Greatest fonts countdown: 47 – Metro

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's the 47th best typeface…

47. Metro

Designer Toshi Omagari has digitised Metro as Metro Nova, as seen on this Icelandic typography book published by Crymogea

Designer Toshi Omagari has digitised Metro as Metro Nova, as seen on this Icelandic typography book published by Crymogea
  • William Addison Dwiggins, 1929

William Addison Dwiggins coined the phrase graphic designer in 1922, but his typographic importance was founded seven years later when he drew the typeface Metro. The geometric sans-serif fonts from Europe – Futura, Erbar, Kabel and so on – did not particularly appeal to him.

The American designer's first response was Metroblack No 2, released by Linotype in 1929 for use in titling and advertising. In the years that followed it was joined by Metromedium No 2, Metrolite No 2 and Metrothin No 2 – all produced under Dwiggins' supervision. Metrothin has never been released in digitised form, unlike the graphic designer's other typefaces Electra, New Caledonia and Caravan.

This is an extract from The 100 Best Typefaces Ever, the definitive guide to the greatest fonts ever created, in association with FontShop AG.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

The Creative Bloq team is made up of a group of design fans, and has changed and evolved since Creative Bloq began back in 2012. The current website team consists of eight full-time members of staff: Editor Georgia Coggan, Deputy Editor Rosie Hilder, Deals Editor Beren Neale, Senior News Editor Daniel Piper, Digital Arts and Design Editor Ian Dean, Tech Reviews Editor Erlingur Einarsson and Ecommerce Writer Beth Nicholls and Staff Writer Natalie Fear, as well as a roster of freelancers from around the world. The 3D World and ImagineFX magazine teams also pitch in, ensuring that content from 3D World and ImagineFX is represented on Creative Bloq.