Type for design’s sake

Type for design’s sake

Contemporary classics to consider before defaulting to Helvetica

When starting a project, one of the first steps a designer is tasked with is finding the perfect typeface to tell a brand’s story. Classic typefaces like Helvetica, Futura and Gill Sans have been the usual fallback for almost a century - but they’ve been exhausted and deserve a much-needed break. Today’s type foundries are creating new, inventive and exciting typefaces to help today’s designers communicate their ideas. Here are a few typefaces from foundries that we feel are creating those “contemporary classics”.

Grilli Type (Zürich, Switzerland)

Our favorite typeface from Grilli is GT Walsheim. We love it because it's a contemporary, geometric, sans style typeface that gives a nod to old swiss signage. Check out that 'G'...Futura would be so proud.

Grilli Type

Klim Type Foundry (Wellington, New Zealand)

Domaine Display is a lush take on an old scotch, latin-style type. We really enjoy the curvaceous nature of this typeface that has a sense of playfulness but retains an overall elegance.

Klim Type Foundry

Parachute Fonts (London & Athens)

PF DIN is a great example of a reworked classic. Originally created in 1931 for German industry signage, it's been revived for the digital age. Some great features of this typeface is its world recognized readability and its diversity of application. For a sharp, communicative typeface, we choose PF DIN!


Suitcase Type Foundry (Prague, Czech Republic)

Gloriola is a fresh look on humanist-style type. Frutiger, Futura, Gill sans, sometimes blend together with subtle differences while Gloriola is a bold, curvy outlier on humanist-style type that creates a legible, tangible vibe.

Suitcase Type Foundry

Colophon Type Foundry (London & US)

Can you love a typeface for being awkward? Absolutely! Space Mono is a fixed-width style display typeface with a retro-future voice. It is built on a geometric and grotesque foundation with a nerdy charm rooted in science-fiction film displays, monitors, and screens.


Vllg (International type collective)

Sharp Sans is workhorse of a typeface. The sleek and minimal geometric build works well for display in larger headline copy, and its carefully crafted forms and x-height helps it stay perfectly legible in the most rigorous and demanding copy settings. It is a typeface truly designed for utility, ready to meet any typographic challenges thrown its way.

Sharp Sans