licko, Elliot Jay Stocks, Jeremy Leslie, Jan Middendorp, Robert Slimbach, Steven Heller, Fiona Ross, Erica Jung and Ricardo Marcin. The top 25 fonts coming out of this poll are, in order [with quotes and discussion taken from Jamie Clarke's piece]:

  • Georgia. Matthew Carter, 1993. Originally designed for clarity on low resolution screens, for Microsoft, it is the counterpart to Verdana, which also appears in this list. Georgia has a large x-height and ascenders that rise above the cap height. It's a sturdy yet friendly typeface, with a wonderful flowing italic, that features on millions of websites.
  • Gotham. Tobias Frere-Jones, 2000. Famously used for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign.
  • FF Scala. Martin Majoor, 1990.  FontShop International’s ‘first serious text face’.
  • Futura. Paul Renner, 1927.  This immortal ‘modern’ typeface with its uncompromising shapes has become the benchmark geometric sans for almost 80 years.
  • Gill Sans. Eric Gill, 1926.  A quintessential British design; though it’s eccentricities make it notoriously tricky to use well. A blend of humanist and geometric shapes.
  • Garamond. (Claude Garamond, c. 1480–1561), Several derivatives of the Parisian punch cutter’s design have been chosen, including; ITC Garamond (Tony Stan), Adobe Garamond & Garamond Premier (Robert Slimbach). 
  • Caslon (Adobe Caslon). (William Caslon I, 1722) Carol Twombly, 1990.  Gave rise to a printer’s saying ‘When in doubt, use Caslon’. Also a favourite of Benjamin Franklin.
  • Akzidenz Grotesk. H. Berthold, Berthold Type Foundry, 1898.  The first widely used sans serif typeface.
  • Alternate Gothic. Morris Fuller Benton, 1903.  Designed for the American Typefounders Company (ATF). All three weights are bold and narrow. Currently used on YouTube’s homepage logo.
  • Helvetica. Max Miedinger with Eduard Hoffmann, 1957.  Helvetica needs no introduction as the planet’s most famous typeface—it even inspired a very good film. 
  • Metro. William Addison Dwiggins, 1930.  Designed out of a dissatisfaction with the san serifs of the time like Futura.
  • ITC Franklin Gothic. Morris Fuller Benton, 1902.  Created for the American Type Founders Company and named after Benjamin Franklin.
  • Meta Serif. Erik Spiekermann, Christian Schwartz and Kris Sowersby, 2007.  The serif companion to Eric Spiekermann’s influential sans serif, FF Meta. Also designed to work well with FF Unit and FF Unit Slab.
  • Trade Gothic. Jackson Burke, 1948/1960. 
  • Adelle. José Scaglione and Veronika Burian, 2009.  Adelle is a slab serif typeface conceived for intensive editorial use, mainly in newspapers and magazines but its personality and flexibility make it very adaptable.
  • Caecilia. Peter Matthias Noordzij, 1990.  A humanist rather than geometric slab serif, aiding its legibility.
  • Chaparral. Carol Twombly, 2000.  A
  • DIN. Albert-Jan Pool, 1995.  This clean geometric sans is based on the German standard typeface, DIN 1451, used for official documents and street signs etc. DIN stands for Deutsches Institut für Normung (German Institute of Standardisation). The font was added to the MoMA Design Collection in 2011.
  • Hoefler Text. Jonathan Hoefler, 1991.   Designed for Apple to demonstrate advanced type technologies it reintroduced type design traditions once central to fine printing like ligature sets, engraved capitals, ornaments and arabesques.
  • Quadraat. Fred Smeijers, 1992.  An original typeface Combining Renaissance elegance with contemporary ideas on construction and form. Named after Smeijers’ design studio in Arnhem, of the same name.
  • Sabon. Jan Tschichold, 1964.  An oldstyle serif typeface based on Garamond. A distinguishing feature of Sabon is the same width occupied by characters in the Roman and Italic styles, and the Regular and Bold weights.
  • Sentinel. Jonathan Hoefler & Tobias Frere-Jones, 2009.  
  • Verdana. Matthew Carter, 1996.  It was created specifically to address the challenges of on-screen display. Verdana’s large x-height, wide proportions, generous letter-spacing and large counters are key to its legibility at small sizes.
  • Fedra Serif. Peter Bilak, 2003.  A highly original text typeface. Shaped by a unique blend of technological considerations while maintaining hand-written forms.
  • Feijoa. Kris Sowersby, 2007.  Aiming to create a feeling of softness, Feijoa has an almost complete absence of straight lines. Feijoa successfully avoids the sense of coldness that Kris had felt with some previous digital typefaces.
  • Officina. Erik Spiekermann, 1990. A paired family of serif and sans serif typefaces, originally designed as a typeface for business correspondence but found a much wider, trendier audience.

Credit for some images below: Danielle West.

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INTERNAL LINKS
Typography ⦿ Type design in the United Kingdom ⦿ Choice of fonts ⦿ Eric Gill and his typefaces ⦿








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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