Greatest fonts countdown: 53 - P22 Underground Pro

We're counting down the 100 greatest typefaces in existence. Here is number 53...

FontShop AG, the renowned type foundry, conducted a survey based on historical relevance, sales at FontShop.com, and aesthetic quality. With a few additions from the experts at Creative Bloq and Computer Arts magazine, the best fonts ever were selected for the new book, 100 Best Typefaces Ever.

Here we are counting down the 100 greatest fonts, but you can read interviews with some of the typefaces' creators, a brief history of type, the anatomy of a font, and much, much more in the book – find out how to get your copy in print or digital formats at the foot of this post.

But without further ado, here is the 53rd best typeface…

53. P22 Underground Pro

The famous London Underground logo, designed by Edward Johnston in 1916
  • Edward Johnston, 1916

If you live in London, this typeface is about as ubiquitous as it gets. The sans-serif was designed by British craftsman Edward Johnston in 1916. It became available as a commercial typeface for the first time in 1997 when the London Transport Museum licensed the original Johnston font to the P22 Type Foundry.

Originally, the typeface contained Regular, Bold, and Extras weights (the latter, not found in the expanded Underground Pro, being ornamental symbols including graphic elements inspired by the design motifs of items including maps, tile patterns and seat covers).

Later, designer Paul Hunt expanded the typeface to create P22 Underground Pro. This brought 19 OpenType fonts and expanded weights to Thin, Light, Book, Medium (a Titling option that mimics London Transport signage is offered in the medium weight), Demi and Heavy. As well as the common use on the London Underground, the typeface was also used on signage for the 2012 Olympic Games.

The 100 Best Typefaces Ever

This is an extract from The 100 Best Typefaces Ever, the definitive guide to the greatest fonts ever created, in association with FontShop AG. Over 180 premium pages, the book dissects the world's greatest typefaces, bringing you some insightful background on each and interviews with their creators.

You can pick up the book at all good newsagents today or order it online. Or you can download a digital edition directly to your iPad from the Computer Arts app on iTunes.