Tipographic references

Yesterday I received Font shop‘s newsletter and I was impressed when I read that they had to split the font newsletter in two dew to the amount of new fonts they have released. Taking into account how strict they are with typography I was happy to read that the amount of quality font production is growing.

Font shop’s newsletter

Fontshop newsletter

Still I think that prizes for quality fonts are very high for small brands and young designers. This doesn’t mean that typographers are over paid, it just makes it hard for young designers to afford original versions of the best typographies. In a way that’s why free font sites such as dafont or urbanfonts are so well established in the market.

dafont is a great source of free fonts


urban fonts is another free font site


These free font sites are great because they offer a wider range of typographies to designers and they also give the chance to inexperienced font designers to spread their work. But, I have two considerations for free fonts: on one hand they force the market to evolve and on the other hand they can lead to lower quality and readability designs.

I think it’s great that the typographic market evolves and experiments. As an example: Spanish, French and Portuguese would have never existed if Latin hadn’t evolved, but on the other hand, in the time of the change, I bet the spoken languages sounded terrible. From a young designers perspective I think it’s very important to understand and use classic fonts to know what can be done in the future. Picasso would have never painted the Guernica if he hadn’t known how to draw a hand.

That’s why I want to give some references which I think can be very useful for young designers. I think Fontshop, Adobe Fonts and Linotype are great starting points. But when designers want to get deeper into typography there are many other sites to explore that give lots of interesting insights about typography and the future of this art.

Are you looking for modern high quality fonts? Font Shop could be your place (don’t expect them to be cheap)


I personally enjoy reading David Airey‘s blog which gives lots of tips and tricks on typography and corporate identity. I think David is a purist, especially when I look at his sketches, I believe he understands the needs of his clients and he knows how to deliver the right solution for them. Also, he is good at collecting design related topics and explaining them in a very structured way. In particular I want to mention his the post 13 typefaces every graphic designer needs which makes a great screening of classic fonts.

David Airey is a great logo designer and reference for corporate design


I also enjoy reading Smashing Magazine. Their posts related to typography and how to use it on the web are just great. I would like to mention the post 30 brilliant typefaces for corporate design in which they present a great variety of fonts for corporate design.

Looking for inspiration on design, web design, tutorials? Smashing magazine is the right place.


Many other sites such as typographica, ilovetypography.com, noisydecentgraphics offer lots of information about fonts and how to work with them. Also following the links they mention will lead you into a world of design and typography that goes far beyond my knowledge.

Typographica is a great resource for font reviews


Finally, if I had to give some advice to young creatives who are designing their first logos or fonts I would suggest them to keep it very simple. This advice is not only what I learnt as a graphic designer, but what I think should be taught by any typography teacher as starting point for typographical and corporate design:

  1. Understand the problem
  2. Look at what has been done in the past
  3. Don’t jump on strait onto the computer, grab a pencil and a peace of paper and start sketching
  4. Keep it clean and simple
  5. Experiment with consolidated fonts
  6. Think about the target of you design and, finally question yourself if they will understand your design.

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