Ok so i’m a sophomore in Industrial Design at UC. One of my biggest problems i’m having in my presentations for classes and my portfolio is fonts. I don’t really have a clear view on what sort of fonts to use for presentation and my biggest fear is going with something bland or old so i reach out and use different serif fonts and i get called out on it. So if anyone has any good articles to look into this sort of thing or if anyone can point me in the direction of some good font family to use that would be appriciated.
You can be the slickest design student in your class and always use Helvetica fonts. Use light, regular, and bold, that’s all you need.
If you’re really bad with fonts, and don’t want to mess with them too much, with Helvetica you can never fail.
edit: that is… unless you actually really do want to learn, which is what I would suggest. the Helvetica suggestion is both a joke and serious if you don’t care/don’t want to explore/or suck
Have you seen the movie HELVETICA?
Very good flick! Universe is the same way.
I recently read a great book called 30 Essential Typefaces for a Lifetime.
You should see if you can get a copy.
There are thousands of typefaces and more being produced monthly. It is a continual challenge for designers to select the exact typeface best suited for a project. In collaboration with the School of St. Martin, Art Center Pasadena, Rhode Island School of Design, Basel, and Yale Design School, 30 Essential Typefaces for a Lifetime defines 30 of the most useful and classic typefaces for all design needs and occasions. Neville Brody imagined “it takes 10 years for someone to master a typeface.” This book contains “typefaces for a lifetime.”
From the Inside Flap
In collaboration with the School of St. Martin, Art Center Pasadena, Rhode Island School of Design, Basel, and Yale Design School, Thirty Typefaces for a Lifetime defines 30 of the most useful and classic typefaces for all design needs and occasions. Neville Brody imagined “it takes 10 years for someone to master a typeface.” This book contains “typefaces for a lifetime.”
Actually i just watched Helvetica last week and so has everyone else in my studios, i see helvetica everywhere in studios and just don’t want to fall into the helvetica fanboys. and no i’m not trying to sound cocky or anything, i’m just looking for something different
but thanks for the book J6 i’ll be sure to look into it
In my experience the biggest mistake students make isn’t that they use something bland or old, but that their fonts obscure their content. The Helvetica is a good bit of advice, because nothing ever really looks bad in Helvetica, though it is so overused at this point you may very well have a more knowledgeable observer who’s sick of it.
There are a few good introductory texts out there on the subject, if you want to learn a little about typography: check out Erik Spiekermann’s “Stop Stealing Sheep and Learn How Type Works” for a pleasant overview that’s fun to read, or “Elements of Typographic Style” if you want to geek out more.
Otherwise, there’s always the option of simply finding a publication whose layout you like and emulating the fonts they use. It’s school, after all, and there’s a lot to be learned by copying those who do it well.
Thanks for the books hitch, i just looked into the Erik Spiekermann book and i’m thinking about getting it.
But thanks for the advice and that is true about learning from those who already do it well
Try DIN, TradeGothic, Frutiger or Univers instead of Helvetica if you’re looking for a simple, clear san serif typeface.
Trajan, Officina, Garamond are classic serif typefaces that can be over used, but as a Sophomore you might look cool using them.
Its hard to walk away from the movie Helvetica without becoming sucked into the theory behind it, and using it for everything. But, there are others out there that aren’t so cliche “designerly”
My 2 cents.
I have taught a few classes at the local ID school over the years. Every year there are always one or two students (make that 5 or 6) that over-design their presentation boards. Crazy backgrounds, wild fonts, Poorly executed logos for their project… these embelishments can often backfire and your crit ends up being about your board layout rather than your design work.
- I would suggest you use a clean, readable typeface and then employ it in a clean and logical layout.
You want to show of your ID work - not your typesetting skills (or lack thereof)
The suggestions above are all excellent examples of fonts that are perfectly suitable for an ID presentation.
I find Helvetica Neue to be a great substitute. You won’t look like a Helvetica fanboy while still using a can’t-go-wrong font.
I’m a big fan of Futura. It looks more modern to me than Helvetica, even though it’s actually 30 years older. It’s got a lot of extra bold and light variants that are good for titles and stuff.
I would like to bring this topic back up. Over the years I have tried so many fonts and come to the conclusion that only a few of them are truly timeless and remain useful as well as beautiful.
So I am adding my favorite fonts so far:
- FF Meta
- Myriad, one of the best regular sans
- DIN Pro
- Gill Sans
- Garrisson Light Sans
- Museo Sans
- Futura - still great but it’s so often used, like Verdana and Tahoma were in the 90s, that it loses interest
- Fedra Sans
- Daxline Pro
- ClearviewHwy is a great sans, http://fontsgeek.com/search?q=clearviewhwy
- Lato, free from Google Fonts
- Museo 500
What are your all-star favorite fonts as a designer?
By the way, Nexusfont is a great free tool to manage your font collection.
I often used courier in university:) I still like it, but don’t often use it.
As an ID student, worry about your design most. Make your presentations clear and understandable. Make your sketches, renders and models so incredible that no one reads the boards!
Technically typeface, not fonts.
My favorite sans-serif right now is Gotham, and favorite serif, Bembo.