Thu 08 Jan
No doubt it’ll strike many as suspicious that a guy who pretty much only uses Helvetica would say this, but most of the new typefaces being released today seem very samey to me.
For instance, there’s plenty of good work on display in I Love Typography’s round-up of the best typefaces of 2008, but in my view, not a whole lot of new expression there. Newzald looks like Matrix, FF Utility looks like Klavika, Soho looks like Apex Serif, etc.
Granted, I’m just being a jerk here. The history of typography is one of subtle but meaningful variations between typefaces that are virtually indistinguishable to the uninitiated. You could probably measure the variance between Helvetica and the lamentable Arial (yes, I reluctantly use it here on this site) in millimeters, but the semantic and emotional difference between them can be measured in worlds.
All of which is a prelude to pointing out that one of the choices on I Love Typography’s list is Jack Usine’s eye-catchingly unusual and quite beautiful MEgalopolis Extra. It’s full of alternate characters, ligatures and playful details. What’s more, it’s free to download, so go get a copy for yourself.