Another selection of timeless sans-serif typefaces for any print-based or online projects
In our first part, we looked at Akzidenz-Grotesk, Helvetica, Univers, Gotham, and Futura. All five typefaces are iconic in their way. The next five we are about to describe are similarly so.
1. Gill Sans
For many people, this is the most famous sans-serif type owing to its association with public transport and on Penguin paperbacks. Gill Sans is derived from the earlier Johnston Sans and was originally intended for use on display posters. Lighter versions gave the typeface a good following for use in body text.
Designer: Eric Gill (1926)
Avenir is inspired by the Futura typeface created by Paul Renner (1927). Avenir, translated from the French to English means ‘future’. It comes in six weights with the Bold weight being used for The Cooperative stores’ recent rebranding. With its various weights, you can choose whether to use one variant for display work, or another one for body text.
Designer: Adrian Frutiger (1988)
3. ITC Avant Garde
ITC’s Avant Garde was one of the first to be designed exclusively as a cold-type typeface. This, in other words, meant there was never a foundry type version of the typeface. It took its name from the logotype used in Avant Garde magazine. It is a popular typeface for print projects, particularly book covers and album cover (The Man Who by Travis is one example).
Designer: Herb Lubalin/Tom Carnase (1970 – 77)
4. Century Gothic
You could say the fourth typeface in our round-up is similar to the previous one. In fact, Century Gothic was conceived as an alternative to ITC Avant Garde, though inspired by Futura and Sol Hess’ Twentieth Century. By Printwise, it was hailed as the most efficient typeface for ink consumption. On the other hand, this means the use of more paper (still you cannot have it both ways).
Designer: Monotype Imaging (1991)
Our final one is a modern typeface, one that you ought to be familiar with if you have an Android device. Roboto became the standard typeface of Google’s choice in 2012. Designed by Christian Robertson, it is the only one of our five (or ten counting the previous article) you can download for free with impunity. On launch, it received a mixed reception with one calling it a “four headed Frankenfont”.
Designer: Christian Robertson (2011)
Any more honourable suggestions?
Do you think Roboto deserves its position in this countdown? Should we give Futura a bit more love? If you have read the previous part as well as this one, feel free to comment.
Dreamkatcha, 24 November 2016.