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Question Favorite Font

Discussion in 'Logo Design' started by Kim@PhantomSpeedshop, Feb 23, 2020.

  1. Kim@PhantomSpeedshop

    Kim@PhantomSpeedshop New Member

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    Just wondering what your favorite fonts are....
     
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  2. James Burke

    James Burke Being a grandpa is more fun than working

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    I do stone and monument engraving, and I strongly tend to gravitate toward the Roman typefaces. They're timeless, and they can be dressed up or down, depending on how you want to use them. But sadly, the monument industry as a whole has seemed to be stuck on a select few...ubiquitously chosen typefaces for almost every situation, so that almost every stone in the cemetery is a cookie cutter variation of the one next to it.

    Much like sign making, there are special rules regarding which typefaces should be used for the various stone varieties and layouts.

    Many of the older typefaces used for stone could "stand by themselves". In other words, they didn't need any additional artwork to make a layout appealing. If you think the sign industry is awash in bad design, take a walk through a cemetery sometime. Some stones out there feature a mishmash of typefaces, and just plain clutter when it comes to embellishments.

    Fortunately, a few organizations are resurrecting some of the late18th and 19th century typefaces for stone engraving. They're a fresh (yet very old) alternative to the mundane.

    One of my favorite organizations is the Monument Lettering Center: https://www.monumentletteringcenter.com/

    Click this link for an interesting primer on the history of monumental lettering:
    https://www.monumentletteringcenter.com/history-of-monument-lettering/



    JB
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2020
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  3. Bobby H

    Bobby H Very Active Member

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    Is it possible for anybody to just pick one?
     
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  4. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    I know this might come as a surprise, but I tend to like to do western themed designs/games when left to my own devices, so fonts along that genre I like when it's the end product. Like A&S Stockyard. Ace High is another one that I like. Around Xmas time, I like his Xmas script font (this one stitches out really nice).

    For actually development (coding), I stick with monospace fonts, like the JetBrains mono. That's probably outside the scope of what you meant, but it's amazing just for the small things like that, how much the right font makes all the difference.
     
  5. ColoPrinthead

    ColoPrinthead Swollen Member

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    When I was first starting out in the late 90s I loved Futura. Thesedays I enjoy Century Gothic and Road Greek/Highway Gothic. Road Geek doesn't enlarge very well and requires some touch up with the smooth tool.
     
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  6. Brett Groves

    Brett Groves New Member

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    Futura.
     
  7. Bobby H

    Bobby H Very Active Member

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    While it's pretty difficult for me to pick out a single favorite typeface, I can say the typeface I probably hate the most is Arial. There are various technical and stylistic reasons why Arial sucks. Type designer Mark Simonson explains the problems with Arial very well here:
    https://www.marksimonson.com/notebook/view/the-scourge-of-arial

    I also really hate Arial because it's the typeface I most commonly see in poorly designed, whipped out quick signs. It shows up as the default typeface in multiple design programs and it's near the top of the font menu since the name begins with "A." Arial's letters and numerals are ugly enough in their stock form, but so many people designing signs cannot resist the urge to squeeze and stretch the lettering to fit a given space. They can't bother to waste a few seconds to pull up a better type family with native condensed or extended weights. Just squeeze and stretch default Arial instead. Utter bush league garbage rather than anything attempting to be professional.

    I get tired of Helvetica for its overuse and misuse as well. But at least that family provides a lot more design choices than Arial. There are native condensed, compressed and extended versions. Helvetica Now is a nice re-vamp boasting some new alternate characters and lots of weights across three different optical ranges. Hopefully Monotype can release condensed and extended versions of Helvetica Now soon.

    I don't like Century Gothic at all. Some of the characters, like the uppercase "S" are just ugly. And I'll go to several different geometric sans faces, such as Avant Garde or Futura, before choosing that type family. Plus there's only 4 weights to it.

    For highway fonts, I have various flavors of "Highway Gothic." Series 2000 Gothic is the most up to date version; all of the weights have lowercase character sets. The older versions had some weights that were uppercase only. I only use those for actual traffic sign jobs. If I just want the Highway Gothic look in a commercial sign I'll go with Interstate from Font Bureau. It's a far cleaner, better looking design with a lot more weights.

    I also use Clearview Highway from time to time for the highway sign look too. I was miffed when the FHWA removed the interim approval of Clearview Highway for traffic sign use, but they had to reinstate it since they got a bunch of push back from various state DOTs and cities who had already spent a bunch of money buying licenses for Clearview.

    I've used Futura from time to time, although I tend to use Gotham a lot more these days as an alternative to Futura. But I'm starting to get worn out on Gotham as a clean go-to neutral sans. Too many other people are getting hold of it, either through legal or illegal means, and misusing it in various ways. Gotham looks horrible if it gets artificially squeezed or stretched. It's infinitely better to use the Narrow, Extra Narrow and Condensed ranges. There's no extended version of Gotham. So typefaces like Termina can come into play there.

    Futura itself is kind of a tricky typeface. Several different companies have made their own flavors of it and they're all different in subtle yet important ways. If I design a set of channel letters in Futura I make sure to record which version was used in case the original art files were lost.

    I'm keeping my eyes out for any price specials on Futura Next by Neufville Digital. It's a big upgrade from Futura ND. But the family costs $750.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2020
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  8. bannertime

    bannertime "You guys do banners, right?"

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    My personal favorite is the Acumin Pro series. It's quite versatile. Deja Vu is also a handy set since it comes in sans, serif, mono and condensed versions.
     
  9. Dan360

    Dan360 Member

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    I'm a fan of Proxima Nova these days.
     
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  10. Notarealsignguy

    Notarealsignguy Member

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    Helvetica is the bud light of fonts. It's everywhere, nothing special and all but the real beer snobs will drink it. Arial is like busch light. You use it because it was pretty much free and you have just given up on life. Its right at the top of the list so no effort is required to find it. You don't tell anybody that you use it, you just keep it to yourself out in the corner of your garage and kick yourself in the morning.
     
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  11. Jburns

    Jburns Active Member

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    My favorite ---- papyrus.......with a mix of comic sans......

    Just Kidding.
     
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  12. Taryn

    Taryn Member

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    I personally like Charybdis. It looks neat.
     
  13. TammieH

    TammieH Very Active Member

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    Anything except copperplate!!
     
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  14. Boudica

    Boudica Member

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    It would be much faster to list my least favorite -
    1. Comic Sans.
     
  15. JBurton

    JBurton Signtologist

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    Lobster, before it was cool
     
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  16. JBurton

    JBurton Signtologist

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    Quick question, if you buy a font online, do you retain a digital copy of your receipt for when the fontroopers come knocking?
     
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  17. Bobby H

    Bobby H Very Active Member

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    The "standard" OpenType super family (90 weights) is available to sync at Adobe Fonts. The Acumin Pro Variable Concept typeface is bundled in with Creative Cloud, but not visible to non-Adobe applications. CorelDRAW doesn't support OpenType Variable fonts (at least not yet).

    That's another bonus with the Adobe Fonts service. It has the 48 font primary family of Promixa Nova available to sync. Anyone needing the "A" and "S" series sub-families (for the full 144 font super familiy) has to pony up $734 for the whole thing. Overall Promixa Nova is a pretty impressive type family. It was made by Mark Simonson, the guy who wrote that "Scourge of Arial" article I linked earlier up thread.

    I don't think Helvetica is one of those typefaces that designers love. But it definitely has a lot more "class" than freaking Arial. Helvetica is just one of those typefaces that is very difficult to do without in day to day design work. It's neutral. So many branding schemes continue to use it. It's common in many sign systems in places like hospitals and schools.

    Not all versions of Helvetica are created equal. The original 1957 cut is a bit clunky and has certain style oddities that were cleaned up in the 1983 Helvetica Neue super family. The latest 2019 overhaul, Helvetica Now, is yet another improvement. I really like how the "Display" sub-family looks; the "Text" and "Micro" sub-families are named for their obvious uses. I shelled out $100 to buy the type family at introductory pricing; it's around $400 at full price.

    I keep copies of my PDF receipts. However if you have an account at a vendor such as MyFonts they'll have your order history on file.
     
  18. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    Some of the more reviled fonts mentioned in this thread, I had forgotten all about them. They don't come preloaded with my systems. Not even Arial.

    While I am not a fan of Arial, it did work in smaller areas for production in embroidery when other fonts couldn't get that small (small for needle and thread, not small for ink).

    Even the most hated fonts have their place though, it's just due to overuse (or misuse) causes them to be hated and avoided at all costs, when they may actually fit a given situation. In general mind you.
     
  19. Bobby H

    Bobby H Very Active Member

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    Obviously Arial has always come along for the ride in Microsoft Windows (nearly all sign industry specific software runs only on Windows currently). Arial is also pre-loaded on Mac OSX and iOS as well. The only exception is iOS is missing the Black weight of Arial (along with other specialty language versions, such as Arial Hebrew). On the bright side both OSX and iOS also come pre-loaded with typefaces that are aesthetically superior to Arial, including a number of weights of Helvetica and Helvetica Neue.

    I probably wouldn't hate Arial so much if not for it being the typeface I most often see being used in terrible sign designs. Nevertheless, I only use Arial when a company's branding program specifically calls for it. I designed the main entry sign for Altus Air Force Base. The job required Arial Black in the design. The letters and modern Air Force logo were ordered as polished chrome reverse channel letters. At least I didn't have to stretch the letters. It would have been nice if the Air Force went with something similar, but more clean, such as Akzidenz Grotesk Super.
     
  20. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    It's nice not having to deal with those platforms. I actually think Caldera is the only one that would apply here that is an option for non NT system and they are don't have an NT version at all. Only UNIX-like. Are they the only ones that have current solutions for UNIX-like systems?

    I think that's the biggest problem and it's hard to look past that. I see Brush script used all the freakin' time in embroidery. Way too much. It stitches well, but it is just everywhere. I think fonts that we truly like now, if they were to become overused, they would no longer be fonts that we like.
     
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