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Fonts Throughout History: 10 Typefaces with Global Branding Recognition

June 13, 2017 / Inspiration
fonts throughout history

Typography is crucial in the design of a logo, and these fonts throughout history have been trailblazers in brand success.

Classic Fonts

Tried and true for centuries, these fonts throughout history have gained global recognition.

fonts throughout history

Garamond, 16th century

Designed by Claude Garamond and Jean Jannon

Country of Origin: France

Typeface Style: Old-style serif

Characteristics: elegant, timeless, expressive

Notable brands that use this font: Apple (early branding) and American Eagle

fonts throughout history

Bodoni, late 1700s

Designed by Giambattista Bodoni

Country of Origin: Italy

Typeface Style: Modern (Didone), serif

Characteristics: fashionable, avant-garde, dramatic

Notable brands that use this font: Calvin Klein and Vogue Magazine

fonts throughout history

Didot,  1799

Designed by Didot

Country of Origin: France

Typeface Style: Didone, serif

Characteristics: mature, classy

Notable brands that use this font: Giorgio Armani

fonts throughout history

Futura, 1927

Designed by Paul Renner

Country of Origin: Germany

Typeface Style: Geometric, sans-serif

Characteristics: optimistic, modern, unconventional, personable

Notable brands that use this font: FedEx, Swissair

fonts throughout history

Helvetica, 1957

Designed by Max Miedinger

Country of Origin: Switzerland

Typeface Style: Neo-grotesque sans-serif

Characteristics: simple, utilitarian, quirky flair

Notable brands that use this font: Fendi, Harley Davidson, Dole, AT&T

 

Modern Fonts

The modern designs have burst in notoriety over more recent decades as they become associated with booming brands of the time.

ITC Lubalin Graph, 1974

Designed by Herb Lubalin, Antonio DiSpigna, Joe Sundwall, and Edward Benguiat of the International Typeface Corporations

Country of Origin: United States

Typeface Style: Neo-grotesque slab-serif

Characteristics: lively, impactful, energetic

Notable brands that use this font: IBM

fonts throughout history

FF Meta, 1991

Foundry/Designer: Erik Spiekermann

Country of Origin: Germany

Typeface Style: Humanist, sans-serif

Characteristics: curved, fluid, rhythmic, fresh

Notable brands that use this font: Herman Miller, The Weather Channel

fonts throughout history

Neo Sans, 2004

Designed by: Sebastion Lester of Monotype

Country of Origin: England

Typeface Style: Sans-serif

Characteristics: curved, friendly, approachable, clear

Notable brands that use this font: Intel

fonts throughout history

Proxima Nova, 2005

Designed by Mark Simonson

Country of Origin: United States

Typeface Style: Sans-serif

Characteristics:  hybrid of classic and modern, hip, digital

Notable brands that use this font: Spotify, Buzzfeed