There's nothing like a nuclear apocalypse to put a dent in your day, but if you could save three fonts then it'd probably be a lot more bearable, right?
And so we asked some top creatives which typefaces they'd save from a fiery Armageddon; here's what they chose.
Firstly, I would definitely not save Helvetica. It deserves to be destroyed, but on top of my list to preserve is Univers, the original as released by Deberny & Peignot. Second would be a nice, fat Clarendon; and lastly I would keep Klingspor Gotisch from oblivion. This choice has nothing to do with how they work together, just how they look on their own, as pieces of art.
Bruno Maag is chairman of Dalton Maag
A nuclear apocalypse. An opportunity to right all typographic wrongs. Univers: modern, optimistic, neutral. If the post apocalyptic world was presented in this font, surely it'd be a better place? New Alphabet: not to be used, but to be studied. Survivors could use it as a blueprint for embracing and working with the constraints of their new world. Ryman Eco: if survivors can find a printer, this will save them some money on cartridges.
Danny McNeil is an associate director of Sea Design
Typewriter condensed or ideally a manual typewriter with ribbons: I like the timeless, unassuming presence and instant lettering. European Household stencil (a version cut now called Le Corbusier) can be used and cut-out, or a set of the metal stencils should be saved and again can be used instantly with style (if some paints or pens are preserved too). My third choice is completely selfish and based on what I am in love with today (9 June 2014) – it would be a sans serif bold layered font. It gives much flexibility and enjoyment, and is clear on any surface.
Morag Myerscough is the founder of Studio Myerscough
I'm sure there'd be some lettering pieces worthy of preserving – such as the Trajan column, or printed items like the Gutenberg Bible – but because of their relevance in the history of typography, and not just for the letter shapes themselves. In terms of typefaces, I don't think I'd preserve any so as to have the unique opportunity to create everything new from scratch, with new tools and ideas.
Laura Meseguer is a type designer
We would save Futura, as we use it for Planning Unit's identity. Then we would save Mercury as it is modern but classic and would show the level of craft that goes into creating a typeface. And finally we would save Comic Sans as it's the cockroach of the font world and would somehow get through anyway!
Jeff Knowles is a co-founder of Planning Unit
We'd have to preserve Helvetica, as the order for the apocalypse most likely came set in that typeface. So that leaves two more. Sabon: its rich history and golden section proportions makes it humankind's ultimately designed typeface, from letterpress onward. Lastly, the Star Trek font has to be in there: it's how all typography will look in the future!
Jason Smith is creative director at Fontsmith
This article originally appeared in Computer Arts issue 229.