A Field Guide for Identifying Lovely Typefaces Spotted in the Wild

Online, everyone’s a design critic. We don’t have to like it. But we can’t avoid it. Which makes Fonts in Use, a new site by designers Sam Berlow, Stephen Coles, and Nick Sherman, a refreshing addition to the blogosphere: It catalogs and analyzes typography found in designs all over the world. And it does so — gasp! — intelligently.



[A type treatment for a modern butcher shop]

The whole thing is presented as a field guide to modern-day font usage. So arranged in tiles on the homepage, you’ve got a nice little sampling of typographic stories, from the saga of Futura and Benton Modern in W to the the tale of ITC Franklin in a Ford ad. Think of it as The Hollywood Reporter for type dorks.


[The lovely type treatments for The Egotist Network]

The founders are veteran designers — two of ’em come from the exalted type foundry The Font Bureau — and it’s patently clear they aren’t afraid to get dishy. Here’s Coles on a Didoni branding scheme: “The only typographic negligence is found in some of the smaller headlines where less care was taken to fix URW Didoni’s inadequate kerning.” That naughty font!


[The Glif, an iPhone attachment were the type is echoed in the actual design]

Such wonkiness will certainly warm the site to seasoned designers and type fanboys alike. (They’ve got to be the target audience here, anyway.) As for the kibitzers: Visit at your own risk. You might actually learn something.

[Hat tip to Brand New]