Greatest fonts countdown: 61 - VAG Rounded

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 61st best typeface…

61. VAG Rounded

Vag Rounded font

A 1980s example of Volkswagen advertising using VAG Rounded in its body copy.
  • Gerry Barney, 1979

Designed by Gerry Barney (of Design Research Unit fame) and his team at Sedley Place, the ever-popular typeface VAG Rounded was developed for the car company Volkswagen AG. A variation on 19th century grotesque sans serif designs, it brought with it rounded terminals on every stroke for an instantly softer effect.

The typeface was used by Volkswagen for all signage and all headlines in the company’s advertising. Interestingly, VAG Rounded was so popular that eventually Volkswagen put in the public domain in order to solve worldwide licensing issues. As such, many companies have since adapted and used the typeface as their own (as well as countless online startups). It’s also the typeface on your MacBook’s keyboard.

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.

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Rob Carney

Rob is editorial, graphic design and publishing lead at Transport for London. He previously worked at Future Publishing over the course of several years, where he launched digital art magazine, ImagineFX; and edited graphic design magazine Computer Arts, as well as the Computer Arts Projects series, and was also editor of technology magazine, T3.