21 fonts every graphic designer should own

14. Gotham

Fonts: Gotham

Gotham is a no-nonsense sans-serif (Image credit: Tobias Frere-Jones on Typography)

Tobias Frere-Jones' assertive, geometric sans-serif was inspired by New York's architectural signage of the mid-20th century. Initially commissioned by GQ magazine, Gotham has been used everywhere from Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign to the One World Trade Centre, and is available in four widths.

15. Wagner Grotesk

Fonts: Wagner Condensed

Wagner is particularly well-suited to screen use (Image credit: CanadaType on MyFonts)

Canada Type's original intention with this extensive redesign of Edel Gothic/Grotesque was to update, enhance and adapt the early 20th century typeface for use on digital platforms. Accordingly, Wagner Grotesk is particularly well-suited to screen use, although its impact and legibility ensure it works hard on posters and in headlines, too.

16. Source Sans Pro

Fonts: Sans Source

Adobe’s Source Sans Pro is one of the design community’s most popular free fonts (Image credit: Adobe)

Released in 2012, Source Sans Pro was the first open source type family for Adobe, and has proved wildly popular. It was envisioned as a classic grotesque typeface with a simple, unassuming design. It was designed by Paul D. Hunt,  who continues to work as a type designer at Adobe, and is available for free.

Next page: slab serif fonts

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Nick Carson

Nick is a content strategist and copywriter. He has worked with world-class agencies including Superunion, Wolff Olins and Vault49 on brand storytelling, tone of voice and verbal strategy for global brands such as Virgin, Pepsi and TikTok. Nick launched the Brand Impact Awards in 2013 while editor of Computer Arts, and remains chair of judges. He's written for Creative Bloq on design and branding matters since the site's launch.