I try not to use the same fonts when I am designing; especially when i’m designing a brand or logo. I don’t ever want to run the risk of looking boring or uncreative. But if i’m being honest, like most designers, I use some fonts more than others, It’s always a good thing to have a good handful of reliable fonts that you know well and love. Here are just a few of my trusty go to typefaces.
Goudy Old Style This one is a classic (hence “old style”) and yet it maintains its appeal because of it’s interesting serifs, sharp lines, and elegant curves. Goudy works well for print as well as the web.
Paperback I only somewhat recently purchased this typeface from House Industries (my absolute favorite foundry). It comes in a variety of text and display styles and is designed very carefully to be used at many different sizes. It is formed to perfection and is quickly becoming a favorite.
Adobe Garamond Although it is not a font that works well for text on the web. It is still widely considered one of the best fonts ever created because it is readable, and has stood the test of times since it’s creation in the sixteenth century. I guess it is fair to say I like the classics when it comes to a serif.
Vekta Neo & Vekta Serif Vekta is a fairly new typeface that is meant to be purchased as a trifecta; there is a Neo, a Sans, and a Serif. They are all interconnected visually so they can be used interchangeably across a visual system (identity, publication, etc.). I have found that I really like the quirky personality of some of the letterforms, especially the lowercase.
Aaux Pro Ever since I found Aaux a few years back I have constantly gone back to it. The consistent lines are clean and makes this typeface super versatile. It works for display purposes as well as various heavier text settings. It’s light and comfortable, and the lower case “g” makes me really happy.
Helvetica Neue Although Apple has decided to use “San Francisco” to replace Helvetica Neue as its primary OS typeface, it is still my all-time favorite fallback font. I use it for many things, such as most of my personal graphics for this blog as well as my personal branding. Just like Helvetica, it is versatile and has been shown to have stood the test of time. Although Helvetica as a family is polarizing for many a designer, it remains a solid workhorse typeface for me.
Myriad Pro Before I fell in love with Helvetica (Neue or otherwise), my go to sans serif was Myriad. I read a blog recently that labeled it as “Flat. Generic. Invisible”. But I have to disagree. I think that sometimes it is necessary to have a typeface that does not draw too much attention, that is “generic”, for the sake of the message being the focus. It is a softer and more friendly version of “Frutiger” in my opinion and it will remain in my arsenal for the foreseeable future.
Aller Perfectly legible at all sizes and weights, Aller is modern and quirky. It is straightforward and yet still interesting. It can be contemporary and inviting in the way it combines sharp corners with soft round curves. The ampersand is a perfect example of the interesting personality that Aller has.
Block Gothic Block Gothic is a fallback choice for me when I need something that stands a little stronger. It has a sturdy feel to it without being overly blocky. I don’t have a lot of emotional attachment to Block Gothic, I just know that it is a nice alternative to some of my lighter favorites.
Akzidenz Grotesque Being that it was the inspiration for Helvetica, I could hardly leave this one out. It has perfect proportions and is wonderfully simple. It has been around since somewhere around 1880 and is still being used. I like that it can be old and new and everything in between and always be useful.
I have to admit that when it comes to collecting typefaces that I have a hard time not downloading any that interest me, and this has resulted in an unbelievable number of fonts that I honestly never use. But, when it comes down to it, my designer heart knows what it wants and what it likes. I have used all of these typefaces in many of my designs and they have yet to let me down. What are some of your favorite or go to typefaces? How do you feel about the one’s I’ve listed as my fallbacks?
Design is a wonderful world. I hope you’ll join me here. Because [type] design matters.
Sea is actually my given middle name. I believe that my name has helped to shape who I am as a person and as a creative. It makes me unique and gives me a desire to create interesting and brilliant design solutions for my clients. Independent Creative Director, Graphic Designer, Typophile, Brand Strategist, Business Owner, Writer, Photographer, Professor.
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