Survey of typographic choices

reganfredjohnson's picture

Hey everyone,
I'm doing a small survey of typography, comparing design students to design professionals. Please answer the questions that follow. It should only take a minute or two. Please included whether you're a student or a professional.

1. Favorite Typeface
2. Most Used Typeface
3. Guilty Pleasure (you know that you shouldn't love it)
4. Most hated (get pretentious!)
5. Preferred method of adding emphasis (italics, bold).
6. Preferred Typeface (Choose one. List derived from separate typophile thread)
7. Favorite letterforms, upper and lowercase.

Thanks Typophiles!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Either post here or email me at

Indra Kupferschmid's picture

1. Electra
2. Syntax (old)
3. Ludwig
4. Adobe Sans
5. italic
6. Scala
7. lowercase
8. professional

Queneau's picture

1. This question pops up a lot here lately, maybe it's an idea to combine threads or something, or make a recent top 10 of font preferences? -just a thought. Anyway I'll just answer something else every time :) >> Neuzeit Grotesk
2. Until now: Interstate (but not by choice!)
3. Frankfurter Highlight
4. Belwe
5. Bold
6. Garamond
7. lowercase
8. Pro

cheerio Queneau

Indra Kupferschmid's picture

you're right, now after the second coffee I would go for:
1. Neuzeit Grotesk with that fab J, but since Queneau named that I'll take Vendôme
2. Lucida Sans
3. Museo
4. Prokyon
5. small caps
6. Frutiger
7. still low
8. not a student anymore (but professional?)

Dav's picture

1. Baskerville (Storm) / Tempera
2. Univers
3. Akzidenz Grotesk
4. Eurostile/Microgramma (Well, not really 'Hate', I may add. I respect it, for what it WAS, back then, but give it a rest, now, all, will you.)
5. Italic
6. Scala
7. LowerCase (a, g, k.)
8. Pro (I guess. ;)

nina's picture

1. This changes, and there's more than one. But at the moment, I'd say Legato.
2. Parisine.
3. Cooper Black.
4. I hate Souvenir, and a few others. But there's always Arial to hate first.
5. Depends on context, and on the design of the font and its italic/bold styles.
6. Garamond. Although it hugely depends which Garamond.
7. "A", "R", "V", "g", "a", "i" (wasn't that the question?)
8. Professional. And part-time postgraduate student, so take your pick!

Queneau's picture


How is Akzidenz Grotesk a guilty pleasure? I feel a bit guilty now too :(
Eurostile is pretty awful as well, and the name reminds me of everything bad connected with Euro-: Eurotechno, Eurovision, etc...

cheerio Queneau

Dav's picture

Jeffrey/Queneau, I am not sure about the 'guilty pleasure', but I guess several times it was some kind of 'alternate' when I could have found some way better and more suitable typeface, with a little more time on hand. (And I still think Akzidenz Grotesk is the better 'alternate', compared to Helvetica. ;)

Indra Kupferschmid's picture

Indeed - totally forgot about Legato!
Okay, let's do another
1. Avance
2. Frutiger
3. Neue Haas Grotesk
4. Zapfino
5. bold
7. low profile
8. Prof.

((I could do that the whole day and ruin your survey))

Indra Kupferschmid's picture

@ David Huber
btw: Nebiolo had the best alternative/rip-off to Helvetica - Forma. Why isn't there a digital version?

Dav's picture

Indra, Hah, Yea, They sure had. (And there actually is a digital version of Forma, or at least roughly based on it, available. Quite questionable sources, I may add. But, I actually used it, while working under/as my 'Forma' alias. ;)

Indra Kupferschmid's picture

Oh, missed that thread, sorry.
Thanks, I'll check that digital version (but have some prejudice as well ...)

Jon Evenchen's picture

1) Soho pro complete
2) Frutiger
3) Avant Garde
4) All the obvious ones: Arial, Helvetica, Comic Sans, Papyrus, All Microsoft fonts
5) Bold
6) Frutiger as a whole, but lately Gotham
7) Upper: C, G, M, R, S Lower: a, e, g, s
8) Pro


Frode Bo Helland's picture

1: Eason
2: Dolly
3: Comic Sans
4: Broadway
5: Italics, though the best method is using a coloured marker
6: Terrible question, but Scala I guess: Workhorse sans + serif
7: M, Z, &, r, æ

Semi pro :)

_Palatine_'s picture

1. Fairfield (Letterpress)
2. Expo Serif Pro (the letterpress version of this is sublime)

3. Palatino
4. Souvenir

5. italics

6. Frutiger

7. Upper: Y, T & Lower: a, g, y, z

Forever a student. ;)

Tim.Donaldson's picture

Boy do I love surveys, and its not everyday you get to do one on type!

1. Adobe Jenson Pro
2. Frutiger
3. Cooper Black (although I'm too scared to ever actually use it) or ITC Garamond, I know its not a real Garamond but I think its a really nice display font
4. Arial, because it hangs out with a bad crowd
5. Depends on the context
6. Garamond
7. Uppercase Q and lower case g. Upper case R if it has that swoosh that carries on under the next character. Italic Zs are usually pretty nice too.
8. Student.

My Portfolio

Chris Dean's picture

1. Univers
2. Univers
3. Tiger Rag
4. None — "Tis a poor craftsman that blames his tools."
5. White space
6. Univers
7. Linotype Univers & (ampersand)

microspective's picture

1. Scala Sans
2. Most used is open for interpretation, yes? Are you talking about number of times chosen or how much of it fills the page? So, Display: Scala Sans or Vista Sans; Text: Garamond Premier Pro or Arno Pro.
3. Typeka
4. TNR sucks.
5. I believe the instance of emphasis determines the choice between bold or italic.
6. Gotham
7. a (two-storey), g (two-storey), j; R and C. Hey, what about numerals? 2, 5, 9.
8. Prof.

phrostbyte64's picture

Christopher Dean - 4. None — “Tis a poor craftsman that blames his tools.”

nice answer...

1. After Disaster (ha - bet you've never heard of that one)
2. Swiss Black - lately (not by choice)
3. Wave 85 (can't use it much,but I still like it)
4. Swiss Black - lately
5. Black Caps
6. Futura
7. Someone pretends to pay me so I pretend to work


...from the Fontry

type.nasos's picture

1. Malaga
2. MetaPro greek
3. Helvetica
4. Helvetica greek
5. Depend the situation.
6. Gotham
7. a, w, g, z R, A, Q

8. prof

Nick Shinn's picture

Perhaps I'm fickle, but I've never approached typography with such a hard and fast attitude.
Avoid nepotism: choose the best face for the job at hand.

colinpin's picture

Perhaps I'm fickle, but i don't think reganfredjohnson is suggesting that we choose a typeface that would work on every project or solve every design problem, but rather one we think is really great. We all know that different projects require different typefaces. Just be a sport: picking a favorite doesn't trivialize your professionalism... but then again, I'm merely a student...

1. FF Unit, Poplar
2. Trade Gothic
3. Avant Garde
4. Comic Sans & After Disaster (jk phrostbyte64, I've never heard of it)
5. Color or BOLD
6. DIN
7. Q, g

Nick Shinn's picture

OK, this is the best I can do.

1. 10 pt Scotch of (probably) George Bruce, c. 1870. This is the type I revived as Scotch Modern.
2. The same. I use it for my browser font.
3. It's type. Nothing to feel guilty about.
4. Archer, because I'd rather see Bodoni Egyptian.
5. Small caps.
6. At the moment, none of those do anything for me at all.
7. Depends on the face.

Bendy's picture

Cool, I was thinking about type surveys the other day :)

1. Guardian Egyptian. But it's distractingly nice to read so maybe something more normal: Dante, Baskerville, Sabon.
2. Myriad and Minion.
3. Ballpark Weiner.
4. Any of those stupid childish fonts that I've removed from my machine. There's one called Boopee. I hate Tempus Sans too.
5. Small caps or bold.
6. Minion.
7. M, N, Q, R, S, Z, a, e, g, m, s, y, 4, 8, &, *
8. Part-time freelancer (sorry!)

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