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Earlier this month I threw out a question via various social platforms and it received a fair amount of traction.  Within a week 3.1k users weighed in on a seemingly mindless query.  It was meant to attract elements of everyone’s personality.  Some played along while others went too serious on their answers.  The question?

Do you have a favorite typeface?

As a designer, you’re supposed to say, “It depends on the customer’s needs for the project.”  That’s very true, but I wasnt asking just designers this question.  I posed it at the bulk of the office elite. Plus, even actors have a favorite movie.  So know ahead of time, this study was mostly fun-and-games. In a world chock full of pre-installed MS and Mac owned fonts, I wondered if the answers I received would align more toward the bland.  I was even hopeful to hear if anyone had a good story, or if simply “the first day I used MS Word, there was Times New Roman, and I never looked back” would be nestled within the results.  Ok, onto the answers.

First, the most popular.  Montserrat.

I was thankful to not see too many Times New Roman or Arial in the submissions, although there were certainly some. Montserrat, however, was somewhat ubiquitous among the answers. A geometric sans-serif typeface inspired by signage styles from the historical Buenos Aires neighborhood of the same name.  Since it’s addition to the Google type library, people have latched onto it.  It gives the non-designers something familiar as a workhorse sans-serif in the same ranks as Arial, but offers a decidedly novel feel (especially given it’s vintage heritage).  No matter which way you cut it, this font family is taking space from other pre-installed choices.

To Serif or Not to Serif?

  • Users who prefer serif typefaces 35% 35%
  • Users who prefer sans-serif typefaces 65% 65%

While scientifically they both have their own reasons for existence, and (again) each project has individual needs, there’s no denying the average human seems to heavily favor sans-serif type in daily applications. This is not at all surprising as we live more in a ‘display-age’ now than ever before and it’s possible part of this balance can be attributed to that fact.  They both offer completely different things, so I get it, it’s hard to effectively compare apples to oranges.  Take a deep breath and know that this query was if nothing but fun.  We still love you Serif!

I have a fave.  Did mine make the cut?

Nothing brings forth the endorphins like social validation lol.  Of all the entries, below is a compiled list, in no particular order.  Just consider it a ten thousand foot view of the modern worker.  Shocked? Skeptic?  You’re not alone, I certainly would not have projected these, but alas, the data does not care about our opinions.

Garamond
Goudy Old Style
ITC Galliard
Source Sans Pro
Berkeley Old Style
Centaur
Gill Sans
Stempel
Warnock Pro

Philosopher
Times New Roman
Blackletter
Libre Baskerville
Montserrat
Avenir
Catamaran
Codec Cold
Swiss

 

Dosis
Generica
Gotham
Helvetica Neue
Josephin Sans
Lato
Martel Sans
Gubia
Renfrew

Verdana
Bodoni
Century Gothic
Calibri
Arial
Slicker

Garamond
Goudy Old Style
ITC Galliard
Source Sans Pro
Berkeley Old Style
Centaur
Gill Sans
Stempel
Warnock Pro
Philosopher
Times New Roman
Blackletter
Libre Baskerville
Montserrat
Avenir
Catamaran
Dosis
Generica
Gotham
Helvetica Neue
Josephin Sans
Lato
Martel Sans
Gubia
Swiss
Codec Cold
Renfrew
Verdana
Bodoni
Century Gothic
Calibri
Arial
Slicker

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