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 © COPYRIGHT 2013 International Education Institute, ATTN: Ken Harvey, 2027 W. Canal Drive, Kennewick WA 99336, USA

Our Favorite Typefaces of 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                 Stephen Coles on March 11, 2014

favorite fonts of 2013 This year marks another step in the typographic diversi­fi­cation we observed in our previous annual. The global spread of independent font makers and the variety of new ideas in type design continues unabated.

As evidence of that diversity, the 54 typefaces selected from 2013 were created by designers from at least 21 countries, including:

  • Argentina
  • Austria
  • Canada
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • France
  • Germany
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Lebanon
  • Mexico
  • The Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Portugal
  • Russia
  • Slovakia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

This new phase of globalization and democratization of the font market began in earnest about a decade ago, propelled by newly accessible digital tools, online commerce, and post-graduate education in type design. It is a sea change. For centuries, places like Argentina, Brazil, Croatia, Lebanon, and New Zealand were vastly under­repre­sent­ed in a type design community that was dominated by western Europe and North America. (And this only goes for Latin-based type. The burg­eon­ing production of fonts in other scripts tells another fascinating story.) We will have much more detail about these changes in an upcoming report by Ruxandra Duru on the current state of typefounding around the world.

The diversity of the contributors to our annual is also invig­orating. This year’s writers are almost as international as the typefaces they cover. More importantly, they represent a variety of perspectives from both sides of font making and using. Type designers, print and web designers, educators, writers, historians — we can all learn from the manifold ways that people from such divergent backgrounds perceive a typeface.

In Review

Now in its eighth edition, “Our Favorite Typefaces” continues to present a good overview of the most interesting new fonts on the market. It is, however, by no means comprehensive. The list of other notable releases hints at how many other typefaces deserve attention, and custom type commissioned by clients for proprie­tary use is often overlooked. (This growing segment of the trade deserves its own feature.) As a reminder, this annual is not a compe­tition in which submitted entries are awarded by an official jury. (That format has its own drawbacks, but I think it’s still a valid one.) Instead, I invite people whose opinion I respect to write about a release from the past year that excited them. This means that the reviews are not necessarily rigorous critiques — although many contributors do offer a fairly in-depth analysis. Their opinions are mainly positive because that’s the point of the call.

This caveat acknowledges the fact that, while the “Favorites” feature will always have its own kind of value, there is also a very real need for true type reviews — in the proper sense of the term, in which type (both good and bad) is tested and appraised. With the help of some able cohorts, I intend to address that deficit soon via a new venture.Subscribe, follow, stay tuned.

“Our Favorite Typefaces of 2013” was produced with generous assistance from Chris Hamamoto, Caren Litherland, Tamye Riggs, Laura Serra, and Tânia Raposo. Huge thanks also go to the contributing writers, and to the type designers and foundries who provided samples and imagery.

This feature coincides with a Typographica font palette refresh, including Sutro Deluxeby Jim Parkinson for the nameplate, Nocturno Display by Nikola Djurek for headlines and pullquotes, and Fern (unreleased) by David Jonathan Ross of Font Bureau for text. We continue to use the durable JAF Bernini Sans by Tim Ahrens for all the small stuff. The “Type of 2013” graphic features FF Quixo (and a color I can only describe as “Sherman Peachorange”, nabbed from a little site called Fonts In Use).

     
Selected byEben Sorkin
Noe
              Display fonts specimen

Noe Display

Selected byCaren Litherland
Nocturno
              specimen

Nocturno

Selected byChris Hamamoto
Ladislav
              fonts specimen

Ladislav

Selected byFrank Grießhammer
Pufff
              fonts specimen

Pufff

Selected byIndra Kupferschmid
Mauritius-fonts-specimen

Mauritius

Selected byDyana Weissman
Odesta
              fonts specimen

Odesta

Selected byTiffany Wardle de Sousa
Magasin
              fonts specimen

Magasin

Selected byStephen Coles
Portrait
              fonts specimen

Portrait

Selected byChris Rugen
Erotica
              fonts specimen

Erotica

Selected byDan Reynolds
HWT Tuscan
              Extended fonts specimen

HWT Tuscan Extended

Selected byPaul Shaw
Carlyle
              Quaint fonts specimen

Carlyle Quaint

Selected byFrode Helland
MVB
              Solitaire fonts specimen

MVB Solitaire

Selected byWael Morcos
Dala Moa
              fonts specimen

Dala Moa

Selected byAlice Savoie
Louize
              fonts specimen

Louize

Selected byRob Saunders
FF Quixo
              fonts specimen

FF Quixo

Selected byJohn Boardley
Domaine
              fonts specimen

Domaine

Selected byAndré Mora
Lowercase
              styles, Light and Bold.

TXT101

Selected byJan Middendorp
Line fonts
              specimen

Line

Selected byDavid Sudweeks
Post-Grotesk-fonts-main

Post Grotesk

Selected byConor Mangat
Apeloig
              Type Library fonts specimen

Apeloig Type Library

Selected byTânia Raposo
Audree
              fonts specimen

Audree

Selected byTamye Riggs
HWT Gothic
              Round fonts specimen

HWT Gothic Round

Selected byMarian Bantjes
Maestrale
              fonts specimen

Maestrale

Selected byFlorian Hardwig
Eskorte
              fonts specimen

Eskorte

Selected byMark Simonson
Dark Angel
              fonts specimen

Dark Angel

Selected byMichael Surtees
clear

Clear Sans

Selected byIvo Gabrowitsch
Duplicate
              fonts

Duplicate

Selected byMark Simonson
Cadogan
              fonts specimen

Cadogan

Selected byBenjamin Shaykin
Circular
              fonts specimen

LL Circular

Selected byClaus Eggers Sørensen
Lava-fonts-specimen

Lava

Selected byMarian Bantjes
Diversa-fonts-specimen

Diversa

Selected byEllen Lupton
Program
              fonts sample

Program

Selected byYves Peters
Daphne
              Script fonts specimen

Daphne Script

Selected byRobb Ogle
Brooklyn-fonts-specimen

Brooklyn

Selected byIndra Kupferschmid
Sarre
              fonts specimen

Sarre

Selected byMark Jamra and Hrant Papazian
Arek fonts
              specimen

Arek

Selected byKsenya Samarskaya
Huronia
              fonts specimen

Huronia

Selected byChristoph Koeberlin
Lumin
              fonts specimen

Lumin

Selected byMatthew Butterick
fira-1

Fira Sans

Selected byColin M. Ford
Balto-fonts-sample

Balto

Selected byMaurice Meilleur
Remo 1/4

Remo

Selected byPatric King
Programme
              fonts specimen

Programme

Selected byThomas Phinney
Charcuterie-fonts-sample

Charcuterie

Selected byRobin Rendle
Brandon
              Text fonts specimen

Brandon Text

Selected byGrant Hutchinson
Noodge
              fonts specimen

Noodge

Selected byDan Reynolds
Brevier
              Viennese fonts specimen

Brevier Viennese

Selected byChristian Palino
Founders
              Grotesk Text fonts specimen

Founders Grotesk Text

Selected byNick Shinn
Baton
              fonts specimen

Baton

Selected byGerry Leonidas
Capita
              fonts specimen

Capita

Selected byCarolina de Bartolo
Rolling
              Pen fonts specimen

Rolling Pen

Selected byTim Brown
FF Dora
              fonts specimen

FF Dora

Selected byJan Middendorp
Karol
              fonts specimen

Karol

Selected byShelley Gruendler
Braxton
              fonts specimen

Braxton

Selected byDan Mall
Salome-fonts-specimen

Salomé

Selected byStephen Coles
2013
              notable fonts asterisk

Other Notable Font Releases of 2013