55 once-in-a-career typefaces

Ben Moss.
September 25, 2013
55 once-in-a-career typefaces.
thumbnailThere 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.

Ben Moss

Ben Moss has designed and coded work for award-winning startups, and global names including IBM, UBS, and the FBI. When he’s not in front of a screen he’s probably out trail-running.

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