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Fonts In Action

Welcome to the 2nd annual Fonts in Action Sale. During this sale, we will be highlighting fonts within some popular categories like advertising, branding, packaging, publication, fashion and apparel, interface, stationery and children.

The curation process included working closely with our foundry partners and understanding the relationship between the search and buying patterns of our customers for each category. It was interesting to see the fonts that trended for each of the categories.

When it came time to narrow it down, editor Aisra Shervani looked at which ones were popular, which felt underrepresented, and took it down further to 60+ fonts.

Be Seen & Be Legible

Advertising typography, be it in print, digital or on billboards, is about being noticed and sending a quick message. Advertisements are not lingered-on or studied. Bold typefaces are the best choices; bold typefaces that are legible and deliver their message at a glance. The eye can grasp about three or four words at a time, so headlines should be short and to the point.

If space is at a premium, moderately condensed typefaces are a good choice. Just be aware that if they are too condensed, character legibility can suffer. Sans serif designs are a natural choice – especially Humanistic and Grotesque sans serif designs.

If you want to use a serif typestyle, choose one with simple, short serifs. Slab serif typefaces are excellent choices for building straight-forward, easy to read advertising copy. Advertising typography is usually about building brand. Be consistent in your choices and use typefaces that wear well.

Browse through our selection for inspiration from what our foundry partners are doing within Advertising.

Big Families With Legs

Type is one of the most important aspects of any branding solution. Type can easily differentiate a company from its competition – and every company has competition. Standardized font usage presents a strong, consistent image to the marketplace and bonds together the thousands – and sometimes millions – of diverse pieces of graphic communication a company produces.

Roman, italic and bold versions of a family are almost never enough for a large branding system. Perhaps not immediately, but sooner or later the client is going to run into instances where condensed, very bold, or even an expanded design is required. Plan ahead.

Don’t try to use a font to replicate a logo. Logos are almost always hand-drawn. The initial type selection for a client should hinge off the characteristics of the logotype. It’s part of the client's unique DNA.

Brands are supposed to last a long time. Pick a typeface that will not look out of date in two or three years. By the way, MyFonts has over 130,000 fonts to choose from.

Browse through our selection for inspiration from what our foundry partners are doing within Branding.

Dynamic Duo of Packaging

Fonts for packaging design, and related projects, are at two ends of the typographic spectrum. You’ll want distinctive and, in some cases, even flamboyant fonts for the product name, while required product labeling information should be set in a clean, unassuming, space efficient and absolutely legible design. (Think, condensed sans serif.) Sure, you can’t go wrong with the “usual suspects,” but consider a sturdy sans that isn’t ubiquitous.

As for the typeface that brands the product, you clearly don’t want the typographic equivalent of sensible shoes. Pick a typeface that makes a statement while building brand. Don’t, however, make the mistake of choosing obvious designs. Don’t assume that typefaces have fixed personalities. If the client makes automotive products, you may gravitate to bold italic sans serif typefaces. They’re masculine and speedy, right? Maybe. But they are also overused in automotive product packaging. Don’t blend-in. Stand out!

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A Road With Clear Directions

Books, magazines, newsletters, blog posts, product manuals and such – whether they be hardcopy or digital – require two kinds of fonts: fonts for reading and fonts to be used as sign-posts. Typefaces for continual reading have pretty specific parameters: a robust x-height, large counters and open apertures. If you’re working in a digital environment, add in generous character spacing, obvious differentiation between family weights and moderate contrast in stroke weight.

The sign-post fonts introduce articles, chapters and topics. They create hierarchy and guide readers through pages. They can be utilitarian designs or typefaces with a mien that’s vintage-inspired, elegant, brawny or lithe and airy. Books, newsletters and product manuals tend to use more conservative designs that serve as typographic sign-posts and build brand. Magazines, blog posts and other, more ephemeral, publications can walk a little more on the wild-side when it comes to sign-post typography. Even scripts and fanciful display typefaces can make for great choices.

Nail the first impression

Fonts used in stationery tend to use a mix of decorative and text fonts. It’s common to see a lot of script and handwritten fonts in this category, especially when it comes to invitations, greeting cards, and even restaurant menus. Scripts and handwritten fonts bring a human touch to these mediums, which are often personal in nature (or at least trying to be.)

Decorative or display fonts are not limited to scripts of course, and other expressive designs can be used to create the desired mood. In fact, the category is so broad that the choices can be overwhelming, and can include anything from display versions of ordinary fonts, inline or stencil versions of existing fonts, or fonts designed purely to be decorative. Depending on the use case, these fonts can be pretty eccentric and focus more on delivering an aesthetic than on readability.

Whatever the medium, however, it’s important to use these decorative fonts sparingly and in conjunction with a font or fonts better suited to reading. The essential information in an invite, business card, or event ticket needs to be clear and easy to read. You don’t necessarily need to use a font designed for long-form reading, but an entire restaurant menu set in flowy script would be difficult to read, and could lead to customers getting a surprise on their plate.

Strike a pose

You can’t talk about fashion and fonts without first talking about Didone fonts. While fashion is all about trends and what’s new, Didone fonts have stood the test of time as an immovable centerpiece of fashion magazine covers, ads, and brand logotypes. Didone fonts are characterized by extreme contrast between thicks and thins, and command attention with their tall, graceful, imposing stature.

Didones are not the only option for the fashion industry, of course. Publications and fashion brands are selling a point of view as much as they’re selling clothes, so the fonts in use should reflect that perspective and connect with the customer. A geometric sans serif can convey contemporary refinement or minimalist sophistication. A flowing script can signify boho chic or classed-up comfort. Sturdy serifs evoke confidence and composure--a good fit for suits and “business” fashion. Bold, aggressive fonts can deliver energy to streetwear and brands targeting the youth market.

Fashion is all about expression, and fonts are an integral part of bringing that voice to the world.

Looking Good on Screen

Fonts used in websites, mobile devices, software applications, etc. should be distinctive and capable of establishing a brand identity while not being so idiosyncratic that they are limited in breadth of use. They should also have exceptionally legible numbers and be available in a range of weights and proportions.

Character spacing should be generous, counters open and apertures wide and clear. Because of the limited digital real estate on small-screen devices, typefaces that have a strong contrast in character stroke weights do not translate well to this environment. There are not enough pixels to reproduce the contrast at small sizes.

While there will be some trade-offs in communication power for the sake of establishing a distinctive look and feel, theme-based fonts also need to take into account the basic requirements of mobile device applicability. The lightest and boldest weights can create inviting banners and headings, while the midrange designs are perfect for navigational links, sub heads and blocks of copy. Used together, they will build brand and hierarchy.

Simply Friendly

When selecting a typeface for products aimed at children, look for a warm, friendly design with simple, generous letter shapes. Counters should be rounded and open, not angular or rectangular and stay away from typefaces with non-traditional letterforms. Typefaces with larger x-heights are also generally easier to read – this is especially true for children.

Either sans or serif designs can be used as long as they avoid any extremes that might impair readability. Avoid very condensed or expanded typefaces. They make character recognition more difficult. Use a book or medium weight for continuous text – especially if it is to be read by a juvenile.

Fonts for headlines and product branding can be playful in design and color. Decorated typestyles, lots of color, and curved and jumping baselines can all be used to attract and entertain young audiences. Look to fun-loving and light-hearted typestyles, and ones that can take advantage of multiple colors.

Thank you for stopping by to browse through our collection. We look forward to your next visit.

Madera is trademarks of Monotype Imaging Inc. registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and may be registered in certain other jurisdictions. Marselis, Good, Chartwell, Meta, Dax are trademarks of Monotype GmbH registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and may be registered in certain other jurisdictions. Uberhand and SST are trademarks of Monotype GmbH and may be registered in certain jurisdictions. ITC Avant Garde Gothic is a trademark of Monotype ITC Inc. registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and which may be registered in certain other jurisdictions. FF is a trademark of Monotype GmbH registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and may be registered in certain other jurisdictions. Singel is a trademark of Fontfabric. Intro Rust is a trademark of Fontfabric. Pinto is a trademark of FaceType. Uni Neue is a trademark of Fontfabric. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.

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