Desert Island Fonts - Round 2 | June 20, 2005
If you could only buy 6 fonts, what would they be?
You just can’t go wrong with Helvetica. It has a timeless feel to it, and is one of the most perfectly readable fonts at any point size. It goes in and out of season, but it is guaranteed to remain a solid choice no matter what’s in fashion.
It’s almost become a cliché at this point, but Gill Sans still warms my heart. It’s got personality a thousand times over no matter how often you see it, and it remains distinct no matter how often it is over-used. Great on business cards at low point sizes to retain readability with character. Great on large format printing for the exact same reason. It makes for a perfect counterbalance to almost any serif font that you would use for body copy.
As one can tell from my logo mark, Bodoni is one of my favorites. A classic that projects confidence, sturdiness and a calm energy no matter how wild the design. Bodoni is history, and is a constant reminder of how our language and our art evolved over hundreds of years. I love to use it for body copy for book design.
Reminiscent of the classic fonts of the Renaissance, Abode Jenson does a great job of capturing that hand-cut feel of the master typographers of old. It’s a great font for body type, but also work wells for headlines. Adobe’s Pro version has plenty of ligatures, small caps, swashes, European characters and old style variations on characters to keep the most demanding type connoisseur content.
Easily one of my favorite grotesque style fonts. This font is perfect for any headline or large format printing. It also does a damn good job with captions.
These are my “safe” choices. They are the ones I find I turn to over and over when stuck in a design problem, or when needing to ground my work in a solid, confident, timeless type face. So, for the last choice, I’ll pick something I’ve been experimenting with as of late that I find interesting and out of the ordinary.
I love the hand drawn characters in this font. Call me a fuddy duddy, I don’t care, but lost is a time when people’s penmanship was so interesting and full of character.
A wide range of sans serif weights and styles within one font package
I use this to death - probably should be banned from using it
Great for movie posters and older atmospheric Museum-style sites (though the lack of lower case is a pain)
Nice serif font
Range of serifs and semi-serifs
Number one has to be Helvetica. Why? Well, for me, it communicates European culture. Also I think it has the perfect lower case ‘e’.
Mrs Eaves / Baskerville
Mrs eaves is probably the best interpretation of Baskerville, particularly it’s ligature set. Distinctive typeface, with a contemporary balance.
Can’t beat a bit of Garamond. Wonderfully legible and sophisticated without trying too hard.
The Helvetica of the 90’s. Used to death during that decade but it’s still a timeless classic.
If you ever need a typeface to say ‘British’, this is it. Although the lower case ‘a’ at heavier weights is pretty grim.
Verdana (but only at a small size)
No list would be complete without Verdana. A relative baby in the world of typeface design but it has helped define a medium. Superbly legible at small size.
Posted at June 20, 2005 9:09 AM