Choosing the right typeface for your design makes all the difference. But with tens of thousands of font families to choose from, it can be a daunting task. So, wouldn’t it be great to start with a short list of typefaces, hand-picked by world-renowned designers?
Over four years and across eight issues, 8 Faces magazine interviewed 64 world-renowned designers, including; Erik Spiekermann, Jessica Hische, Michael Bierut, Nina Stössinger, Mark Simonson & Seb Lester, as well as owners of respected type foundries such as, Font Smith, Type Together and Process Type. And they would always ask these world-renowned designers this question: “If you could use just eight typefaces, which would you choose?”
After counting the number of times each typeface was chosen in consensus, 8 Faces magazine put together a list of those top typefaces. Below are the top 10 typefaces that were chosen by these world-renowned designers and typographers. See if your favourites are listed or view all 25 here.
Top typefaces chosen by world-renowned designers
Chosen 11 times by world-renowned designers. Georgia was originally designed for clarity on low resolution screens, for Microsoft. The typeface has a large x-height and ascenders that rise above the cap height, making it a sturdy yet friendly typeface that features on millions of websites.
Most famously used for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, Gotham was chosen 8 times.
- FF Scala
Chosen 6 times, it’s FontShop International’s ‘first serious text face’.
This timeless modern typeface, with its uncompromising shapes, has become the benchmark geometric sans for almost 80 years. Futura was chosen 5 times.
- Gill Sans
Chosen 5 times, Gill Sans remains one of the most distinctive blends of humanist and geometric shaped typefaces.
- ITC Garamond
The subtlety of line and detail of Garamond are simply remarkable; which is why it was chose 5 times as well.
Caslon gave rise to a printer’s saying “When in doubt, use Caslon”. Chosen 5 times, it was also a favourite of Benjamin Franklin.
- Akzidenz Grotesk
The first widely used sans serif typeface, it was chosen 4 times.
- Alternate Gothic
Chosen 4 times, Alternative Gothic was designed for the American Typefounders Company (ATF); all three weights are bold and narrow. It’s currently used on YouTube’s logo.
Baskerville designed his own type to improve his printed works and better the dominant fonts of William Caslon. His typefaces were both admired and criticized by his competitors. Yet it was chosen 4 times as well.
Daniel is an Art Director and Graphic Designer with over a decade of experience in advertising and marketing in the Greater Toronto Area.