If you only had ONE FONT
... which one would it be and why
DTG went into the LinkedIN group and asked this question:
"If you could have only one font, which would it be and why?"
These are just some of the responses we got.
We hope you enjoy these thoughtful comments as much as we did. BRAVO! We invite you to share your experiences too!
If it were my personal choice for myself, I would choose Zapf Humanist Zapf Humanist , aka Optima . It has some style to it, but is still readable, clean, and easily adaptable.
For design projects for clients, I would choose Verdana for sans and Garamond for serif. It is a total toss up between those two. I like to use them together, and they are both clean, classic, yet expressive with their variations. I try very hard to stay away from Helvetica, Arial, Times and Comic Sans, just because so many people use them as their defaults. I like to be relevant, but different. :)
I like Helvetica too BUT think we need to find something that is not overused...how about AG Book Rounded Regular . It is nice, clean, easy to read. Looks great as small type as well as large. The font even comes with an outline version! Using the outline version in a larger font size allows you to have some fun with it. It can be styled in a straightforward layout or with some overlapping and size variation can be a fun type treatment (maybe even delete some counters).
It is difficult to answer this question as there are so many different projects we work on and ONE FONT cannot work on everything...the look and feel you are wanting to achieve in the end will determine the font you choose, obviously.
Of course, it depends on what kind of work you do and what the type would be used for. Sounds like everyone who's answered so far is thinking display type. Helvetica, especially after the movie, is played out, overused, and almost depressing to see.
As a book designer and layout artist I'd choose a serif font, as I set more text than anything else. So sans serif are out, safely eliminating Helvetica on less reflexive grounds. Again from the perspective of books, I go through periods where I have favorites. Years ago, before I even got into any fonts that were not resident on my Mac, it was Palatino. Then Adobe Garamond and later Adobe's Garamond Premier Pro.
But round about now, I think I'd choose Monotype Sabon. Designed by Jan Tschichold, who (at one point) didn't even buy into serif types, Sabon is an attractive typeface that reads easy and has a grace to it that does not distract the eye from what it is reading.
Century Gothic -- Though there aren't many versions of this font, the proportions and the styling are what make it shine to me. I also like that it's not a cluttered font and it graphically appears to be rather simple and clean.
I'm rather fond of Brioso Pro lately, for graphic design. For page content, Tahoma. I think. Ask me again in 15 minutes and I've give you a new answer.
If I had only one I'd go for Gill Sans Pro... although it has some weird quirks it has it's own merits that will stand out again and again. That or Wingdings...
Peignot. So then all my designs would look like the Mary Tyler Moore show. Kidding. Helvetica, of course. But why would such a fate befall someone, eh? It's bad enough those of us who do websites are still stuck with the standard 1996 Microsoft fontset. Yikes! Don't give me nightmares!
-- Microsoft? Are you listening? Make a licensing deal with Adobe. Just effing do it, for the love of God. Please.
Silkscreen silkscreen.zip (Windows) silkscreen.sit.hqx (Mac TrueType, 26.9 KB) kottke.org
Personally I would have to go with the clean look of Frutiger , but there are several close seconds.
And if you like more the serif look & feel...
go for Times new Roman (that's the other one)
(imagine a lowercase italic, cool-grey times bodycopy)
Both modern classics - iconic - monumental - ...and boring.
p.s. these fonts are both in our own identity
Helvetica Neue because it is familiar, diverse, utilitarian and not governed by current trends. And all of these reasons is why I tend not to use Helvetica Neue in day-to-day design. Typically we need to make our type decisions based on current (often fleeting) design and market trends, however since we are picking one face for all times, I want something tried, tested, safe and timeless. Helvetica Neue Family
As an avid reader, both hardprint and books/magazines as pdfs, I have to have a serif font -- sans serif hurts my eyes and gives me a headache beyond a page. I'd have to choose Adobe Garamond as my favorite, but it's nice to have something sans serif to use as titles/subheads just to break up the page, I like Futura and Gill Sans for that (used sparingly). I'm so tired of Helvetica and Arial that I cringe when I see them. [Note: Actually ITC Garamond and ITC Garamond Condensed better choices! ED]
Hmm, that's a hard one, since usage is so important to type choice. And since designers love type so much, who wants to choose just one?!
Helvetica Neue stands out, as does Myriad Pro, though I'd not use either for book-length projects. Garamond Premier Pro is much easier on the eyes in print.
On the web, I tilt towards Lucida Grande.
Looks like regardless of what we would choose, we'll be seeing Calibri a LOT in the future because Microsoft Word 2007 chose that as its default font. Thank God Times New Roman will be (very) slowly faded away . . . I like Calibri--legible in print and online, and "warmer" than Helvetica or Ariel. Calibri
Neue Helvetica. Because it's one of the most compelete font families which can be adopted to almost any case / scenario imho. Also the little touches done to it compared to the classic Helvetica makes it my personal fav. and winner.
Garamond. The variety of weights are beautiful. The serifs are elegant. The condensed version allows for large headlines to fit into small spaces. The individual characters have personality but not too much as to overwhelm the purpose -- readability. It's easy to render it perfectly and fast for concepts.
Though serifed fonts can be lovely, I think I'd have to go with a sans-serif. Futura is wonderful and has both regular and condensed versions. Can be used for almost anything and looks good doing it.
Futura, and Wiki [Ed note: there are two hundred variations of Futura!]
For me it would have to be Frutiger. The different weights and the excellent readability of the condensed versions make this an obvious choice although other fonts created by Adrian Frutiger, Avenir and Univers aren't far behind.
I think the Helvetica Neue type family works well with anything... you have the bold, the light, the ultra light, the italics, regular, regular italics .... you can produce an entire piece with the Helvetica Neue font family.
My second choice would be the Myriad Pro family.
I think Comic Sans MS is the best one. It recalls human hand writing, elegant and easy to read, it gves an elegant touch to any document, even formal letters or official paperworks.
Some of these responses are surprising to say the least. However, those who picked Optima or Garamond would have excellent fonts that you could easily live without. If I was going to be crafty with my answer, I would say Stone. This is pretty sneaky because the whole family package included Stone Sans and Stone Serif, so you get the best of both worlds! Yes, it's expensive, but when you count the individual fonts, and consider the versatility, it's really the best bargain on the font market today. And besides... I didn't say in my question that they would have to BUY the font! So, go for the stars!
We'll continue this, there are many, many more
Until next time... Keep on fonting
Fred Showker, Editor/Publisher
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