Beginning a Font Collection

Daniel Poindexter's picture

Apologies in advance if this has been covered before. If so, please refer me to the thread and this will die a quiet death.

If not, what are your recommendations? I've basically just got the fonts that came with my computer, plus a few free fonts I was able to find. What fonts are essential for a collection? What fonts will be most widely useful in graphic design? What packages are cost-effective?

Please keep in mind that many people (read: me) cannot afford the wishlist fonts. I'm just trying to figure out a good, cheap starting point. Concurrently, if there are any font-purchasing strategies to avoid, please let me know.

Joe Pemberton's picture

Re: Formats
If Daniel is really starting from scratch, why not recommend the best option? No sense in him being stuck in 1997 with the rest of us. Go with OpenType if you have the apps to support it. By extension you're investing in the future development of a good thing.

Re: Fonts
Daniel, I'd say start with the core weights (Light, Roman, Bold with matching italics/obliques) of a few large, workhorse families (to name a few: Frutiger, Thesis, Benton Sans, Akzidenz Grotesk, Scala / Scala Sans, Officina). Then later, as projects warrant you can buy additional weights of the same families you've started. I'd rather have the core weights of a handful of faces than just one complete set of Univers, for example. Some foundries offer competitive "upgrade" paths as you want more weights.

When it comes to display faces, buy them for the specific projects that warrant them. No sense in buying Bees Knees or Base 9 if you never have to.

Re: Dissing Adobe
If you're going to diss Adobe's classical pack, I'd say out of fairness we should lump in the Bitstream packages too. Schools aren't helping their students by making Ballon, Hobo and Handel Gothic available.

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