Graphic Design Round Table – Typography

This post was published and formated for an old version of the blog.

It seems that everywhere you look, whether online or in the real world, interest in typography is growing. From the influx of infographics on blogs, to the record-breaking usage of Pinterest; more and more, our attention is drawn to type. We asked a handful of very talented graphic designers to share their thoughts on the current state of text and titles.


Jeff Finley

Artist, designer and partner at Go Media. Author of Thread’s Not Dead and founder of WMC Fest.

Favorite Font(s): Knockout, DIN, ITC Serif Gothic, Bodoni, Meta Serif, Liberator

Favorite Typography Trends:  Hand-lettered, Americana motifs are tickling my fancy these days, like Jon Contino and Dan Cassaro. Scripty stuff, like, Dana Tanamachi’s chalk lettering is fantastic. These styles don’t need to be hand-lettered, but it provides an earthy, humanistic touch when they are. I’m also a huge fan of Niel Kellerhouse’s hand-lettered scrawl on his House of the Devil film posters. Although, the font he created for the new Dragon Tattoo series is amazing. AJ Dimarucot has really come a long way over the years with his aggressive, hand-lettered, modern calligraphy. / / 


Does: Art direction, illustration and graphic design.
Does not: Take anything else seriously.
Wants: To get better. 

Favorite Font(s): Very easily HTF Knockout: Versatile, clean, not stupid looking. It’s the sriracha of fonts, you can use it on pretty much anything to add bold, off-the-hook flavors — what’s up Karl Welzein. It has no less than 786,564 weights and styles; yet, they are all obviously part of the same awesome font family. Knockout 34 Junior Sumo gets it done. Some other go-to’s of mine: Interstate, Trade Gothic, Ziggurat, Didot, Refrigerator Deluxe — there’s a lot more, but this is what gets used daily.

Favorite Typography Trends: Reid Miles. Aaron Draplin is the closest thing typography has to its very own Paul Bunyan. The Chicago Bears identity and type.  I’m interested in learning more about any movement notrooted in an attempt to produce disposable garbage. Crap trends that are a facepalm to the crap trends before them can take a hike. I get down on my knees and thank God for digital layout programs, but I admire the people that had to make this stuff happen before such things existed… I don’t think that answers the question at all, but that’s what’s on my mind. / / /


Brian Jasinski

Artist and designer behind Grey Cardigan

Favorite fonts: Belizio, Pistilli, Rockwell, Sophia and of course, the tried and true workhorse that is Trade Gothic.

Favorite Typography Trend: I do like seeing a growing resurgence of illustration and original/hand-drawn type being used in design. Clean bold graphics with striking type, often seen in poster design, is a refreshing change after years of the overly-layered, photoshopped and crowded “Raygun” style of the late 90s/early 2000s. Very clean Swiss design has always been an influence on my own work – the use of very intentional shapes, white space, and conscious intersections. /



Ted Barnes

Art Director right here at Jakprints

Favorite Font(s): HF&J Knockout — no other font looks better super condensed or extended, Stretch-Armstrong style. My current font crush is the serified version of Gotham that HF&J did for the Obama 2012 campaign, please sell it to me!

Favorite Typography Trends: Not so much a trend as the way that technology has finally caught up with typography. With the current breed of well-done, Open Type fonts, it’s no longer obvious what’s hand-lettered and what’s a well-chosen font. The fact that it’s allowing production designers — who don’t have the luxury of time when designing — are finally able to crank out carefully typeset work is phenomenal. I see almost everything that comes through the shop, and I feel like I’m seeing more stellar design work than ever before.


Take a look at some great design examples straight out of the portfolios of Jeff Finley, OKPants and Grey Cardigan.

Tell us about your favorite font or design trend in the comments section!

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