The fonts of 2004

madgeppetto's picture

yet another poll-type thread... :-)

1) What was your fav new/redesigned font of the year?

2) What was the most popular font of the year? or, What font kept showing up everywhere you looked?

dan_reynolds's picture

Question #1:
My favorite Linotype font of 2004 is the Adrian Frutiger/Akira Kobayashi masterful renovation and extension of Avenir, Avenir Next (OpenType).

My favorite non-Linotype font of 2004 is Lineto's Akkurat, designed by Laurenz Brunner.

My favorite type design project of the year, was one of my own. I designed a little thin sans serif italic called Farewell, and then handlettered a large piece that was briefly exhibited in the Klingspor Museum.

Question #2:
I don't know what the most popular font of the year was. Best sellers at Linotype were Neue Helvetica, Frutiger, and Linotype Univers. At MyFonts, Zapfino did really well, and so did Helvetica. I think that Helvetica Neue and Adobe Garamond are pobably the most popular fonts every year, in one sad sense

Dav's picture

1 ) 'Metron', by Franti

speter's picture

Dan, I know what you mean about Kabel. I spent the summer in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, and I was surprised how often I saw it in use, especially for local band gig posters.

dan_reynolds's picture

Years ago, in the dim ages, Rudolf Koch taught calligraphy and letter design at the Offenbach trade school that later became the college where I am now studying

mike gastin's picture

No favs to list, but this last year I have been seeing of all things Papyrus. I see it on signage, eatery logos, display lettering and on packages for consumer goods.

It drives me crazy. Just when I think its use has been stretched to the limits I find it in some new and sadly unique application.

I have come to loathe the font to such a degree that it has become a joke around our studio.


antiphrasis's picture


I hear ya. I see it everywhere too... It seems to be used by many bakeries, etc.

William Berkson's picture

Check out also Amira, an unusual, and unusually readable, caligraphic sans.

pablohoney77's picture

1) Olduvai from Veer's Umbrella Collection and Andulka from Storm.

2) I saw Gill Sans everywhere I looked in Seattle when i took a vacate up that way in late summer and then later with the olympics it was everywhere for me this year. (but what year isn't it everywhere?)

lettertiep's picture

1) Legato by Evert Bloemsma

hrant's picture

Legato, without an iota of a doubt.
And certainly not just for 2004.


Nick Shinn's picture

1. Metron -- a worthy blow against the empire

2. Helvetica, Gill Sans, Myriad: the empire (of the senseless, heartless, mindless)

matt_desmond's picture

I guess I'm obligated to add my font Variable to the mix. It was the best new sans serif at in 2004.

antiphrasis's picture


Congratulations! That's a really beautiful sans! I actually looked at it at MyFonts a week ago and then I saw it again this morning in the MyFonts newsletter. If I win that prize, I'll definately buy a weight of Variable.

matt_desmond's picture

I appreciate that, Lauri. :-)
Only one weight, though? ;-)

Chris Rugen's picture

No favs to list, but this last year I have been seeing of all things Papyrus.

There's a show on TV I was subjected to last night called 'Wickely Perfect' or something. It's a "who's America's next Martha Stewart?" show. Anyway, all of the on-screen labels...Papyrus.

antiphrasis's picture


Hey there! :-)

I see that on your site you have the whole family for $99, while on MyFonts they're $39 each for 5 weights with no option for buying the whole family, unless I'm mistaken. The typeface is really nice; I hope I'll get a cool project down the road so I could purchase the font(s)...

matt_desmond's picture

You have to click on "purchase options" on any of the weights of Variable to get the family purchase option. This is one of the features I think could be improved on It is a little hidden.

antiphrasis's picture


Thanks for pointing that out! I'm such a dingbat sometimes... :-)

madgeppetto's picture

I saw Papyrus too... also on a tv show. Medium, with Patricia Arquette.
I saw a crap-load of Benguiat last year too, a font I like a lot, but the poor thing was quite abused in most cases.

eolson's picture

I'm late to this but...

Freight from Josh Darden
Auto from Underware
Nexus from Martin Majoor
Versa from Peter Verheul
Bickham Script Pro from Richard Lipton


designalchemy's picture

"Wedding Sans" and "Robin" from Andrea Tinnes/Typekut
"Clearview" from James Montalbano/Terminal Design

Joe Pemberton's picture

Hmm. I won't spend lots of time finessing a list, but here are the ones that come to mind as standout faces of 04:

Whitney : Tobias Frere-Jones : H&FJ
Unit : Erik Spiekermann : FontFont
Amplitude : Christian Schwarz : Font Bureau
Pill Gothic : Christian Robertson : Umbrella Type

Personal biases noted. =)

Miss Tiffany's picture

Nice choices, Joe. I'd like to add:
Auto by Underware
Farnham from Font Bureau, by Christian Schwartz
The Ed Benguiat Font Collection from House Industries
Costa PTF by Jean François Porchez, Porchez Typofonderie

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