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
  • 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.