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15 Timeless Fonts

Posted by Adrian Davis on

We all have our own 'go to' fonts, or rather, Typefaces. 'Fonts' are variations in weight of the typeface style, like 'bold'.  At Saxon print we've compiled a list of 15 typefaces that any graphic designer can count on for a lifetime.



Who hasn't heard of Helvetica! It’s arguably one of the most recognisable sans-serif typefaces of all time. Originally created by Max Miedinger and Eduard Hoffmann in 1957.



Avenir is a geometric sans-serif typeface designed by Adrian Frutiger in 1988.



Clarendon is a slab-serif typeface that was created by Robert Besley in 1845. Historically it has been used in what is now iconic art such as Wanted posters, Reward signs, etc.



Bodoni is a serif typeface and was first designed by Giambattisa Bodoni in 1798 . It has been used in many logos because of its classic style including Giorgio Armani and the classic “CK” for Calvin Klein.



Futura is a geometric sans-serif typeface designed in 1927 by Paul Renner. An exceptionally versatile typeface Futura can be a good choice for space-sensitive environments.



DIN is a realist sans-serif typeface designed in 1995 by Albert-Jan Pool, DIN is an acronym for Deutsches Institut für Normung (German Institute of Standardisation).



The Palatino typeface is said to be one of the top ten most-used typefaces in the world. It was first designed by by Hermann Zapf shortly after World War II, its popularity has spawned a host of imitations.


Gill Sans

Designed by Eric Gill in 1926. An exceptionally distinctive design with a almost limitless potential range of uses. Perhaps most famously used for the London Underground.



Garamond is a group of many old-style serif typefaces, based on those originally designed by Claude Garamond in the 16th century. Commonly used for body text in books. It has been claimed that Garamond uses much less ink than Times New Roman so if you’re using an inkjet perhaps it's time to change the default font (another reason to never use Times New Roman ever again)


Copperplate Gothic

Copperplate Gothic was designed by Frederic Goudy and released by American Type Founders around 1901. This capital only font is reminiscent of stone carving or lettering on engravings. Originally designed for use on business cards, letterheads and stationery, this typeface was also used on the logo of the game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?



Optima is a humanist sans-serif typeface designed by Hermann Zapf (him again) released in 1955. Optima is almost always grouped with typefaces such Helvetica and Gill Sans, it should be considered a serifless roman font. You will find similar proportions, shapes and weight stress when compared to typefaces such as Garamond. Where these designs have serifs, however, Optima has a slight flaring of its stroke terminals.


Avant Garde

Originally created for the Avant Garde Magazine in the late 1960s, the Avant Garde font is now seen in plenty of printed headlines. Ideal for display copy and short blocks of text content. 



Univers another classic designed by Adrian Frutiger in 1957. It has typical Swiss style and is sometimes confused with Helvetica. Univers has been employed in numerous applications including corporate branding and signage. Here in the UK it is used on tests and exams, preferred for the clear distinction between similar characters such as I and 1.



Snell Roundhand was developed by Matthew Carter in 1965, based on the roundhand script of Charles Snell, a writing master from the 1600s. Widely used for personal correspondence, invitations, and announcements, thanks to the comfortable elegance of its script. Its uppercase characters can blend well with other typefaces.



Minion is a serif typeface designed by Robert Slimbach in 1990 for Adobe. This typeface encapsulates the aesthetic appeal of the Renaissance and the exceptional readability of typefaces of the day. For this reason, Minion has proved to be a popular font for on-screen use.

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