Do designers limit themselves by favouring a handful of typefaces?

In which our correspondent gets all hot and bothered over his current favourite typeface and what to do when such infatuations start impacting your work 


“Garamond, Bodoni, Century Expanded, Helvetica … Optima, Futura, Univers, Caslon, Baskerville, and a few other modern cuts.”

Massimo Vignelli’s assertion that designers only need a handful of typefaces at their disposal (as set out in his 2010 text, The Vignelli Canon) is contentious to say the least. I’m in two minds about this. It’s an understandable response to the digital age’s proliferation of substandard type design, but surely such a strict dogma is overkill? There are some stunning faces out there amongst the dreck – why should we limit ourselves? Wouldn’t such self-enforced constraint simply lead to bland homogeneity?

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  • Tyson Mowat 20/10/2016 at 12:15 am

    I got all excited that there was a cool font convention so I googled “ligaturepalooza”… Looks like you’ve coined a term, it’s unused online

    • Simon Palmer 13/02/2017 at 12:13 pm

      Excellent straight-faced trolling.

  • VICENTE SARMENTO 19/10/2016 at 7:30 pm

    Can you share your special list? :)))