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Best fonts of the Web
September 9, 2005 8:24 AM   Subscribe

What are your favorite fonts?

More specifically -- what are your favorite "modern" sans-serif fonts? I'm looking for striking specimens of typography that are clean, simple, elegant, and visually distinct.

I'm also looking for pointers to "the best of the Web" for the typographically-inclined -- sites focused on fonts and their contribution to superior visual design.
posted by killdevil to Media & Arts (42 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
 
Typophile should be your first destination. Blogwise, there's Typographica.
posted by Robot Johnny at 8:36 AM on September 9, 2005


I used to like one called "Overprint" so much I even bought it. Not sure if the linked version is the same exact one. This was years ago. But it has a nice multiple-generation-photocopy bleed to it, and blends well as headline text.
posted by scarabic at 8:36 AM on September 9, 2005


My favourite new sans-serif fonts that match your criteria are Neutraface by House Industries and Gotham by Hoefler & Frere-Jones.
posted by Robot Johnny at 8:39 AM on September 9, 2005


I love Gotham, and Consolas for fixed width.
posted by riffola at 8:41 AM on September 9, 2005


...and my favourite older-but-modern sans-serif font remains Futura.
posted by Robot Johnny at 8:42 AM on September 9, 2005


I love Neutraface. And Futura, used well, can be gorgeous.

But the workhorse of sans-serifs, for me is Trade Gothic. Especially condensed.
posted by papercake at 8:50 AM on September 9, 2005


Futura is awesome. Kubrick loved it too, I heard that everything he labeled around his house was in Futura Bold. It gives this overwhelming in your face "read me" vibe to it. I love it so much I'm actually taking Futura out to dinner this week.
posted by geoff. at 8:53 AM on September 9, 2005


Kenyan Coffee for titles.
posted by Hildago at 9:02 AM on September 9, 2005


Gill Sans
posted by sciurus at 9:04 AM on September 9, 2005


I like Dax.
posted by heatherann at 9:10 AM on September 9, 2005


TheSans
DIN 1451
Rotis Sans Serif
---
SpeakUp's Typography section
posted by Dean King at 9:15 AM on September 9, 2005


FF Din. Interstate. Avenir. Chalet.
posted by BorgLove at 9:20 AM on September 9, 2005


Definitely not for web use, but I loved Chopin Script for some formal invitations. This doesn't fit any of your requirements, other than elegant (in my mind).
posted by jonah at 9:25 AM on September 9, 2005


Comic Sans, baby.
posted by keswick at 9:26 AM on September 9, 2005


Verdana.
posted by cribcage at 9:31 AM on September 9, 2005


Wes Anderson loves Futura (so do I).
posted by tweak at 9:33 AM on September 9, 2005


Globale.
posted by Goblindegook at 9:46 AM on September 9, 2005


If everything were written in Verdana, I would not complain at all.
posted by odinsdream at 9:53 AM on September 9, 2005


another vote for gill sans
posted by filmgeek at 9:54 AM on September 9, 2005


Besides Gil Sans and Futura, I'm also partial to Frutiger (especially Frutiger Light, all caps).
posted by ScottUltra at 10:07 AM on September 9, 2005


Optima, Gill Sans, and I even like one of Microsoft's attempts at a new screen font: the Candara
posted by ijsbrand at 10:25 AM on September 9, 2005


Frutiger and DIN.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:25 AM on September 9, 2005


Ooh. The Sans, yes, Gill Sans, yes, also Linotype Veto, Bliss, Regulator, Mercury.
posted by zadcat at 10:26 AM on September 9, 2005


Futura, baby!

Oh, and I like Frutiger as well. (and Minion, if serifs are called for.)
posted by Chrischris at 10:28 AM on September 9, 2005


Thanks for including the links to the type samples -- I find this a very useful thread, as I do small-potatoes publishing work.
posted by rolypolyman at 10:33 AM on September 9, 2005


Wes Anderson has sealed my fate as a forever-futura-lover. So clean. So pretty.
posted by sonnet at 10:41 AM on September 9, 2005


Futura. I also have an irrational love for Helvetica, so perhaps you should ignore me...
posted by klangklangston at 10:46 AM on September 9, 2005


I asked a similar question about sans fonts here.
posted by signal at 11:13 AM on September 9, 2005


I still have a weakness for Eras Ultra.
posted by kindall at 11:34 AM on September 9, 2005


Futura and Gotham.
posted by me3dia at 12:22 PM on September 9, 2005


Futura and Optima
posted by idiotfactory at 12:31 PM on September 9, 2005


Amplitude
posted by Termite at 1:20 PM on September 9, 2005


I also have an irrational love for Helvetica, so perhaps you should ignore me...

You're not alone, it is a gorgeous font. By the way, I was trying to avoid mentioning the same fonts as everyone else, but I second (or third, or fourth . . .) every recommendation for Gill Sans (which has beautiful capitals) and Futura.
posted by Goblindegook at 1:42 PM on September 9, 2005


I'll dissent here and say that while both Gill Sans. Futura Optima have great qualities I think in recent years they have started to look a bit dated to me, belonging to an era before the advent of digital typography. DIN has been mentioned as well but this typeface doesn't take any chances - I generally only use it for logotypes.

I've been using The Sans, Univers and Trade Gothic a lot lately.
posted by quadog at 2:27 PM on September 9, 2005


Futura all the way, baby. Gill Sans too, and Optima when you want a sans-that-kinda-feels-like-a-serif. I guess I'm old-school.

I was deeply in love with Kabel for several years...it was the pointy capital "M" that hooked me. Then, overnight, it started showing up everywhere, usually used in the worst possible way. (Taco Bell was the big offender.) It was never the same after that, so I had to take up with Futura. Fortunately it wasn't as bad as the rampant (and ongoing!) abuse of, say, Lithos and Cooper Black, which have a lot farther to go before they recover.

Comic Sans, of course, is Satan's handiwork and should be shunned.
posted by Vervain at 4:38 PM on September 9, 2005


Formata
posted by clh at 5:15 PM on September 9, 2005


Gill Sans. Univers 55.

I know you didn't really ask for serif fonts, but a wise man once said, "When in doubt, set it in Caslon." Bernard Shaw insisted that everything he wrote was set in Caslon. I once won a design award for a book set entirely in Caslon. Caslon rocks.
posted by Hogshead at 5:29 PM on September 9, 2005 [1 favorite]


Maybe you'll think this is lame, but I love some of these Nine Inch Nail fonts.
posted by JPowers at 10:41 AM on September 10, 2005


Typographica picked some beautiful sans serif typefaces for their Favorite Fonts of 2004.
posted by junesix at 6:15 PM on September 10, 2005


Favorite sans faces were recently discussed at YayHooray.
posted by Typographica at 2:33 AM on September 15, 2005


Thanks to all for so many great answers.
posted by killdevil at 2:51 PM on September 21, 2005


I recently discovered Della Robbia BT, which is not a sans serif, but which I just cannot praise enough. Also love Gill Sans.
posted by blue shadows at 12:35 AM on September 29, 2005


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