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A classic workhorse typeface, a workhorse typeface or just a workhorse are descriptions given to a font tool that performs dependably (i.e., trustworthy and reliable) under heavy or prolonged use.
In a nutshell, a font is a workhorse if it performs well whether it is used in a few paragraphs or in a 600-pages novel.
A workhorse- or “easy-to-use”- type means that no matter what size, leading, letter-spacing, etc., the setting just “feels” right. It looks professional, it looks appropriate.