Favourite Underused Typefaces

FontShop Amerika sucht nach den besten unterrepräsentierten Schriften. Hier meine Liste (konnte sie nicht auf 140 Zeichen einkürzen).

Over at fontshop.com they asked for underused alternatives to overused typefaces. Here’s my list (couldn’t narrow it down to 140 characters).


flavourful seriffed text faces:

Parable, Chris Burke, 2002, FontShopInternational
Biblon, František Štorm, 2000, ITC/Storm Type Foundry
Fairfield, Alex Kaczun and Rudolph Ruzicka, 1991/92, Linotype
California, Frederic Goudy, 1932, Font Bureau 1994–99
Eldorado, W.A. Dwiggins, 1953, Font Bureau 1997
Cooper Old Style, Oswald Cooper, 1919–24, URW
Delicato, Stefan Hattenbach, 2004, Fountain Type
Esprit, Jovica Veljović, 1985, ITC (update: new revised version released 2010)
Wilke, Martin Wilke, 1988, Linotype
Schadow, Georg Trump, 1938, Weber/Bitstream
Candida, Jacob Erbar, 1936, Ludwig & Mayer/Linotype
Zapf Book, Hermann Zapf, 1976, ITC/Linotype
Zapf International, Hermann Zapf, 1976, ITC/Linotype

more serious/neutral:

Centennial, Adrian Frutiger, 1986, Linotype
Fournier, Pierre Simon Fournier ca. 1742, Monotype 1924
Van Dijck, Christoffel van Dijck 1671, Jan van Krimpen Monotype 1926
Gazette, Edwin W. Shaar, 1977, Stempel/Linotype
Life, Wilhelm Bilz and Francisco Simoncini, 1964, Ludwig & Mayer


Olsen, Morten Olsen, 2001, FontShopInternational
Egizio, Aldo Novarese, 1955, Nebiolo/URW
(see also Belizio, David Berlow’s version of Egizio, 1987, Font Bureau)
Melior, Hermann Zapf, 1952, Stempel/Linotype
Oranda, Gerard Unger, 1986, Bitstream

humanist sans:

Raldo, Mark Musenberg, 2000/2011, URW
Legato, Evert Bloemsma, 2004, FontShopInternational
Advert, Just van Rossum, 1991, FontShopInternational
Today, Volker Küster, 1988, Scangraphic 


Folio, Konrad F. Bauer und Walter Baum, 1957, Bauersche Giesserei
Venus, Bauersche Giesserei, 1907
Maxima, Gert Wunderlich, 1970, Typoart/Elsner + Flake
Imago, Günther Gerhard Lange, 1982, Berthold

geometric sans:

Neuzeit Grotesk, Wilhelm Pischner, 1929, Stempel
(see also Neuzeit S, an adaption from 1966 and DIN Neuzeit from 1970, both by Stempel drawing office)
Drescher, Arno Drescher, 1930 Schriftguss AG; Nicolai Gogoll, 1999, Bitstream
Erbar, Jakob Erbar, 1927, Ludwig & Mayer; URW (beware, odd digitization)


Karbid, Verena Gerlach, 1999, FontShopInternational
Fluidum, Alessandro Butti, 1951, Nebiolo (version by Ralph M. Unger)
Fresco Script, Fred Smeijers, 1999/2001, OurType
Kursivschrift und Roemisch, Institut für Kartographie, Linotype
Oxtail, Stefan Hattenbach, 1997, MAC Rhino Fonts

friendly super famlilies (serif + sans + more):

Dancer, Morten Olsen, 2006, Fontpartners
Parry, Artur Schmal, 2006, OurType
Sansa, Fred Smeijers, 2006, OurType
Fresco, Fred Smeijers, 1998, OurType
Legacy, Ronald Arnhold, 1992, ITC
Versa, Peter Verheul, 1994, OurType


(Ursprünglich war das mal eine Facebookliste)

Und als zweite Aufgabe suchen wir noch einen guten Begriff für statische Antiqua-Schriften mit gekehlten Serifen!

And as a second task: Type world needs a new name for bracketed serif faces with contrast. “Didone” is non-bracketed. “Modern” is ambiguous. “Scotch” is a subgroup.


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  1. John
    Posted 22. January 2012 at 20:07 | Permalink

    So nice to see Biblon on your list. It’s sadly more forgotten than underused. I have it earmarked for an upcoming project. Really hope to see Štorm at just one more weight — an extra bold, perhaps.

  2. Barloef
    Posted 23. January 2012 at 02:11 | Permalink

    Good to see Versa there as well, it has really beautiful brush-inspired letterforms. Although if you say underused, the Dutch government uses a Versa-based typeface Rijksoverheid (also designed by Verheul) so it does live on in some way as one of the most-used typefaces in the Netherlands at least.

  3. Indra Kupferschmid
    Posted 23. January 2012 at 11:02 | Permalink

    Indeed it does, Barloef. But back when I complied this list, in July 2009, the Rijksoverheids weren’t implemented yet (Nov 2009, if I remember correctly).

    I decided to keep the list as is, even if some typefaces aren’t that rarely seen anymore. This way, we can compared how the presence of some fonts might change over time.

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