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Greatest fonts countdown: 49 – Lucida

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 49th best typeface…

49. Lucida

  • Kris Holmes and Charles Bigelow, 1985

Millions of computer users work with Lucida without even realising it. The Wingdings symbols were originally a Lucida font, until type designers Kris Holmes and Charles Bigelow sold the collection to Microsoft. And there’s also a Lucida at work in the Mac OS, ensuring good readability in menus, dialog boxes and e-mails.

Bigelow and Holmes have been an authority on screen and printer fonts since 1985 and Lucida was the first to respond to the technical deficits of monitors (72 dpi) and laser printers (300 dpi), while still offering all the most important font styles: sans-serif, serif, script, typewriter and even blackletter. The Lucida superfamily continues to gain new supporters to this day – with Lucida Grande and its expanded character set perhaps being the most popular version.

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