25 January 2007

FontShop Germany got a pretty distinguished panel of experts to pick the 100 'best' typefaces. It's an interesting list and more understandable if you read a little German: it should really be called the 100 most important typefaces. Aesthetic quality of the face only counts for 30% of the decision. A full 40% is for how well the typeface has sold and another 30% for its historical significance.

The top 10 are: Helvetica, Garamond, Frutiger, Bodoni, Futura, Times, Akzidenz Grotesk, Officina, Gill Sans, Univers. Some surprises there. Though I wouldn't choose Helvetica or Times very often for anything (much less their ugly pirate half-sisters, Times New Roman and Arial), I can understand their inclusion so near the top. But some of the others...? I mean, don't get me wrong, I love Officina -- enough to have bought it -- but on what criteria does it go so far ahead of its more expensive and extensive relative, Meta (on the list at 18)? And how does it rank ahead of Gill Sans on any of the three criteria?

There's a web site and also a PDF to download, but they're auf Deutsch and, oddly, they only show a letter or so from each typeface, so you're just as well looking them up in an online catalog.
This blog is closed now. I've moved to http://gempf.com