Greatest fonts countdown: 54 - Old English Text

We're counting down the 100 greatest typefaces in existence. Here is number 54...

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 54th best typeface…

54. Old English Text

  • William Caslon, c1730

No type collection is complete without a blackletter typeface, and perhaps the best choice is Monotype’s Old English Text. Based on designs dating back to the early 18th century by William Caslon, it’s got all the chilling qualities of the medieval calligraphic script so many early typefaces attempted to replicate. Whereas blackletter was originally used for text in the 16th century, today it’s only really used at display sizes.

Of course, blackletter type wasn’t confined to England, and there are numerous excellent German, Italian and French examples. Along with its age-old charm, Caslon’s blackletter is refined and clear. It was redrawn by Monotype in 1935, and is now available digitally as Old English Text.

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.