Typography is a major part of good design whether it’s noticeable or not. All typography choices make some kind of impact whether it be through the legibility (or perhaps ironic illegibility) of a document or the style that can determine the vibe or mood of the words— whatever the usage, typeface choices can really turn a design around and even be the design itself. Today, minimalism is bigger than ever and simple, clean typography is being utilized in a lot of luxury brands, sustainable or health conscious companies and more; personally, I love collecting fonts and typefaces, especially ones that push the boundaries of what typefaces can do. For this month, I’d like to show off a few found, familiar or downright funky fonts I’ve come across over the years.
It just wouldn’t be fair to start off this list without a shoutout to my main man, Raleway. Raleway is the typeface I use solely for my own marketing on my website and print materials. People like to talk about typeface pairings for websites and such but really, if one typeface has everything you need, do you really need another? Raleway is clearly a sans serif font created by American designer (and former Pentagon darling) Matt McInerney who added lots of little unique features to make it very special. It’s always nice to see the end product of a designer who really put some thought and effort into every detail come to life (Plus I’m obsessed with the “W”, how can you blame me? It looks so chic!).
What was initially a rejected logo became a unique typeface made by the very talented Marie-Michelle Dupuis. Stoked is a display font, not recommended for teeny, tiny body copy but meant to be on the forefront of bold! It’s part stencil, part geometry and overall a really lovely typeface that has a lot of potential— I’m almost glad her client didn’t move forward with the logo as we now get to use this typeface freely.
Simple. Sleek. Thin. Bebas Neue is the runway model of typefaces. Created by Ryoichi Tsunekawa and released for free with a number of weights by his foundry, Dharma Type. Bebas Neue is one my go-to typefaces when I need to make something look modern or when a client keeps telling me they want modern but all the offered typefaces “look too plain”. Plus now there’s even a Bebas Neue Pro that allows for upper and lower case characters, which makes it even more valuable in the world of design.
Butler is a new favorite of mine, mostly due to the contrast, the soft curves and the fact that it comes in strikingly bold Butler Black that always gives me of a fabulous fashion magazine sort of feel. I even used it in my personal packaging project, cathexis. Butler was designed by the super talented Fabian De Smet in 2015 and has definitely becomes a fan favorite.
Based on the typography seen around Buenos Aires, Argentina, Montserrat is simple yet versatile typeface that comes in a number of weights plus some really neat alternative letters. This font was brought to life by designer and Co-Founder of Argentina based design studio ZkySky, Julieta Ulanovsky, who generously published it for free. For a typeface that stemmed from signage throughout Argentina’s history, it still manages to make a modern and bold impact today and next to Raleway, it’s definitely become one of my top typographical choices.
Now, this is an old typeface but still one I never like to overlook. Modern No. 20 is always classy, always chic no matter the year. It never really goes out of style! The original typeface (not digital at all) was made in 1905 by Stephenson Blake and has since been digitized for the modern era. I love this one mostly because it’s so editorial— it just reminds me of fashion and classic beauty, a real old Hollywood vibe.
This particular typeface may be overused but it tends to be overused in the best designs. Cooper Black is a display typeface designed by Oswald Bruce Cooper , bold as can be and has been around since the 20’s. Early critics said it was too bold and it faded from advertising for a time until The Beach Boys brought it back into power by using it on their Pet Sounds album. Now it’s primarily used for album covers, shirt designs and even inspiring fashion designers with it’s curves, it’s safe to say Cooper Black isn’t going anywhere (and I’m very glad as a lot of my favorite musicians and pop culture icons have made this typeface a personal favorite).