Ranking the Top Typefaces

In the late 1990s, Paul Shaw, a letter designer and design historian, wrote an article about the top 100 typefaces of all time. The author’s list contained fonts that he described as having “historical, technological, or theoretical importance” and he crafted his list based on that criteria “rather than its aesthetics.”

(As a side note, I did not even know that fonts could have historical, technological, or theoretical importance. But, I am not a designer.)

This week, Shaw updated his list with the top – and most influential – typefaces over the past 10 years. The list is very interesting, but you have to read the comments from the readers to really understand both the passion people have for fonts, and some of the reasons behind the choices.

Even if you are not all that into fonts, reviewing the list and seeing how each font makes you feel is a fun activity.