I love typography. I anxiously wait for the MyFonts and FontFeed newsletters to hit my inbox every month. Apart from John Boardley’s ‘ilovetypography‘ blog, these are my next best source of type lovin!

As a designer, I run through lots of fonts. Nine times out of ten, however I’m forced to use what the web allows me and that is not much. For print, its a whole different ballgame. The crisp keylines of a well drawn typeface hold as much attraction for me as handbags and shoes for my girl friends. Here are a selection of some of my favorite typefaces.

To be honest, today’s designers use the term font and typeface interchangeably, however in the words of Mark Simonson it is thus:

“the physical embodiment of a collection of letters, numbers, symbols, etc. (whether it’s a case of metal pieces or a computer file) is a font. When referring to the design of the collection (the way it looks) you call it a typeface”

There is an entire article devoted to this on the FontFeed site. Go to the original article

1. Akzidenz Grotesk

Released by Berthold in 1898, this is an ancestor of the now ubiquitous Helvetica. I like Helvetica for its everyman feel. However, many times I just get a feeling that some designers take the easy way out using Helvetica for everything. What I do like about Akzidenz Grotesk is the fact that it has some imperfection which is missing from the clarity of Helvetica. Its, I believe more human and not some clinical treatment of copy on a full page spread. I loved it so much, infact, that I used it for DoGood too.

For me: Helvetica is the perfect human being, but Akzidenz is reality with rough edges that make us different and unique.

2. Univers

Designed by one of the most iconic Type Designers, Adrian Frutiger, Univers is not as old as Akzidenz Grotesk. It does however trace its past to the Akzidenz, using which Frutiger designed this in 1954. The beauty of Univers lies in its mix and match quality across its weight families. You can very easily mix in an extended with a condensed or a roman with an extended. Adrian Frutiger is one of my favorite designers, and the next typem Avenir too is designed by him.

For me: The condensed family of Univers is unparalleled in its quality and modern feel. Tall, slender and very clean, its a family I use frequently amongst Univers.

3. Avenir

Mr. Frutiger gets it right again with Avenir. An excellent typeface for corporate reports, white papers and annuals, Avenir is very legible even at small points.

For me: Lowercase on Avenir for logos – very clean and great shape

4. Futura

Avenir in some part can trace its history back to Futura, which inspired Adrian Frutiger. Futura is a beautifully designed typeface and one of the most widely recognized styles of Bauhaus design. Designed by Paul Renner in 1927, Futura can be seen in many places even today. Wes Anderson, one of my favorite directors (see Rushmore, The Darjeeling Limited) regularly uses Futura in his films and its a treat to see good typography in films. On a side note, the recent Daniel Craig Bond movies make excellent use of typography for location details.

For me: I have a massive crush for the circular period of Futura. Avenir too carries this trait but the Futura endpoint just makes it look much more consistent with the heavy weight.

5. Gotham

Its got nothing to do with Batman and his criminally delinquent city. Commissioned by GQ magazine, Gotham came to prominence with one of the greatest campaigns known to us – Barack Obama’s Presidential Run. I’ve read a great article on why only Gotham can do the job that no other typeface could at the time and I wholly agree. Its fresh, clean, strong and very masculine. It represents a true change from the tried and tested serif and sans-serifs alike.

For me: Only uppercase of Gotham works for me. The lowercase seems too stocky and clogged. At uppercase, however, its refreshing and well spaced.