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13 typefaces every graphic designer needs

By David Airey

With thousands of different typefaces on offer, it’s vital to have a select few that act as pillars in your collection. The following 13 typefaces (shown in alphabetical order) are ones that I believe every graphic designer should be familiar with.

#1 Akzidenz Grotesk

Akzidenz Grotesk

Akzidenz Grotesk, the first ever sans-serif typeface to be widely used, was originally released in 1898, by the H. Berthold AG type foundry. At first glance, it can sometimes be mistaken for the Helvetica or Univers typefaces.

More on Wikipedia

Head over to Typophile if you want to learn more about the roots of Akzidenz Grotesk.

Akzidenz is available to buy from Linotype, under the name Basic Commercial. The font family was renamed based on Linotype’s digitization of the typeface, which can also be bought under the Akzidenz name from other type resources.

#2 Avenir

Avenir

The Avenir typeface was designed by Adrian Frutiger in 1988. and asked him about the reasons for the new design of Avenir, its special characteristics and potential uses. Here’s an excerpt from the interview:

Looking back on more than 40 years of concern with sans serif typefaces, I felt an obligation to design a linear style of sans serif, in the tradition of Erbar™, Futura®, and to a lesser extent Gill Sans®. These have purely constructed characters from which the element of a handwriting movement has been removed. Obviously this could not be an outstanding new creation, but I have tried to make use of the experience and stylistic developments of the 20th century in order to work out an independent alphabet meeting modern typographical needs.

The city of Amsterdam uses Avenir extensively in its graphic identity. BBC2 has also begun to use Avenir as its main corporate font for its channel logo and identity, another shift away from the once universal use of the Gill Sans font across all of the BBC’s output.

You can purchase the Avenir family from Linotype.

#3 Bodoni

Bodoni

Bodoni is the name given to a series of serif typefaces first designed by Giambattista Bodoni in 1798.

This typeface has a narrower underlying structure with flat, unbracketed serifs. The face has extreme contrast between thick and thin strokes, and an overall geometric construction.

More on Wikipedia

Dave Farey at Fonthaus has written an interesting article, discussing the confusion in the market over the many different types of Bodoni that are available.

…there are numerous siblings, third and fourth cousins, plus poor relations of doubtful parentage, cloaked under the protection of the Bodoni name, creating confusion and ultimately disenchantment.

You can see the different font family weights and also buy Bodoni from Linotype here.

 

Read full article here: 13 typefaces every graphic designer needs