Latest update: April 5, 2016: Out of the huge number of fonts used by graphic designers, there really is quite a small pool of fonts consistently chosen over and over again by graphic designers as their “most used”. I took some time to search out as many “top fonts most preferred for graphic designers” search results (plus variations) that I had time to visit. I spent several hours visiting blogs, forums, magazine websites, etc..
I tallied up the top typefaces in people’s lists. The list was about 40 fonts long after the first hour, but could have easily been 100 fonts if I kept at it. I then pared the list down and dropped off mentions of fonts below a certain threshold to get the list manageable and meaningful. After about 20 typefaces, the list took on the characteristics of the “long-tail” and it trailed off into more and more obscure fonts with no group consensus.
NOTE: Because people generally favor the term “top fonts” over “top typefaces” according to Google, I’m using the term font. It’s correct to use in a certain sense, but this list really should be called “top typefaces”. Think of fonts as tracks and typefaces as albums. Albums have tracks and typefaces have fonts. Google “fonts and typefaces” for more clarification.
What we have left is 19 top fonts that met the criteria of being mentioned at least certain number of times. And here are the results!
- Futura –
- Garamond –
- Frutiger –
- Helvetica / Helvetica Neue –
- Minion –
- Bodoni –
- Clarendon –
- Franklin Gothic –
- Univers –
- Gill Sans –
- Akzidenz Grotesk –
- Avenir –
- Caslon –
- Myriad –
- FF Din –
- Trade Gothic –
- Baskerville –
- Warnock –
- Bembo –
BTW... The Big Book of Font Combinations (PDF format) wants you to stop by and check out its samples. So many fonts, so little time...
There you have it! For the experienced graphic designer, this list is no surprise. But it’s always a lesson. With typefaces, the wheel has been invented already, so don’t work too hard to pick your typeface for your next graphic design project!
More Top Fonts resources:
- Top 100 Best, Cool, Most Popular Professional Fonts (In English)
- Top 7 Fonts Used By Professionals In Graphic Design
- 13 excellent typefaces for graphic designers | David Airey …
- 60 Brilliant Typefaces For Corporate Design « Smashing Magazine
Yo, Font-Addict! Make sure to sneak-peek at The Big Book of Font Combinations PDF. It's on sale—17% off—for a limited time and then POOF! Go grab a copy and stare at all 370 examples of informative font combinations for web and print. You know you want to!
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