Skip to main content

Greatest fonts countdown: 77 - Graphik

FontShop AG, the renowned type foundry, conducted a survey based on historical relevance, sales at FontShop.com (opens in new tab), 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 77th best typeface…

77. Graphik (opens in new tab)

  • Christian Schwartz, 2009

Graphik is a typeface that was first drawn for the identity of Commercial Type co-founder Christian Schwartz’s company, Schwartzco Inc. The family was then finished for Condé Nast Portfolio and expanded for Wallpaper* magazine and T, the New York Times Style Magazine. According to Schwartz, Graphik was a result of inspiration from all parts of the 20th century.

The heavy end of the family is based, in part at least, on Paul Renner’s Plak (a relatively obscure display typeface cut only in large sizes of woodtype, that is related to his heavier weights of Futura but has rounder, friendlier, fatter proportions). "For the lighter weights," says Schwartz, "I was more influenced by the less popular sans-serifs that many European foundries released to compete with Futura, Helvetica and Univers – the juggernauts of 20th century sans-serifs – such as Neuzeit Grotesk, Folio, Recta, and Maxima."

Originally designed for Christian Schwartz's own company identity, the Graphik family was later expanded for the now defunct Condé Nast Portfolio. Image copyright © Condé Nast

Originally designed for Christian Schwartz's own company identity, the Graphik family was later expanded for the now defunct Condé Nast Portfolio. Image copyright © Condé Nast

The 100 Best Typefaces Ever

(opens in new tab)

This is an extract from The 100 Best Typefaces Ever (opens in new tab), 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 (opens in new tab). Or you can download a digital edition directly to your iPad from the Computer Arts app on iTunes (opens in new tab).

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

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. 

Topics