MODE500 Fonts, Graphic Design, Influence, Inspiration, Love, Typography Leave a Comment


The world of typography can be pretty confusing. Especially if you take into account the number of fonts there is out there. There is a wide range of professional good quality fonts to begin with. Before we even take into account the number of free fonts that are available for anyone to use. There is a lot of discussion on the interweb in regards to typography and fonts surrounding this subject. Especially in regards to how many fonts a designer should have. Take this quote from a teacher in the Typophile discussion:

I think 20 type faces is perfect. This is what I tell my class to begin with. The idea that you need hundreds of typefaces is ridiculous. When I was in school I had thousands upon thousands of bad typefaces. I hoarded anything I could get. This only helped confuse me when it came to choosing an appropriate face. It was a breath of fresh air to just delete them all off my hard drive. I only use about 10 or so at any moment in my career. Type can be tricky and hard to deal with. It is best to have fewer faces and understand the ins and outs of each one. This is the only way one can expect to master a typeface and type in general.Jay Wilkinson

Taken from Typophile in 2003 called 20 Typefaces To Start A Designer’s Career.

In parts I can agree with Jay Wilkinson on this, although I do believe that 20 is a bit limited.

I recently decided to take some time out to do some research into typography and try and find out what the ideal number of fonts a graphic designer should own. Though there is no clear definite answer as to the ideal number of fonts a designer should own. It is obvious that a smaller minimum collection is the most productive. This you could say is obvious. Especially when you consider the amount of typography nonsense that can begin to clutter up your machine and invade your font list(s).

After much consideration I slimmed downed my typography font list down. Now I will no longer be tempted to use an array of typographic free fonts and weird typography alternatives to some of the greatest fonts. I now consider myself a lot better off for doing so. Not only because my font list is a lot easier to manage, but I now feel that I own a set of good quality typefaces which have stood the test of time in the world of typography. I will not list every single font that I have kept in my typographic collection but will list 15 fonts of good quality typography that I think that every designer should have in their collection at least:

It is obvious that a lot depends on what it is you are trying to create in the first place. This includes the specifics of the job in hand depending on what font you use and the typographic choice that you make. Never the less it is good practice to just have a basic set of fonts. These fonts should be of good quality in the world of typography and something that you can always reply on. You could then always add and delete fonts that you use only for certain projects along the way.

There are many discussions on this subject and the world of typography online and there is a very good article on the subject over at Just Creative and some good discussion in the comments on that page. Make sure also to visit the links in that article that lead on to further discussion on the subject.


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