The most beautiful font

juandelperal's picture

I was wondering what is the best type designed in your opinion.
I'm looking for references to learn and to find inspiration.
I think that some typefaces are not very elegant but it works very well (Quadraat) and others are really beautiful ...
Trinité is perhaps one of my favorites.
Yours?

Alessandro Segalini's picture

Juan Pablo, what kind of learning and inspiration are you looking for ?

eliason's picture

Don't know about "most beautiful" but I think Georg Trump's Delphin is pretty nice.

Quincunx's picture

As a matter of fact, Trinité is probably also my favorite.

nina's picture

Hmmm… Lexicon, maybe. If only it had a different question mark.

Paul Cutler's picture

Trintié italic is really beautiful.

Chris Dean's picture

We should start by defining "beauty." I recommend reading Edward Robert De Zurko, The Origins of Functionalist Theory. My copy is at the lab so I can't provide a full reference off hand. Strangely, it's not in my bibliography. While heavily slanted towards Western philosophy, it's still an amazing read.

Only one copy left!

ebensorkin's picture

My ideas about beauty in type have shifted towards doing a job well. Whereas the superficial prettiness of a specific glyph, especially if it gets in the way of utility has taken more & more of a back seat. There are plenty of type designs where you have both.

juandelperal's picture

what kind of learning and inspiration are you looking for ?

Mmm, I don't know really. I think that with time people becomes fan of some things. Type is –for the strange people like us– one of them.
I am thinking to design a new font and right now I want to think before start what I have to do and what not. I mean: in my last project I started to design but with no parameters or goals clearly defined. And this is not a good start point because you really don't have how to compare if you are right or wrong in the process.
In typophile I learned a lot of things, and ask you a «top five» font ranking will be good to know another designs and oppinions about what are the cool and lovely things on type.

Juan

juandelperal's picture

I know how hard are to define this things:
Top five movies
Top ten albums…
It's like the Rolling Stone magazine

.00's picture

Hammer or screwdriver. Which is more beautiful? Discuss.

russellm's picture

Hammers can used to drive screws, screwdrivers can't be used to pound in nails very effectively. Hammers are therfore 100% prettier than screwdrivers.
One can't really comment on the beauty of a typeface without knowing how it will be used and in what context.

-=®=-

Paul Cutler's picture

Trinité is truly beautiful. Screw your hammers.

juandelperal's picture

One can’t really comment on the beauty of a typeface without knowing how it will be used and in what context.
Absolutely. For books

Alessandro Segalini's picture

What about improving your handwriting, would you do that ?

ilovecolors's picture

If we agree that this is just for fun, then I'm a fan of

1) SugarPie
2) Meta
3) Museo
4) Romeral
5) since you like TEFF typefaces, the one I like is Ruse.

Anyone knows of a use case of Ruse? with images if possible?

Nick Shinn's picture


I wouldn't say this is a particularly beautiful font, but the book is beautiful to read.
It's N by E, by Rockwell Kent, published in 1930.
I bought a copy on Sunday at the bibliophile market.
Old publications with letterpress typography fascinate me, and not a few of my types have been attempts to transport the quality of yore to the digital-offset-pixel environment.

kentlew's picture

> Anyone knows of a use case of Ruse? with images if possible?

Elliot -- I believe I've seen bits of Ruse used in House Beautiful magazine here in the States. Unfortunately, no images for you. And I doubt you'll find a copy of it in Argentina.

juandelperal's picture

Beautiful example Nick

juandelperal's picture

Some of my favorites today (it always change)

Rayuela


Borges
Archer

Trinité
Lexicon
Quadraat - Quadraat Sans
Mendoza
Aldus (the italic is lovely)
Poliphilus
On Sans - On Serif (textaxis.com)

Scala

_Palatine_'s picture

Mr Shinn:

Agreed.

That is a beautiful page. There's really nothing like letterpress.

I love reading old E.B. White books. Most of them are set in either letterpress Electra or Fairfield. Whenever I read them I feel as if I'm part of an earlier, simpler time - on White's salt water farm in Maine during the late 30s or early 40s, maybe in early summer. I doubt that the same material set in today's laser-optimized, ultra-sharp fonts could achieve the same effect, respectfully.

No one could construct a sentence quite like E.B. White. Now combine that with a wholesome, warm, dark letterpress font on faintly musty, creamy paper, and what you've got is a kind of sensory and intellectual nirvana.

By the way, Mr Shinn, what type is being used on that page?

Nick Shinn's picture

Mr Szabo, please call me Nick!
I believe the face is Fournier.

ilovecolors's picture

Kentlew, I have always been intrigued about who could buy the necessary Ruse weights to compose a book. Must be some publisher or big studio because Ruse is a bit expensive for the average freelance if you're going to use it only in special ocassions.
I don't think I'm wrong if I said that Teff are most expensive typefaces, but they look really good...

_Palatine_'s picture

Nick:

Done. ;)

Fournier look so different in letterpress.

maxispr's picture

My favourite?
That is the hardest question ever heard.
But, please look at this.
A page of "The Book of Ruth" printed 1904 by Alderbrink Press.
I find this blackletter very powerful!
It is sad some have lost this spirit.

Maximiliano R. Sproviero
Lián Types.-

ilovecolors's picture

Maxi, that's great.
ILC

maxispr's picture

Thanks. I consider that page a piece of art.
Though legibility may be at risk, its proportion, blackness
and minucious way it was made should never be forgot.
I think it is a must for typographers of nowadays to look up to, and follow, those presses, which, apart from printing/binding/designing wonderful books, used to design unique alphabets, with passion! always in order to look so elegant and hard to forget.

Visit if you are interested: www.elstonpress.com or www.bromer.com

Best,

Lián Types.-

ilovecolors's picture

Nice resources. Yeah, the T is pretty much illegible, but it makes up for a nice texture.
I'm more of the thinking that "new technologies requires new typefaces" but the spirit behind those compositions is surely something to remember and keep still in force.

ILC

Quincunx's picture

> Though legibility may be at risk,

> Yeah, the T is pretty much illegible, but it makes up for a nice texture.

I don't think it would be difficult to read for people at that time. Especially for people in countries where blackletter was used extensively at that time, like in Germany for example. If you are used to it, it's probably very legible.

maxispr's picture

> "I don’t think it would be difficult to read for people at that time".

The "reading times", the way they used to read, were totally different than what they are nowadays.

Reading and calligraphy were considered religious acts. Every reader would take long hours in churchs and libraries reading, with the big "In folio" books, which were tied to the seat with a chain.

The aim of those calligraphers of medieval times, and of the PreRafaelist ideology followers (SXIX and part of SXX)
was to generate a very dark black block on every page.
Although they were more used than we are, to read those pages, I bet they knew that if they looked at the page from a meter of distance the blackness would make the page illegible.

I think the blackletter style is full of positive points, like the mystic spirit it has, but the risk of not achieving the communication it pretends is big.

Lián Types.-

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