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55 once-in-a-career typefaces

By Benjie Moss | Typography | Sep 25, 2013

There are no bad dogs, just bad owners; likewise there are no bad fonts, just bad designers.

Well, that’s not entirely true, fonts are regularly distributed with all kinds of flaws — inadequate hinting, poor consistency, a lack of optical adjustment, are all common mistakes — but those fonts fall by the wayside pretty quickly. The ones that survive the Darwinesque world of typography are usually technically very sound.

But even the highest quality fonts are open to misuse and the best font in the world can perform poorly in the wrong context.

So how do we avoid being bad designers? How do we avoid misusing fonts? The simple answer is that we choose a typeface that is appropriate for the task at hand. Yes, that means not using Comic Sans for your résumé; but just as importantly, it means not using Helvetica for everything.

Once in a while you’ll come across a brief that asks for something with real character. It may only happen once or twice in your career, but when it does, leave your go-to fonts on the shelf and seize the opportunity to set your type in something truly unique.

Here we’ve collected 55 fonts that offer a selective typographer the potential to produce truly original designs. They won’t work for every project. They definitely won’t work for body text. Heck, some are even downright ugly. But if you can match the right one to the right design job, well, then you’ll end up with something really quite special.

 

Paranoid (free)

001

 

Coco (free)

002

 

Sequi (free)

003

 

Colo ($29)

004

 

Neo Deco ($20)

005

 

Lullaby ($20)

006

 

Accent (free for personal use)

007

 

Deibi (free)

008

 

Sketchetik ($39)

009

 

VAL (free)

010

 

Port ($15)

011

 

Adamas (free)

012

 

Days (free)

013

 

Cube (free)

014

 

Qalto ($53 approx.)

015

 

Drop (free)

016

 

Tartan Cabaret (free)

017

 

Roke1984 ($13 approx.)

018

 

Hannah (from $19.99)

021

 

Metropolis 1920 (free)

022

 

New Modern ($32 approx.)

023

 

Razor ($5)

024

 

Lovelo (free)

025

 

Qub ($94 approx.)

027

 

 Valistika ($94 approx.)

028

 

Acorn ($16 approx.)

029

 

Bobber (free)

030

 

Che’s Bone (free)

031

 

Shelton Slab ($19)

032

 

 Low Poly Font (free)

034

 

Tomahawk (free for personal use)

035

 

Baurete (free)

037

 

Paris (from $60)

038

 

Ogaki (from $67 approx.)

039

 

Lukano ($32 approx.)

040

 

Tetra (donation)

041

 

Nougatine (free)

042

 

Cubic (from $35)

043

 

Henry (free)

044

 

Stitching (free)

046

 

Movant Barks (free for personal use)

048

 

Kaori (free)

049

 

Rolka (from $29)

050

 

Nomed Font (free)

051

 

Geogram (free)

052

 

Hyped (free)

055

 

Wide Display (from $20)

056

 

Blox (free)

057

 

Multicolore (free)

058

 

Color Lines (free)

059

 

Origram (free)

060

 

Five Minutes (free)

061

 

Intro (from $47)

062

 

Val Stencil (free)

064

 

Yuma ($10)

065

 

Have you used any of these typefaces in a project? Have you used anything equally left-field? Let us know in the comments.

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  • Designbot Creative

    Very nice collection man.

  • Isis Marques

    I just missed “London” from the talented brazilian designer Antonio Rodrigues Jr:
    http://www.behance.net/gallery/London/10091725

  • http://julienjolly.com/ Julien Jolly

    Inspiring… Thanks for the collection

  • Ariah

    I don’t think any font from this collection can be considered “ugly”! They are all beautiful. Intro works well for large posters, and Lovelo comes with ‘black’ option which also makes for nice poster font…

    • IsisMarques

      I don’t think they meant they’re ugly…I understood that they’re special fonts that you can use in very specific projects to add more personality!
      Like the one I posted, it’s so beautifully designed! =)
      Isis

  • a

    have you seen optica normal

  • N4more Design

    I’m not a bad dog, er, I mean designer. Thanks for sharing these.

    Josh
    http://n4moredesign.com/