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The best fonts of 2013

By Melody Weister | Resources | Dec 16, 2013

We all love exciting new typefaces, and 2013 has been a bumper year for type design. So, with 2013 coming to a close, we’ve put together this list of the best fonts in the last 12 months.

For each month we’ve debated long and hard, and eventually nominated a 1st place, 2nd place, and runner up. What do they win? Nothing but our admiration, and kudos for a job well done.

The eagle eyed amongst you will notice there are no winners for December. With the month only half-way through, there’s still plenty of time for new designs to appear, if you’ve come across any let us know in the comments.

Here, is our selection of the best fonts of 2013:

 

January

1st place

Capita (from free) – We can’t get over the attractiveness of this font. It manages to evade the typical harsh quality of slab serifs, and yet still commands our attention. Absolutely our first choice for this month.

capita

2nd place

Trend (from $5) – Following its January debut, this charming display font has become incredibly ubiquitous. The array of versions available, from standard sans and serif to layered, make this font well-suited for a variety of needs — plus, it’s just great to look at no matter how you spin it.

trend

Runners-up

Halis Rounded ($16) & Fiesole (from $22) – We’re huge fans of both of these fonts; Halis manages to be soft without being cartoonish, and the calligraphic style of Fiesole is attractive without sacrificing functionality.

jan_runnersup

 

February

1st Place

Sanchez Slab (from free) – Almost a more delicate version of the iconic Rockwell, this distinctive slab serif is eye-catching and appealing at every weight. We’re especially fond of that unique uppercase K.

sanchez

2nd place

Foro Rounded (from free) – Hoftype’s addition to the Foro family is a softer but equally dynamic sibling. As charming as it is distinct, the font’s rounded edges manage not to overwhelm us at the thinner weights.

foro

Runners-up

Number Five (from $26.10) & Supernova (from $124 approx.) – Both of these fonts are incredible scripts; Supernova is incredibly versatile, sporting multiple weights, forms, and glyphs, while Number Five, available in both smooth and rough versions, calls to mind 1940’s and 1950’s Americana.

feb_runnersup

 

March

1st Place

Quadon (from $25) – Designed to bridge the gap between traditional serif fonts and the modern design trend of using sans serifs, Quadon succeeds as a contemporary serif that’s flexible and loaded with design potential.

quadon

2nd place

Mission Gothic (name your price) – We’re admittedly huge fans of Lost Type Co-Op and everything they produce, so the release of Mission Gothic as a companion to their incredible Mission Script made us extremely happy.

missiongothic

Runners-up

Quant (from free) & Corbert (from free) – Compared to this month’s other Qua-named serif, Quant is much more traditional in form, but as classical serifs go, it’s one of the most attractive. Corbert, on the other hand, is a fantastic geometric sans serif that hails back to the early modernist era and fonts like Bauhaus.

mar_runnersup

 

April

1st Place

Riona Sans (from $25) – This sans serif has all the qualities we look for in a good font: it’s legible at small sizes; it looks fantastic in large sizes and heavier weights; and it offers true italics.

riona

2nd place

Agmena (from $91 approx.) – Crafted by a designer with a passion for beautifully printed antique books, Agmena combines digital technology with the gorgeous forms of hand-crafted Renaissance fonts to create the ideal book font.

agmena

Runners-up

Trend Hand Made (from $5) & Wishes Script (from $15) – Again, our runners-up are incredible display fonts: Trend Hand Made is the hand-drawn sibling of January’s 2nd place font, and Wishes Script is beautifully whimsical without sacrificing legibility.

apr_runnersup

 

May

1st Place

FF Tisa Sans (from $67 approx.) – We’re longtime fans of FontFont’s FF Tisa, so the release of a sans serif sibling six years later interested us a great deal, and Tisa Sans does not disappoint.

tisa

2nd place

Sancoale Slab Soft (from $24.75) – This softened version of Sancoale Slab makes a fantastic alternative for those who find standard slab serifs too harsh.

sancoale

Runners-up

Canapé (from $49) & Gin ($22.50) – According to its creator, Canapé was based on the idea of letters with a subtly curved and slightly modulated line, and the result is warm and pleasant. Gin, on the other hand, is a stark display serif based on vintage whiskey and, obviously, gin bottles. Both are unique and appealing in their own way.

may_runnersup

 

June

1st Place

Klinic Slab (name your price) – This might be our favorite font released this year. Lost Type delivered a slab serif that looks great at all weights and sizes, and it meets a host of contemporary design needs.

klinic

2nd place

Mir (from free) – The Russian word Мир (Mir) means both world and peace, and designer Julia Sysmäläinen admits to having bits of both meanings in mind while designing this typeface. Those former fans of Museo who suddenly find it too ubiquitous to use should look to Mir to meet their typographic needs.

mir

Runners-up

Alianza (from $12.48) & Motion Picture ($59) – Alianza is incredibly versatile, offering both script and italic variants, and we find all of them visually appealing. Motion Picture, in contrast, only offers one family, but it’s a fantastic display script that calls to mind film titling cards.

jun_runnersup

 

July

1st Place

Niveau Grotesk (from $40) – Designed with the classical build of 19th century typefaces in mind, this font’s geometric architecture makes it stunning at large sizes, but still retains legibility at smaller sizes.

niveau

2nd place

Metro Nova (from $67 approx.) – There’s a special place in our hearts for anything released by Linotype, and with good reason. Metro Nova is a revitalized, digital version of the Metro typeface that originated in the 1930s, a sans serif that manages to straddle vintage and contemporary design eras.

metro

Runners-up

Voyage (from $35) & Rieux (from $25) – This month’s runners-up juxtapose whimsy with pragmatism: Voyage is a lavish display script, and Rieux an even-tempered, almost industrial slab serif.

jul_runnersup

 

August

1st Place

FF Marselis Slab (from $62 approx.) – The slab sibling of FF Marselis, which brought us a mindful cross between geometric and humanist forms, is equally well-designed. The letter forms have been subtly altered with rounded inner corners to suit the addition of serifs, but the distinctive tear-drop forms we love from Marselis remain.

marselis

2nd place

Xenois Sans Pro (from $36 approx.) – Pronounced “zeeno-is”, this month brings us yet another family from Linotype worthy of praise. Designed with the thought of melding antique letter forms with modern characteristics, the result is a unique family of fonts (you’ll note its serif sibling made our runners-up for this month!) that look great on the page.

xenois

Runners-up

Charcuterie (from $20) & Xenois Serif Pro ($36) – Paired with the serif sibling of this month’s 2nd place winner is Laura Worthington’s Charcuterie family, which encompasses ten distinct yet related typefaces.

aug_runnersup

 

September

1st Place

Felice (from $35) – This elegant serif with a humanist touch was incredibly well thought-out; it looks magnificent on the page and makes a classy titling font as well.

felice

2nd place

Quiroga Serif Pro (from $34) – Originally launched in 2007 as Quadratta, Quiroga Serif was designed to save space and still optimize legibility at medium and small sizes; it’s evolved a great deal since the Quadratta days, and we love the end result.

quiroga

Runners-up

Alek (from $35) & Ella FY (from $41 approx.) – We love both of these display scripts: Alek is classy but also playful, and Ella, designed by collaborative type foundry FontYou, utilizes a host of alternate character sets to maximize versatility.

sep_runnersup

 

October

1st Place

Neris (from free) – Though its designer insists Neris was intended more for headlines than body copy, we love the way this sans serif looks at every size. The host of ligatures and alternate character sets makes it flexible, and we’re fans of the overall look and feel.

neris

2nd place

Desire (from $99) – The end result of a five-year process, Desire is well worth the wait. Charles Borges de Oliveira has channeled his love of lettering into a visually stunning serif with a myriad of alternate characters for design purposes. Great for logos, headlines, and any other typographic project.

desire

Runners-up

Radikal (from $30) & Urge Text (from $30) – These two fonts are the results of interesting typographic projects. Radikal’s designers describe it as “a geometric font dedicated to the research of purity”, and Urge Text emerged from a series of italics intended to capture both the more traditional italic feel while remaining firmly rooted to the baseline.

oct_runnersup

 

November

1st Place

Clear Sans (from $10) – We’re going to be honest here; the adorable (and highly amusing) minisite created for Clear Sans by its creator, Neil Summerour, is what bumped it up to the #1 place in our book. The history of its design is complicated, but the result is one of the best sans serif fonts released this year. Side note: apparently Intel released their own font under the same name in the same month (seen here), but we much prefer Summerour’s—sorry, Intel.

clear

2nd place

Sharik Sans (from $29) – Named after the canine hero from its creator’s favorite TV series, this font was designed to exhibit a warm and gentle personality while still maintaining a subtle calligraphic touch.

sharik

Runners-up

Grenale #2 (from $24) & Dez Petranian (from $40) – Two fonts that straddle the line between display & standard, Grenale #2 is a distinctive haute couture-inspired sans serif, and Dez Petranian’s unique character style aims to recapture the fantastical spirit of storytelling.

nov_runnersup

 

 

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  • Jessica Richey

    Great writing (fonts and content)! I will definitely use a lot of these for my upcoming projects.

    • Kevin Kaostricks

      yes great write up..

  • Mike Dutch

    I am surprised Raleway did not make the list, it was my fave font from 2013 and its free too.

    Mike – http://freepsds.org

  • Kevin Kaostricks

    Awesome list..

  • Shaun Walls

    Some great fonts, shared on our site hope you don’t mind. Looking forward to seeing what new fonts we have in 2014! Shaun @ webdesigninmanchester.co.uk

  • Kamila Figura

    I am recommending Museo by Exljbris Font Foundry :)

    check out how it can be used:
    https://www.behance.net/gallery/Museo-Font-Book/11637815