Here is a sneak peak at what fonts are going in the Big Book of Font Combinations this Fall. I haven’t posted for while as I’ve been neck-deep in InDesign and typefaces and creating useful and / or instructive pairs from them.
Why these typefaces?
Simple – our research as well as the independent research of other qualified typography lovers have identified these faces, on a variety of quantifiable levels, as either most owned, most used, or most popular. This list is not arbitrary but rather represents the fonts in the “spike” area of a chart, while hundreds and thousands of other typefaces make up the “long tail”.
Don’t shoot the messenger
I’ve gotten some interesting flak for presenting these typefaces as the most popular among designers because it seems to eschew modern typefaces designed by very-alive and relevant type designers and foundries. Point taken. A great conversation was had about it over at typophile.com. My defense of the typeface “choices” is one simply based on good and reasonable research. I did not “choose” any of the typefaces: a zillion designers did over not a few decades. If someone wants to do the research again, I’m sure they’ll come to the same conclusion myself and others did, for the most part, give or take a font or two.
I’ll lift part of the dialogue from the typophile.com thread, which I think sums it up:
It just happens that the last type book I purchased a few weeks back, “Typeface: Classic Typography for Contemporary Design” by Tamye Riggs is a real delight to read. The list of typefaces she works with contains 46 typefaces, all of which are on the lists and research I did. She got a lot of flack from her “fellow type fanatics” about what should and shouldn’t be on the list.
Her concluding sentence in the intro rings true for me:
“What is included is ultimately not the preference of the authors – the content evolved organically from a thorough exploration of typography in the design world.”
Her research mirrors mine nearly identically. She did more research than I, so I’ll defer to her list, even though I did my research before her book came out earlier this year.
But the second paragraph of the intro is even better:
“I could see tremendous potential for such a type book. Let me preface this by saying that I’m a big fan of living type designers and I support their efforts as much as possible. But while plenty of graphic designers employ new typefaces in their projects, there is still a tremendous amount of stunning work being produced using type that originated in the twentieth centuries and much earlier.”
I couldn’t say it any better myself, so I won’t try!
Yo, Font-Addict! Make sure to check out The Big Book of Font Combinations. Go grab a copy from Amazon or B&N, or grab the DISCOUNTED ebook PDF digital download version (40% OFF the hardcover retail price!) from the BonFX Store, and stare at all 350+ examples of informative font combinations for web and print. You know you want to!
The working list of serif and sans serif typefaces used to make combinations in the book
Without further delay and maybe a typo or two:
- Akzidenz Grotesk
- American Typewriter
- Antique Olive Light
- Avante Gard
- Bell Gothic
- Bernhard Modern
- Bickham Script
- Bodoni Caslon
- Century Gothic
- FF DIN
- Franklin Gothic
- Gil Sans
- Goudy Old Style
- Letter Gothic
- Monotype Grotesque
- Mrs. Eaves
- New Baskerville
- New Century Schoolbook
- News Gothic
- Officina Sans
- Times Roman
- Trade Gothic
I thought this was interesting: a partial screenshot of the big spreadsheet we are using to keep track of progress. Um, it’s slightly unreadable on purpose :).
There you have it: the list as it stands right now. It’s subject to change, but one way or another, we’ll see you in the Fall with complete book.
UPDATE: The book was released on 9/31/2010. Get your copy today.
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Looks like a great list to me!!! Hm, maybe that means I’m not exploring the new typefaces enough. But I stick with the classics — they’re beautiful and I don’t have to get permission to buy them for projects since we already own lots of them. 🙂 Thanks, Phyllis
Douglas Bonneville says
Realistically speaking, it’s the right thing to learn to handle tried and true typefaces to some degree before adding all kinds of font madness. Some people go berserk collecting new typefaces, but don’t learn to handle what they have. Really, you can get a lot of mileage out of the classics. However, all designers should be buying a new face from time to time to keep expanding their vocabulary.