TypograFriday: 8 Faces

Happy TypograFriday! It’s been a few weeks, type fans, but the type world went and moved on without us. In case you missed its debut a month back, there’s a new typophile magazine in the world. 8 Faces is a project of British designer Elliot Jay Stocks, and it’s a very approachable magazine for people obsessed with letterforms. The 1000 copy print run sold out in two hours, but there is a PDF edition available too.


The magazine is primarily long interview/profile pieces with luminaries in different subsections of the type world such as veteran designer Erik Spiekermann, superhot letterer Jessica Hische, webtype expert Jason Santa Maria, and quality freefont pioneer Jos Buivenga. Earls asks good questions, and they give interesting responses.

For as timeless (or even classical) an art form as type design is, there is a recurring discussion of the very interesting times we are in, in terms of webtype formats, technologies, pricing models and so on. One needn’t be a total typophile to appreciate it; it’s probably the clearest resource I have seen for where the present and future of webtype.


And the title of the magazine comes from a spread that ends each interview, where the designer answers the eternal question: if you could use just 8 typefaces for the rest of your life, which would you choose? I love hearing people’s answers to these sorts of questions (and if you do too may I suggest Types Best Remembered/Forgotten? And because we aren’t holding our breath for Earls to profile us, we’ve preemptively answered the question for ourselves.

  • Kirsten: I use the same five almost all the time… Futura, Avenir, Helvetica, Century Gothic, Cursive Handwriting
  • Jessica: Some obvious. Some cheesy. Some very similar to others. Some I really like, but haven’t yet had the pleasure of using. Futura (obviously), Avenir, Clarendon, Century Schoolbook, Cooper Black (that’s right, I said it), Mrs. Eaves, Rockwell, Neutra
  • Owen: Sentinel (I was going to say Clarendon, but the folks in 8 Faces #1 convinced me that Sentinel supercedes it now), Neutraface, Knockout, Omnes Pro, Futura, Freight (love the versatility of the whole family but even if it was just Freight Micro it might make it onto the list anyway), Bodoni, AGaramond
  • Samantha: Estilo Text, Vendetta, Neutraface, Clarendon/Sentinel, Futura, Garamond, Omnes Pro, GarageGothic (good thing we’re married)

There will be a second issue in a longer print run before Christmas, themed “You.”

2 comments to TypograFriday: 8 Faces

  • I still feel insecure without an upright script in my list. Hmm, maybe Raniscript? It is so new that I am not sure I can commit to that. And what about Archer? So tough to choose just 8.

  • Well, I feel somewhat intimidated answering this question as a mere member of the non-designer population, but here goes. So as to not embarass myself, I’m subjecting myself to the additional constraint that all typefaces must be six letters long. But I do seriously think all 8 will survive the test of time pretty well. At least on my desert island.

    1. Minion (because we need a serif)
    2. Myriad (because we need a sans-serif)
    3. Affair (because we need a script)
    4. Lithos (for when it’s too awesome to use mixed-case)
    5. Futura (not sure exactly why, but, well… the experts agree)
    6. Tahoma (because the tall x-height makes it highly legible as a screen font)
    7. Estilo (because it’s cooler than copperplate)
    8. Impact (because black is the new black, and sometimes you have to mask pictures or whatever)

    BTW, I assume you know all about typekit.com? I discovered it the other day, and was inspired to re-theme my blog. WooThemes + Typekit made the whole process take about 2 hours, literally, start to finish. I was pleased with the result.

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