Excellent but seldom used fonts

Yehan's picture

I'm sure we all have certain typefaces we know are really brilliant but somehow they never seem to get the exposure or publicity the rightfully deserve as examples of great type design.

One of those for me is ITC Mendoza. I very rarely see it but it seems to me that it's a really lovely typeface.

Anyone else knows fonts like this?

(granted, this is all personal opinion)


hashimpm's picture

Photina, Linotype Centenniel, Melior, Quorum, the list goes on...

hashimpm's picture

Photina, Linotype Centenniel, Melior, Quorum, the list goes on...

blank's picture

Vialog and Aptifer are probably some of the best stuff to hit the Linotype line in recent years, and nobody uses them. I find this particularly surprising in the case of Aptifer, because it has a killer range of slab weights that I expected to be a big with the recent revival of slab type.

Sye's picture


Stephen Coles's picture

I collected some of my favorite underused fonts for the QBN Typecase and ITC Mendoza is one of them.

Sye's picture

@hashimpm - my girlfriend recently read Shopaholic and Sister (UK edition i think) which surprised me when i flicked through it as it was set in melior.

which at first i was happy about cause i love melior, but for some reason i really didn't like it in that book... i think it was too loose and light.


SuperUltraFabulous's picture

Noa, Bohemia, Merlo, Today Sans, and I have yet to see a book set in Clifford.

Ray Larabie's picture

Joc Line

SuperUltraFabulous's picture

Also Indigo, PTL Speech, anything Maniakers, Arrus, Sirenne, Fleischman from Bitstream, Kennedy from Galapagos, anything Pampatype, Lazurski, anything Anatoletype, Nevia BT Pro from Bitstream, Gilgamesh, Iowan Old Style, Really by Gary Munch.... and Prado from Berthold Types

Stephen Coles's picture

> I have yet to see a book set in Clifford.

I have a beautiful example I'll have to post on Typo someday.

h johnston's picture


I love this font, I have used it for my own corporate identity. I have only seen it used one place before, but I'm glad it's not used too much. The italics are sublime.

Stephen Coles's picture

Plantin: most prominent recent use is probably Monocle magazine.

J Weltin's picture

Silica by Sumner Stone.
Italian Old Style by Frederic W. Goudy.

Stephen Coles's picture

Amen, Jürgen. Join me in pestering Sumner every few weeks for Silica italics.

J Weltin's picture

Stephen: I would even offer him to produce it. I have this in mind for ages ...

Dan Petter's picture

when i read this thread's title, the type nerd living inside my head screamed ITC Mendoza, and, slightly less exited, Silica. how late can you be to join a party...

luckily, there's more. i've yet to encounter Bodoni Egyptian in use, and i'd love to see ARS Maquette printed somewhere other than FontShops own promotional material. (if single weights were available, i might even take matters in my own hands.)

piccic's picture

Mendoza is a fantastic typeface. Its low contrast makes it great to set type in small sizes.
I actually found I owned a license (bundled with some old software, I don't recall if it was Freehand), and I hope some day I will have the opportunity to use it…

I do not have a similar feeling for recent faces, besides it seems there are so many gems to de discovered among 1980s designs (which went overlooked because of the frenzy of the digital avant-gardes, pursuing more display-oriented letters).

Manlio Napoli's picture

>> I have yet to see a book set in Clifford.

> I have a beautiful example I’ll have to post on Typo someday.

Please, do it soon.

Is there any OT Pro version of ITC Mendoza with CE diacritical marks, etc?

dan_reynolds's picture

I do not think that there is yet. Sorry :(

Frode Bo Helland's picture

In the case of Elsner & Flake, their website is a nightmare to search. Bad marketing might apply to some of the others.

Frode Bo Helland's picture

Forgive me, that should read "was". They've apparently updated: http://www.fonts4ever.com/foundry_detail.php?f_shops_id=8

Frode Bo Helland's picture

And: I'll add Stilla to the list. I've only seen it used once.

Bendy's picture

I have a Lord of the Rings set in Plantin. It's a delight. Nice and dark too.

piccic's picture

And: I’ll add Stilla to the list. I’ve only seen it used once.
Stilla is great, although you have to be skilled to use it well…
But I think it's one of those typefaces which do not benefit from an excessive exposure.

Jongseong's picture

It may be just me, but I don't remember seeing Kepler used very much, or Alisal. This despite Robert Slimbach (Kepler) and Matthew Carter (Alisal) not being exactly unknown type designers.

adnix's picture

i’ve yet to encounter Bodoni Egyptian in use

I just saw it used in the kid's section of the latest J. Crew catalog. I think it was the Roman or Thin weight, not sure as I don't have it in front of me. But I remember noticing the type as it was the first time I had seen it in commercial use.


agisaak's picture

I have yet to find a book set in FB Alpha Bloc Corde with footnotes in Adobe Ponderosa.

I feel empty inside.


Reed Reibstein's picture

The only place I've seen Kepler used is the Cornell Daily Sun.

SuperUltraFabulous's picture

The Ascender Originals almost never come up in discussion but are actually pretty nice.
Miramonte is lovely. Metro and Futura’s love child.

Frode Bo Helland's picture

Thanks Stephen. I'm gonna have to buy that typeface. It's amazing!

Yehan's picture

Wow..I gotta check out all these faces. To be honest..I'm quite sick of the same stuff being used over and over again...not that they're bad; but we could all use some variety once in awhile.

Just had the opportunity to set a book in Mendoza and I've absolutely fallen for it:D

jayar's picture

Jay Rutherford
I used Mendoza along with Interstate Bold for a corporate identity project a few years ago. They go great together! I built a font package with Mendoza normal, Mendoza Italic, Interstate Bold in the bold position and Mendoza small caps in the bold italic position. The contrasts work well, and it's easy for the architects to use on their PCs.

I also used Clifford some years ago for a book – the documentation of a typography conference we held here in Weimar in 2001. It was never actually printed, rather the PDFs were burned onto a CD and sold that way. Clifford reads really quite well on screen, as well as being an excellent text face for print. I'll upload an image when I get to a computer where the drive works.

jayar's picture

Jay Rutherford
Here's the image:

Interstate Bold is used on the back, set in 10 pt., for the partners' names.

Miss Tiffany's picture

I used Stilla recently on a t-shirt for friends surprise birthday party.


Florian Hardwig's picture

Oops! You don't have permission to view this page.

Tiffany, it seems your Flickr settings allow viewing all sizes for friends and family only.

Miss Tiffany's picture


Mark Simonson's picture

That's Motter Femina, not Stilla. Similar feel, though.

Miss Tiffany's picture

:-X I knew that. Today has not been my day for logic. At all. What so ever. FAIL.

Mark Simonson's picture

Still, another great face that doesn't get used much.

hrant's picture

Jürgen, Stephen, if you manage to convince Sumner to add italics to Silica, I will never forgive you. Don't soil such a pristine thing with the impurity that is Italic. Silica has a fine weight gradation for a reason - it doesn't need italics for emphasis, or anything else.



Yehan's picture

@ Jayar where did you get the OSF for ITC Mendoza. I don't remember it having OSF? Or did it?

illix's picture

Architype Bayer-Type is based upon Herbert bayer's 1931 experimental, universal modern face.
I love this one.
You can find it at: http://www.foundrytypes.co.uk

jupiterboy's picture

Jay’s example reminded me of pairing Metron with Lucida Bright on a friends card. Printed on a Heidelberg Windmill. This was before Metron fell into a legal mess.

Renaissance Man's picture

Joshua Darden's Freight
Sumner Stone's Cycles [Eleven]
Jean Francoise Porchez's Parisine Plus

Stephen Coles's picture

Hrant - You are alone in your hatred of italics. The rest of us want versatility, not your imagination of "purity".

hrant's picture

1) Well, not really hatred.
2) Nobody is ever alone.
3) Versatility does not exist in a vacuum; things you can't see are tugging on it. And integrity has a versatility all its own.


hrant's picture

BTW, to reply to the original post: Octavian, Legato, Sangue.


nina's picture

WHOA that Sangue is incredible (sorry for shouting)!

There are some really interesting suggestions in this thread. Great input.

Parisine Plus
I've used this a bunch of times, but feel it's quite difficult to make it not talk
in a somewhat conceited girly voice (that descending "G", uhh). I think
the "original" Parisine family is excellent, though, and amazingly versatile.
Could probably also be used more.


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