There was a time when all books were printed, and the main use of type was either for text or display. Today, we have added one word that modifies how we read and how we design typefaces: text or display, and where? The nature of ink, paper and the pressure needed to imprint the former onto the latter is very different from the nature of the light emitted from a glowing screen.
For many years now, typefaces have been conceived to speak in many different scripts and languages. Some design concepts are quite difficult to translate across script systems. With this in mind, map out your character set in order to plan how the design will extend across various scripts.
Alegreya is an award-winning serif typeface, chosen by ATypI as one of 53 “Fonts of the Decade” in its Letter.2 competition. It is available for free on Google Fonts, but, sadly, most designers don’t seem to know about it. I hardly see Alegreya used anywhere online, which is a shame because this is a truly great font.
Anonymous Pro is a monospaced font that I’m surprised so few designers know about, considering it was designed by Mark Simonson, the type designer behind Proxima Nova. Monospaced fonts seem to be popular with designers at the moment, and Anonymous Pro is an excellent option.
Inconsolata is a much more widely used monospaced font, also available on Google Fonts, but doesn’t include italics, as Anonymous Pro does. Setting body copy in a monospaced font isn’t always a good idea, but in the right context it can give a design a very clean.
Playfair Display is a high-contrast serif designed by Claus Eggers Sørensen. Reminiscent of Baskerville, it takes its cues from the typeface designs of the late-18th century. Although designed primarily for titles and headings, the three weights with matching italics.
Roboto has been accused of being a “Frankenfont” — a mashup of Helvetica, DIN and Myriad. I understand where the criticisms come from, but I quite like Roboto. Updates and improvements have been made to Roboto since that “Frankenfont” article.
Designed by Eben Sorkin, Merriweather is a serif font created for on-screen reading. Its tall x-height and hefty serifs give it excellent legibility. Merriweather is under active development, and improvements are constantly being made.