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Interesting facts about familiar fonts

Talk to the right person and you’ll discover that fonts are a big deal in the world of design.   Typographers can spend weeks designing a new font and designers can spend forever gushing about the elegance of an old classic.  A lot of fonts actually have a really long history which dates back much further than the dawn of Microsoft word.  So read on to find out a few things you never knew about fonts you might use every day.

Times New Roman:

Probably the most well-known font of all time, times new roman was first designed in 1931 by Stanley Morison and Victor Lardent.  The designers were commissioned by The Times newspaper to improve the readability of print following complaints from readers.

Helvetica:

Helvetica is used by countless brands in logos including British Gas, Oral B, Evian and Post-it.  It was originally designed in 1957 by Max Meidinger and Eduard Hoffman and has become one of the most popular type-faces in the world.  Managing director of Linotype (who own the font) Frank Wildenberg speaking about the font said,

“It’s durable.  It comes from natural design forms.  It doesn’t have an expression of fashion.  It has very clear lines and characters”

This might explain why it’s lasted so long and is used in countless contexts from airport signs to big name brand logos.  The font is so popular it’s inspired a whole film.  Will Helvetica’s dominance ever wane?

Clarendon:

Clarendon is a very old font which you might not recognise by name but you’re bound to recognise by sight.  It was originally created in England by Robert Besley in the 1840s, and was commonly used on wanted posters in the Wild West.  Today it’s often used for decorative door numbers and building name plaques.  Sony use it in their logo.

Gill Sans:

BBC news and the London Underground both use this clean, clear font which was designed by Eric Gill around 1926-1928.  It was adopted heavily by the London and North Eastern Railway system for use on station signs, timetables and in publicity and advertising.

Comic Sans:

Comic sans is one of the most controversial fonts ever designed with a lot of font fanatics repeatedly describing comic sans as the worst typeface ever.  There’s even a website dedicated to ridding the world of this font. The playful font was first made by Microsoft word in 1995 and mimics the style of comic book scripts.  It’s generally considered to be a font reserved for informal purposes and not suitable for use in professional environments, but comic sans does have its defenders.

If you want to know some more facts about famous fonts then take a look here to expand your knowledge!

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