FontShop Germany created a special website, 100besttypefaces.com, which lists the 100 best typefaces of all time. An international jury assembled the overview based on sales numbers, historical relevance, and aesthetic qualities. The nice looking site and matching PDF-file provide many interesting details about the choices that were made.
Helvetica is a true classic that was created in 1957 by Swiss typeface designer Max Miedinger. Today it is still one of the most widely used sans-serif fonts.
This classic old-style serif typeface was named after the French type designer Claude Garamond.
Originally this was only available as a sans-serif but Adrian Frutiger also created a serif version.
With its outspoken contrast, Bodoni alternates between being fashionable and outdated once every decade. A bit like Madonna.
Although this creation of Paul Renner is already ninety years old, Futura is still as popular as ever.
Commissioned by British newspaper The Times in 1931, this serif typeface is also frequently used in book design.
‘Grotesque’ refers to an ‘early sans-serif’ and ‘Akzidenz’ is the German word for jobbing – the printing of brochures, cards, stationery, etc. Read more…
Definitely a typeface for the 1990s, Officina was designed for the contemporary office.
Originally designed for the fascia of a bookstore, Gill Sans is popular for posters and other signage.
With its clean lines and wide variety of faces, Univers is a personal favorite. Many companies use it as their corporate typeface.
Classic yet modern looking, Optima is one of the many creations of German typeface designer and calligrapher Hermann Zapf.
Gothic was a contemporary term meaning sans-serif. The above example is a bolder version of Franklin Gothic.
Bembo is a 20th-century revival of a 15th-century typeface. The typeface got its name from being used in a book authored by Cardinal Bembo.
Optimal for signage but suitable for setting text as well, Interstate is a versatile typeface.
The large and versatile Thesis typeface family includes the TheSans and TheSerif variants.
A Monotype classic from the thirties
Its unique character quirks make Walbaum open, warm, and very graceful.
Meta is mainly popular as a corporate typeface.
Trinité was one of the first typefaces to be specifically designed for digital typesetting.
Widely used for signage and technical applications. Read more…
Constructed in 1986, using as few interpolation points as possible.
OCR A and OCR B were optimized for automatic reading devices.
Designed for the magazine with the same title. Read more…
Pity I cannot show all the variations of this versatile typeface. Read more…
A design from the early sixties by typographer Jan Tschichold.
In this long list Zapfino really stands out, doesn’t it?
Letter Gothic was originally created for use on IBM Selectric typewriters.
One of the first typefaces designed entirely on a computer, Stone dates from
Readability was the main design goal for Arnhem.
Minion was one of Adobe’s first OpenType Pro fonts.
I find Myriad intriguing.
Released by Agfa in 1988, rotis was later reissued by Monotype.
Even today Eurostile is still popular in science fiction novels and film artwork.
Quite surprisingly some classics such as Avenir, Palatino, Caslon or Benguiat don’t show up at the top of the list, even though they make it to the Top 100. The last font to make it to the list at place 100 is Mistral. Obviously others may have another opinion about these fonts, so it also pays to look at the list of most hated fonts. Looking for an alternative list? Typographers typefaces is an interesting article.