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  • organising FONTS, what do you do?

    Posted by Richard Urquhart on November 21, 2002 at 1:32 pm

    hello all can any one help is there such a thing as top 10 most used fonts only as i keep saying im new to the sign game ,i did 2 vans the other day and spent ages looking through 100,100 of fonts it took longer getting the font that putting signs on thanks 😥

    Phill Fenton replied 21 years, 3 months ago 7 Members · 11 Replies
  • 11 Replies
  • Henry Andrews

    November 21, 2002 at 2:57 pm

    Here’s 5 classic sans serif typefaces to get you going. I’ve put a bolder version underneath each one just to show different weights, although it may be black or ultra bold etc.

    These won’t set the world on fire, but you won’t go wrong either, especially if you contrast light and heavy weights.

  • Richard Urquhart

    November 21, 2002 at 3:12 pm

    thanks mate

  • brian the brush

    November 21, 2002 at 8:43 pm

    I just love that GILL SANS, use it all the time, much better than helvetica.
    I have signwritten it so much over the years I can almost do the style with my eyes closed. The contrast between the ‘light’ and ‘bold’ is great.

  • Tim Shaw

    November 21, 2002 at 8:58 pm

    I agree with you on the lighter Gill Sans, but the heavier weights in Gill, like bold upwards, IN MY OPINION, are awful.

    Folio, Franklin and maybe Futura, I have found give a much better balance from light to very heavy.

    I try to avoid Helvitaca / Swiss because its everywhere, if I can find something better or more suitable.

    Having said that there is NOTHING wrong with Helvetica, I am just bored with it myself.

  • Henry Andrews

    November 21, 2002 at 9:04 pm

    Hi Brian

    Couldn’t agree more. THE Great British typeface. Bar none.
    You’ve done some great stuff. I’d like to see some of that Gill sans. Any chance of posting a bit up?

  • red dragon

    November 21, 2002 at 10:21 pm

    Ah but how many of you knew that the Gill Sans font is the one used currently by SAAB on their vehicles.

    Not a lot of people know that 😮

  • Henry Andrews

    November 21, 2002 at 10:23 pm

    Hi Tim

    I can see where you’re coming from on Gill Bold, its like its trying to be a heavier version of the original, but has ended up losing its classic roman quality. The ultra bold however, I think is totally different. Its a typeface all on its own and it has a friendly, informal look to it. I’d use it in an entirely different way to regular or light Gill.

    I love Franklin Gothic and have used it a lot in design work. I’ve also had heavy mileage out of some other great Gothics; Trade, Bell and News in particular.

    I think Futura is fantastic for sign work. The condensd version works really well.

    In answer to the original question about the “most used font”: With the exception of possibly Times, it’s got to be Helvetica. This is one of the most commercially successful and popular designs produced in the second half of the 20th century, and has reached the point of over use. However it’s in my top five every time.

    Everything’s subjective. It’s a great topic and it’s all the diverse opinions that make it such a great trade to be in.

    Bloody Hell! I nearly forgot the grandaddy of them all – Trajan Roman…..
    Eric knew what to look at when he decided to stick his name on some lettering!

  • Martin Pearson

    November 21, 2002 at 11:35 pm

    Richard, two things you could do that might make life a little easier for yourself. Firstly print out all your fonts and put them in a folder. This way a quick f lick through the book can often identify a suitable font for a job. Secondly make up a couple of boards with different font styles to put on the wall, helps when you have customers in if they can see an example. We have two boards on the wall, about thirty fonts I think text height about one inch.
    Like many of the above we use gill quite a bit even on jobs other than SAAB’s. Just a thought but I wonder if certain fonts get used more or less in different parts of the Country.

  • Richard Urquhart

    November 22, 2002 at 1:39 pm

    martin thanks for that i will print some out didnt think of that also i have seen boards on the wall befor in many sign shops and didnt think to do one for myself duh 😳

  • brian the brush

    November 23, 2002 at 3:22 pm

    Gray, you speak like a true letterologist, when I go anywhere new I always look at signs, signs, signs – it drives everybody MAD. Letter styles are fabulous, I love ’em, especially scripts, not the crap ones used on computers but the true original ones developed by individual signwriters.Locally I can tell who has done which sign just by the ‘style’
    of the signwriter.


  • Phill Fenton

    November 23, 2002 at 3:43 pm

    I think fonts are fontastic 😀

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