Greatest fonts countdown: 87 – Clarendon

We're counting down the 100 greatest typefaces in existence. Here is number 87...

FontShop AG, the renowned type foundry, conducted a survey based on historical relevance, sales at, 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 87th best typeface…

87. Clarendon

  • Benjamin Fox, 1854

The popular slab-serif Clarendon was cut by Benjamin Fox for Robert Beasley at the London Fann Street Foundry. It was released in 1845 and was the first registered typeface. Clarendon’s close affinity with neo-classical Roman type, particularly the newspaper typeface Century, gives it clarity as a text face – and the ball terminals simply add to its readability. In 1953, Hermann Eidenbenz and Edouard Hoffmann designed a Clarendon font family for the Haas Type Foundry in Frankfurt, which is still in use today.

Selections from the specimen book of the Fann Street Foundry, showing Clarendon. The specimen book was published in 1874 by Reed and Fox. Images courtesy of

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.