With the different typefaces on offer, it’s good to have a select few that act as main-stays in your collection. The following 10 typefaces are ones you’ll find many graphic designers using.
Akzidenz Grotesk, the first ever sans-serif typeface to be widely used, was originally released in 1898, by the H. Berthold AG type foundry. At first glance, it can sometimes be mistaken for the Helvetica or Univers typefaces.
The name Avenir is French for “future,” and takes inspiration from early geometric sans-serif typefaces Erbar (1922) designed by Jakob Erbar, and Futura (1927) designed by Paul Renner. Frutiger intended Avenir to be a more organic, humanist interpretation of these highly geometric types. While similarities can be seen with Futura, the two-story lowercase a is more like Erbar, and also recalls Frutiger’s earlier namesake typeface Frutiger.
is a series of serif typefaces first designed by Giambattista Bodoni (1740–1813) in 1798. The typeface is classified as Didone modern. Bodoni followed the ideas of John Baskerville, as found in the printing type Baskerville, that of increased stroke contrast and a more vertical, slightly condensed, upper case, but taking them to a more extreme conclusion. Bodoni had a long career and his designs evolved and differed, ending with a typeface of narrower underlying structure with flat, unbracketed serifs, extreme contrast between thick and thin strokes, and an overall geometric construction.
Caslon shares the irregularity characteristic of Dutch Baroque types. It is characterized by short ascenders and descenders, bracketed serifs, moderately-high contrast, robust texture, and moderate modulation of stroke. The A has a concave hollow at the apex, the G is without a spur. Caslon’s italics have a rhythmic calligraphic stoke. Characters A, V, and W have an acute slant. The lowercase italic p, q, v, w, and z all have a suggestion of a swash
is an English slab-serif typeface that was created in England by Robert Besley for the Fann Street Foundry in 1845. Due to its popularity, Besley registered the typeface under Britain’s Ornamental Designs Act of 1842. The patent expired three years later, and other foundries were quick to copy it. Clarendon is considered the first registered typeface, with the original matrices and punches remaining at Stephenson Blake and later residing at the Type Museum, London. They were marketed by Stephenson Blake as Consort, though some additional weights (a bold and italics) were cut in the 1950s.
Franklin Gothic is an extra-bold sans-serif type which can be distinguished from other sans serif typefaces, as it has a more traditional double-story g and a. Other main distinguishing characteristics are the tail of the Q and the ear of the g. The tail of the Q curls down from the bottom center of the letterform in the book weight and shifts slightly to the right in the bolder fonts.
Futura was designed in 1927 by Paul Renner. Although Renner was not associated with the Bauhaus movement, he shared many of its structural elements, and believed that a modern typeface should express modern models, rather than be a revival of a previous design.
Gill Sans was designed by Eric Gill in 1927-30. Gill was a well established sculptor, graphic artist and type designer, and the Gill Sans typeface takes inspiration from Edward Johnston’s ‘Johnston’ typeface, used for the London Underground, which Gill had worked on whilst apprenticed to Johnston.
Helvetica was created by Miedinger with Eduard Hoffmann at the Haas’sche Schriftgiesserei (Haas type foundry) of Münchenstein, Switzerland. Haas set out to design a new sans-serif typeface that could compete with Akzidenz Grotesk in the Swiss market. Originally called Neue Haas Grotesk, the typeface’s name was changed by Haas’ German parent company, Stempel, in 1960, to Helvetica — derived from Confederatio Helvetica, the Latin name for Switzerland — in order to make it more marketable internationally.
Univers is the name of the typeface designed by Adrian Frutiger in 1956. Both Univers and Helvetica, which are sometimes confused, take inspiration from the 1896 typeface Akzidenz Grotesk (listed above). These typefaces figure prominently in the Swiss style of graphic design. ARTICLE IDEA BY DAVID AIRELY