Most UNDERused Type

Primary tabs

59 posts / 0 new
Last post
Troy McCallister's picture
Joined: 18 Dec 2002 - 9:53am
Most UNDERused Type
0

I really enjoyed the “Most Overused” thread, and Keith volunteered a most underused face. What do you think is a type that has been ignored? The most underused or overlooked type… and I’d like you to pick (at least) two: one from the last five years or so, and one older than that, preferably 10 years old or more.

Thanks,

Troy

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
0

Confining my choices to fonts that are available digitally:
Adobe Kinesis: the best font in the Adobe stables — no exceptions.
ITC Octavian: a jewel of a text face. I even like its Italic.

hhp

Jean F Porchez's picture
Offline
Joined: 7 Jan 2003 - 11:00am
0

I miss on my list
Lubalin Graph, Serifa, Glypha, Boton, Versailles, Caecilia, etc.

David Earls's picture
Offline
Joined: 11 Apr 2002 - 11:00am
0

Perhaps Gill is overused, but underused well?

JFP ligatures, thats whats underused. ;)

Ronnie Johansson's picture
Joined: 4 Apr 2003 - 3:14am
0

Hello

Lubalin graph is one of my personal favourites…. i think it

Fabio Augusto's picture
Offline
Joined: 13 Jan 2003 - 11:15am
0

The FF Wunderlich. This is COOL but
i never see in use!

http://www.wunderlich-design.de/seiten/typo.html

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
0

> Poppl Laudatio is very underused. I haven’t found a use for it though!

I’ve used it for years for (anti-aliased) on-screen text, in small and large sizes — it’s a gem.

Plantin: a man among boys.

> even Apple abandoned it!

What a relief.

> Lubalin graph

No comment…

hhp

Randy Jones's picture
Offline
Joined: 23 Nov 2002 - 11:00am
0

I thought Apple’s garamond was a custom
face. A quick seach brought up this link
about the history of Apple Garamond. Turns
out, yes it was custom drawn, and yes it is
ITC Garamond.

http://www.myfonts.com/fonts/itc/garamond/

I respectfully disagree with you Hrant. It is
unfortunate to see Apple Garamond gone.
In a market dominated by sans-serif Dells
and Compaqs, it was refreshing to see
someone thinking different. Tech != Sans
(or doesn’t have to).

http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPLE/WebObjects/AppleStore/
http://www.gateway.com/home/index.shtml
(Yes, I did see those serifs on the new Gateway logo)

Noooo!!!
At least what is inside the box is still different.

I don’t want to sidetrack this great thread, so
carry on. More underused gems please!

Randy

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
0

Well, I do have to admit that Apple Garamond* was a good element of Apple’s branding. It’s just that the face itself is so revolting.

* Which is basically ITC Garamond Light Condensed.

hhp

Matthew Brown's picture
Offline
Joined: 3 Feb 2002 - 3:24pm
0

»Now I’ve had a night’s sleep I’ll get back to trying to think of the last place I saw Gill Sans

Do you watch the BBC? they use Gill for almost everything save their corporate memos. Easyjet use Gill Sans Bold on their adverts.

but you could be being sarcastic… I’m british… I only understand irony

Matthew

William Berkson's picture
Offline
Joined: 26 Feb 2003 - 11:00am
0

>[Gill] is so overused, and yet so expected, that Jeremy Tankard has found an eager market for his Bliss.
Bliss may be widely used in the UK, but I hardly see it here in the US. I think it is the most beautiful of the humanist sans, and would like to see much more of it here. Underused!

Paul Stanley's picture
Offline
Joined: 23 Mar 2003 - 5:42pm
0

What goes around comes around. For decades Plantin was a dreadfully overused face; now it is undeservedly neglected. CUP use it for some law books where it works well, in a setting that demands conservatism (mostly Times, or Sabon which seems to be the new Times for law texts). For decades Gill was underused, and now it’s both overused and badly used, at least here in the UK: the EasyJet adverts are dreadful — but the new Church of England ‘Common Worship’ book is rather fine.

I’d say that pretty much all modern post-1980 text faces (with the exception of Minion and maybe FF Scala) are more or less underused, at least in books. Everyone using weedy looking grey Bembo with chubby semibold and half the ligatures missing …

steve paxton's picture
Offline
Joined: 7 Apr 2003 - 4:30pm
0

Antique Olive Nord by Roger Excoffon (1962)
Gill Sans by Eric Gill (1929 ish)

I notice that Gill Sans turned up in the most overused font thread too. Whenever I see anything trying to evoke a 1930s feel (which is quite a lot at the moment), they always use a font with Deco in its name. Some of these fonts are nice, but they’re much less common in real objects from the 30’s than you would think. From 1935 Gill Sans was used for the Penguin book covers which epitomise good quality 1930’s design and (because they were in every house right up to recent years) really bring out that time period in the mind of almost everyone over 20. (In the UK at least — don’t know if they are the same in the US).

Joe Pemberton's picture
Offline
Joined: 8 Apr 2002 - 3:36pm
0

I recently fell in love with Emigre’s Triplex Black Italic.
It’s delicious and quite underused.

How about HTF’s Proteus Project? That’s stuff we
don’t see enough of.

Joe Pemberton's picture
Offline
Joined: 8 Apr 2002 - 3:36pm
0

Oh, and FF Engine is a great alternative to Tarzana,
the current font of the week. Engine holds up very
well at small sizes on-screen.

Jean F Porchez's picture
Offline
Joined: 7 Jan 2003 - 11:00am
0

This topic is really country related.

For example: Bembo and Electra are NEVER NEVER used by any large publisher in France. Hard to find a book in French composed in Bembo.

About Gill Sans, its everyhere here, for long. In pas two days, I received two documents from various sources composed in Gill Sans!

I’m glad to don’t see FF Wunderlich so much.

Ronnie Johansson's picture
Joined: 4 Apr 2003 - 3:14am
0

I agree with the country-thought.

in Sweden where i live there has been a huge helvetica neue and avant garde period. i mean, helvetica neue i used for almost everything.

But you never see for example Anisette, or century gothic.

Randy Jones's picture
Offline
Joined: 23 Nov 2002 - 11:00am
0

I don’t see enough of Frutiger’s Vectora in the US.
(Maybe I’m just blind) A great alternative to Univers
and Helvetica.

http://www.myfonts.com/fonts/linotype/vectora/

Randy

Kent Lew's picture
Offline
Joined: 21 Apr 2002 - 11:00am
0

Vectora is around here in the States, in certain pockets of use. It was used to great effect for a few years in Critique magazine, where I was first introduced to it. I used it extensively in the program guide for a yoga/wellness center several years ago, shortly after which, it was picked up by Yoga Journal (I like to think my use influenced them, though it may have just been coincidence). I seem to remember seeing it picked up in another, more mainstream magazine recently, but I can’t recall which offhand.

There are a handful of books in production for the publisher I work with which are using Vectora as the sans-serif for secondary elements.

But, thankfully, it is far from overexposed. It’s a great face, very sturdy and serviceable. The one drawback is that the excessive x-height can make it tricky to mix with other faces.

— K.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
0

Speaking of an underused alternative to Helvetica, as much as I dislike Grotesks as a whole, I can’t help but admire Unica.

> I like to think my use influenced them

Considering how many font choices are out there, it seems pretty safe to think you did!

hhp

Marc Oxborrow's picture
Offline
Joined: 26 Apr 2002 - 2:17pm
0

Vectora is used by the U.S. edition of Esquire.

David Holman's picture
Offline
Joined: 1 Apr 2002 - 11:00am
0

Unica as an alternative Grotesk?
this is the only Unica I can think of.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
0

?!
That should be illegal (and I think it probably is).

Haas Unica is hard to find a sample of.
But I think http://www.fonthaus.com has it.

hhp

Keith Tam's picture
Offline
Joined: 17 Aug 2002 - 11:00am
0

Charter by Matthew Carter? I really love this type… a very elegant workhorse type and works well in low and high resolution. Now that’s quite an achievement. It’s really underused. I use it quite a lot myself.

I think I mentioned this somewhere else already.

I’ll think of some other ones…



Tanya Sprowl's picture
Offline
Joined: 18 Aug 2002 - 11:00am
0

Mrs. Eaves needs some glory.

Gerald Lange's picture
Offline
Joined: 15 Mar 2002 - 1:22pm
0

“Mrs. Eaves needs some glory.”

It’s already had more than it ever deserved.

Stephen Coles's picture
Offline
Joined: 14 May 2001 - 11:00am
0

I concur with the Langer.

Gerald Lange's picture
Offline
Joined: 15 Mar 2002 - 1:22pm
0

Stephen

Most folks just call me “bieler.” Nice bird.

Stephen Coles's picture
Offline
Joined: 14 May 2001 - 11:00am
0

I put “bieler” in a translator thinking it might be German.
The result? “More bieler.”

Gerald Lange's picture
Offline
Joined: 15 Mar 2002 - 1:22pm
0

That’s pretty funny. Found it in a nineteenth-century German dictionary once as “Boy-child” (archaic). The citizens of the Swiss city Biel are known as Bielers.

But it is only common in the northeastern shore area of Wisconsin as a slang word for young boys. My dad defined it as “a boy who has his own mind about how he does things.” I was the bieler of the family. When I started my press it seemed as good a name as any.

Just to stay on topic, I should set it in the inglorious Mrs Eaves once.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
0

Mrs Eaves just needs to be respaced.
I’ve always wanted to do it myself, and call the result Mr Richard.

hhp

Randy Jones's picture
Offline
Joined: 23 Nov 2002 - 11:00am
0

The best part about Mrs. Eaves:

The client comes to you and says, We think
the type is looking a little small (so is the logo
by the way) could you ‘up the font’?


You get to say, Great! How about I ‘up’ it to
13 or 14pt,
and it winds up looking ok because
of the small x height. Meanwhile, the client says, 15?
Then you say, sure we’ll keep the logo at 15 pt.
Next thing you know they want you to take a
little off of the CFO’s double chin?
(yep, happened once).

Randy “Plastic Surgery” Jones

Oh, we were suggesting undeused type. David
Thometz mentioned ITC Mendoza (Bitstream
version) as a suggestion for book work. I like
it. I like it alot.

Randy Jones's picture
Offline
Joined: 23 Nov 2002 - 11:00am
0

Errata
In our Aprill 11, 2003 — 8:43 am issue,
we accidentally misquoted the client.
What read 15?, should read:

Could you up the words to
size 15 font number?


Apologies,
The Editor

Aaron Sittig's picture
Offline
Joined: 7 Jan 2003 - 11:00am
0

I’ll volunteer Slimbach’s Cronos. The only place I’ve seen this used in in Keith Tam’s slab serif paper, but it’s quite beautiful. Students can get it for approx. $100 as part of the Adobe Type for Learning bundle, and this even includes the “optical” versions.

Keith Tam's picture
Offline
Joined: 17 Aug 2002 - 11:00am
0

Gill Sans is definitely NOT underused… Antique Olive Nord, maybe.

Poppl Laudatio is very underused. I haven’t found a use for it though!

URW Grotesque by Hermann Zapf is extremely underused. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it used in fact!

Plantin is not seen much these days. Neither is Trump Mediaval.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
0

Or its original source, TodaySans.

hhp

Colin Hartnett's picture
Offline
Joined: 28 Jan 2003 - 11:00am
0

I used Today Sans in a paper once, and the guy who came after me replaced it with Meta.

Randy Jones's picture
Offline
Joined: 23 Nov 2002 - 11:00am
0

Ding Ding. This is more active than a lunchbox chat.
Might have to start another thread about underused type. :-)

R

Stephen Coles's picture
Offline
Joined: 14 May 2001 - 11:00am
0

I went ahead and moved the Today Sans / Cronos
debate to a subtopic thread since it’s detracting from
the original topic of this thread and probably deserves
it’s own space. I hope that’s coo.

Stephen Coles's picture
Offline
Joined: 14 May 2001 - 11:00am
0

Randy! You beat me to the same idea again!
Twice in one day. We must be kindred spirits.

Joe Pemberton's picture
Offline
Joined: 8 Apr 2002 - 3:36pm
0

Cooper Light! Haha.

(Thanks for moving the sub-thread, Stewf.)

Benjamin's picture
Offline
Joined: 20 Jan 2003 - 5:21am
0

ITC Charter is also used for other Belgian newspapers (in Dutch) like De Standaard & Het Nieuwsblad. And I agree with Randy, Mendoza is really yummy. Hmmm and maybe Times New Roman Expert is a little bit underused also :-)

William Berkson's picture
Offline
Joined: 26 Feb 2003 - 11:00am
0

I adore TEFF’s Trinite, which I learned about from Bringhurst’s book. But I found it too expensive to buy, and I haven’t seen it used here in the US. Am I right about its lack of use? Is this because of its high price?

In general the Dutch (TEFF, DTL and individual outlets) seem to have some really wonderful typefaces that I don’t see too much here. Are the Dutch pricing themselves out of the market, or are they being financially smart?

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
0

Note that TEFF and/or DTL [intentionally] don’t have distribution in the US.

hhp

Stephen Coles's picture
Offline
Joined: 14 May 2001 - 11:00am
0

Why that intention, Hrant?

Keith Tam's picture
Offline
Joined: 17 Aug 2002 - 11:00am
0

Oh, how about ITC Garamond?!

It was overused for about two decades, and now you hardly see it… even Apple abandoned it!

William Berkson's picture
Offline
Joined: 26 Feb 2003 - 11:00am
0

>TEFF and/or DTL [intentionally] don’t have distribution in the US.

What do you mean? You can order their stuff on their web sites. And when I asked for the A3 sheet on Trinite, they mailed it to me with a gracious note in the elegant hand of PMN.

I don’t understand how the high prices make economic sense. I would think that you are going to make more money from selling to a lot of small users than a few sales to corporations or magazines who will use it a lot more, but buy it only once.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
0

My information might be outdated. It had something to do with -intentionally- not having a representative in the US. As for getting specimens, TEFF* is indeed highly gracious. Did you notice the paper they use for the specimens? Wow. But note that I said “and/or”. I remembered at least one of them not selling [directly] to the US — it could have been DTL and not TEFF.

* And DTL provides all you need in PDFs online.

> intention

I can’t be sure, but maybe it has to do with higher rates of piracy and/or lack of copyright protection. Basically it’s a matter of controlling the dissemination of your product, and that goes hand in hand with:

> I don’t understand how the high prices make economic sense.

Well, the price point of something depends on many things, and in a niche market for example higher prices will yield greater profits. I think in this case higher prices do two things: elevate the prestige of the foundry above the seething masses, “justifying” future [high] pricing; reduce the rate of piracy (not just by reducing dissemination, but also because the more you pay for something the less likely you’ll share it).

hhp

Gerald Lange's picture
Offline
Joined: 15 Mar 2002 - 1:22pm
0

Hrant

A long while back DTL was represented in the US by Monotype. There was also another distributor either before or after Monotype. I think URW++ has some current connection with DTL. They are, at any point, selling the DTL font creation software.

Kent Lew's picture
Offline
Joined: 21 Apr 2002 - 11:00am
0

DTL was distributed in the US, at least for a short while, by FontHaus back in 1996. X-Height Vol. 5 no. 1 shows an offering of the DTL fonts, but the prices are not given. I don’t know which side ended the arrangement.

— K.

Gerald Lange's picture
Offline
Joined: 15 Mar 2002 - 1:22pm
0

DTL was distributed in the US, at least for a short while, by FontHaus back in 1996.”

Interesting. DTL must have been a bit problematic but this would seem to indicate that they hardly “intentionally” avoided US distribution. I checked my DTL fonts, and five of them, marked 1994 indicate receipt from Monotype Typography, and two more, marked 1995 seemingly came from the old URW. These were sent for review and I remember having trouble at the time because I could not get any literature on them that was written in English. Monotype didn’t provide any and I can’t read Dutch. And DTL would not respond to my inguiries.