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Selecting Fonts & Typefaces

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Typographer’s typefaces The 25 most admired... The 25 most admired typefaces by typographers, type designers and letterers.

Typographer’s typefaces The 25 most admired...

Selecting the right typeface makes all the difference to effective design and communication. But with over 100,000 font families to pick from it can be a daunting task. There are some excellent guides on how to choose a typeface and helpful methods for pairing typefaces but in order to apply these principles it’s important to be familiar with a broad range of quality typefaces. Wouldn’t it be great to start with a short list of typefaces, hand-picked by designers in the type industry? In each issue of 8 Faces magazine we asked eight leading designers from the fields of typography, lettering and type design itself: If you could use just eight typefaces, which would you choose?

We’ve counted the number of times each typeface was selected and found consensus with the top 25. 1. Matthew Carter, 1993. “A gorgeous technical achievement.” 2. Tobias Frere-Jones, 2000. “Each character just feels ‘normal’ and ‘right’”. 3. Web Fonts. More Meaningful Typography. We have all heard of the golden mean (also known as the golden ratio or golden section): the self-replicating page with a proportion of 1:1.618 that is said to be found in everything from the design of ancient Greek architecture to the growth patterns of plants.

More Meaningful Typography

This and other meaningful ratios rooted in geometry, music, nature, and history can be expressed as modular scales and put to work on the web. Fig 1: A simple modular scale: 10@1:1.618 Fig 2: Our example page, designed using a modular scale. A modular scale is a sequence of numbers that relate to one another in a meaningful way. Using the golden ratio, for example, we can produce values for a modular scale by multiplying by 1.618 to arrive at the next highest number, or dividing by 1.618 to arrive at the next number down.

Let’s start by looking at what modular scales are, and how they apply to web design. Modular scales and how they apply to web design#section1 Making a modular scale is easy. I chose the golden mean (1:1.618). Fontularity: Most Popular Fonts by Operating System [Infographic] Handpicked free fonts for graphic designers with commercial-use licenses.

Top Fonts

19 top fonts in 19 top combinations. UPDATE: Check out The Big Book of Font Combinations on sale now!

19 top fonts in 19 top combinations

I recently compiled a list of the 19 most popular fonts according to usage by graphic designers from all over the web. I could have had 100, but I got it down to under 50, and from there whittled it down to just the 19 best fonts. Why 19? Because at exactly 20, the “long tail” shot right out and the differences in tallies became negligible. Take a look at those top fonts if you want and come right back because now we are going to have a little typography fun. What we have here is that list of 19 top fonts once again, but this time combined into pairs to give us 19 excellent font combinations. How does combining fonts work? I simply followed the golden rule of font combinations, which is simply to combine a serif and a sans serif to give “contrast” and not “concord”.

How did I choose the combinations? I tried to mix it up, but had to make some arbitrary decisions. The results So here we have the following items: PDF Download: