The Best Type of 2007

And the Nominations are…

I had planned on publishing Typographic Detail for the Web, but Typographica has just released its annual Our Favorite Typefaces. It’s always an inspiring list, and a precursor of some of the fine things to come. Interestingly they’ve renamed it. Formerly it had been Best Fonts which is not wholly inaccurate (as the typefaces in the list are comprised of fonts); however, as Typographica’s editor writes,

Keeping these two terms distinct may be a losing battle at a time when some have already declared the words interchangeable, but we’re going to go down fighting.

This year’s list sees an improvement in the format, with larger specimens and who to look out for in 2008.

Most of the typefaces listed, you’d expect to see there, but there are also a number of nice surprises. Here are some of my favourites from the list:

Blaktur—the latest addition to my own type library—looks like Blackletter after a spring clean:

blaktur


Sacre Bleu (that I mentioned back in January):

sacre bleu

and I’m a big fan of Beowolf and BeoSans:

beowolf and beosans

And no, it’s not another of those so-called grunge fonts—a distressed version of some popular grotesk. Beowolf, created before the wonders of OpenType, introduced randomness into, not only the outlines, but the position of individual words. So, Beowolf is not new (though it’s now in OpenType format), but its sans counterpart, BeoSans is. For more about the wonder that is Beowolf, read this FontShop newsletter.

Arno Pro from Robert Slimbach, the creator of Minion, is also deservedly on the list. Nominated by Mark Simonson—who has has his own gorgeous 40s-style brush script Kinescope on the list—he writes,

Finally, the swashes. My guilty pleasure is swashes, and Arno has them in spades. In fact, when you enable the Swash Alternates feature, Arno almost becomes a different typeface, especially in the italics.

And, if like Mr Simonson, you are something of a ‘swashbuckler’, then you really couldn’t live without Arno Pro.

arno pro

The article’s who to look out for in 2008, got  me thinking about who will be awarded the next Prix Charles Peignot for excellence in type design. I know who I’d put my money on. How about you?

Thanks to Typographica for another great list. See you Sunday.


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  1. That Arno Pro font is beautiful.

  2. Wow — the Typographica list is truly awesome. I really like one of the “Other Notable Releases,” Publico. (And all of the other typefaces!)

  3. Still lovin’ Sacre Bleu.

  4. Dave
    It is indeed.

    Alec
    Publico is great—absolutely love it in the heavier weights!

    publico

    Heidi
    Me too. And if you like Sacre Bleu, then I’m pretty sure you’ll like Olicana, which is on Typographic’s list.

  5. Love the randomness in Beowolf. Very cool idea.

    And Blaktur has a very old style feel to it. Looks really nifty in the header :)

  6. I too like that Publico bold. I’m crazy for thick type for most web stuff that I need images for (mostly header images, etc). Good stuff.

  7. Hamish
    I can’t wait to find a project in which I can use Blaktur.

    Buck
    You know, Publico might look pretty good in iLT’s masthead…

  8. I think Soho should be mentioned, one of the best typefaces in 07 that i’ve seen

  9. alyce
    Soho is pretty impressive—and with all those weights! Perhaps we should have an iLT list next year.

  10. Beowolf? You’re serious? Is that a test? Looks like something went wrong there, or is it supposed to be a MS cleartype killer? :D

  11. Aestheticrew
    Read the story behind its creation, and you might come to have a better appreciation for it :)

  12. “I can’t wait to find a project in which I can use Blaktur.”

    It’s one of those fonts which I’ll probably never use, but it could be the perfect solution for the right design conundrum.

  13. Textwrapper
    I’m just praying for a call from some Death Metal band that wants me to do a new album cover :)

  14. Blaktur by House Industries FTW.

  15. @John: For sure, i love the randomness, you that i am a sucker for opentype, but i just can’t stand the distressed look. I don’t know who benefits from pre-distressed stuff, i never understood that. I don’t buy “used-look” or “pre-wrinkled“ jeans either, i find them kinda pathetic.

    The distressed look is there to make it look more unique, right? But you know all those free distressed & grunge fonts some people use for “hip” flyers and urban/streetstyle designs? They think it looks unique, but you always notice them and think “You just picked that grunge font and think it looks special? C’mon, too easy, dude!”.

    So for me the Beo’s are actually is just that, those so called grundge fonts which got too much opentype attention. I would rather see some clean font with the same amount of opentype goodness and distres it myself.

    I am sorry, i just don’t get such kind of ideas :D

  16. :) good stuff!

  17. i like soho its a very attractive type

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