Greatest fonts countdown: 58 - Trade Gothic

We're counting down the 100 greatest typefaces in existence. Here is number 58...

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 58th best typeface…

58. Trade Gothic

Trade Gothic font

The YouTube logo is set in Trade Gothic Condensed
  • Jackson Burke, 1948

Three years after the Second World War, Californian book designer Jackson Burke took over from his colleague Chauncey H. Griffith as head of typographic development at Mergenthaler Linotype. Not long after joining the company, he presented his first drafts for a sans-serif typeface which he continued to develop and expand until 1960. Its name was Trade Gothic.

This extended period of development goes some way towards explaining why the members of the Trade Gothic font family resemble each other less closely than those of other successful sans-serif typefaces, such as Helvetica or Frutiger. But it is precisely these dissonances that have secured the typeface a loyal following over several decades.

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.

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