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Greatest fonts countdown: 85 - ARS Maquette

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 85th best typeface…

85. ARS Maquette (opens in new tab)

  • Angus R Shamal, 1999/2010

ARS Maquette was designed in 1999 and released in 2001. It immediately became popular amongst the design community – something the designer Angus R Shamal puts down to "its clean and stylish simplicity". ARS Maquette is a sans-serif typeface that shares similarities to Akzidenz-Grotesk, "by having less stroke contrast with counters that are more open and a design with a relatively plain appearance".

In 2010, Shamal revisited the design of the typeface, "rehashing those 11 year old drawings and notes to help reevaluate the design and its principals," he says. The final result of his re-design was a Pro version of the typeface with OpenType features, italics, and wider language support.

Some of the optical refinements made on the Pro version (2010), compared to the older version designed in 1999. Images courtesy of ARS Type (www.arstype.com)

Some of the optical refinements made on the Pro version (2010), compared to the older version designed in 1999. Images courtesy of ARS Type (www.arstype.com)

The 2010 version of ARS Maquette brought a new Display style to the typeface. Note the spacing comparison here between the Text version (above) and the Display version (bottom)

The 2010 version of ARS Maquette brought a new Display style to the typeface. Note the spacing comparison here between the Text version (above) and the Display version (bottom)

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).

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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. 

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