Typeface #1: Souvenir
Souvenir is an unfashionable font. Nobody has set anything they cared about in Souvenir in three decades. It has wide polyester lapels, big sideburns, and it comes upholstered in a coordinated range of earth tones. But on its own merits it’s a nice typeface, very friendly, not impressed with itself, and even rather fresh-looking after its long stay in the attic. I say it deserves to come back.
Typeface #2: Ad Lib
When I was in sixth grade, my family’s dot matrix printer died and I managed to convince my mom to buy a laser printer. And a bargain-bin floppy disk called something like “1001 Fonts.” It was better than any computer game I’d ever played. All of a sudden, the formerly workmanlike world of computerized lettering was a sea of possibilities. And I got yelled at by my teacher for turning in my book reports (~2 double-spaced pages) printed entirely in Ad Lib on day-glo orange paper.
Typeface #3: Avant Garde
Another childhood memory, this time of making signs by rubbing transfer lettering off its plastic sheet onto posterboard. For some reason in my memory it was always Avant Garde, and I remember being fascinated by the alternate character forms (weird sloping A’s, wild ligatures) and the capital “R” with the disconnected bar.
Typeface #4: Mrs. Eaves
Elegant, tasteful contemporary riff on Baskerville designed in 1996 by the brilliant Zuzana Licko. I fell in love with it the first time it was brought to my attention, though now I have to say it’s beginning to look a little bit dated – a very late-90s/early 2000s feel. Still, it’s pretty. Really pretty.
Typeface #5: Cooper Black
Peanuts. Summer camp. Iron-on-flock-lettered t-shirts. Iconic, instantly recognizable, yet not overused. Maybe my all-time favorite titling type.
Typeface #6: Modern Alphabet for Display
The first graphic design work I ever did was designing posters for my band and friends’ bands. I became obsessed with the idea that the more that lettering looked like a computer font, the less cool it was, so I would search out old lettering manuals, type catalogs and even just regular-old books, scan the letters and string them together with Photoshop. This was one of my favorite random finds, from a book called “Alphabets Ancient & Modern,” published in 1945.
And the whole bunch together: