It was big news in 2013 when Commercial Type and Hoefler & Co. finally started carrying web fonts. The important act of font choice extended to web options with this development. There were more than 550 new releases announced last year on TYPECACHE! So, it took us some time to review all of the great work from last year. We created another roundup of what we regard as the great typefaces from 2013.



Brooklyn and Brooklyn Stencil

Designer: Chester Jenkins / Publisher: Constellation

Brooklyn was made for the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY; an arena where the Brooklyn Nets’ play basketball and artists like the Rolling Stones and Jay-Z perform sold out concerts.
Michael Bierut’s team at Pentagram commissioned Chester Jenkins to design a custom typeface as a part of their signage and way-finding program. The main structure of this typeface is formed by horizontal, vertical, and diagonal lines; some of which are cut. Strong angles give the characters solidity and weight. In the lowercase set, the angles add movement and attitude. We see the stencil version being a surefire workhorse for diverse usage.
Brooklyn is now commercially available, after a few years of exclusive use by the Barclays Center. We also chose Brooklyn Stencil for one of our Typecache Alphabet Tees of 2013.



Designer: Nikola Djurek with Marko Hrastovec / Publisher: Typonine

Typonine is already known for groundbreaking typefaces, such Delvard Gradient and Balkan Sans. Audree is no an exception, and continues their track record of success.
What makes Audree so special is it’s flexibility. It was built to be a fully customizable typeface and comes in fifteen different serif shapes, two construction models, two contrasts, and four effects (normal, stencil, inline, and stencil/inline). With this diverse set of options users can create endless combinations and configurations.
The basic structure of Audree takes subtle liberties in its width and scale, which you can see in the lowercases and counterforms. These touches give the typeface a really contemporary feel. The variety of styles makes Audree a great workhorse font not only for headlines, but for posters and display use too.



Designer: Laurenz Brunner / Publisher: Lineto

It has been 10 years since Laurenz Brunner’s sans Akkurat came out. The popular Swiss-style grotesk saw heavy use in a lot of print media, and had its fair share of imitators. Circular is Brunner’s second sans (retail release) and was released in the spring of 2013 by Lineto.
Compared to Akkurat, Circular is warmer and more casual. It is a solid grotesk with refined details. To be honest, we didn’t think a geometric grotesk like this could be improved so effectively. Grotesks have been in vogue for several years, and Circular’s refinement exemplifies a certain apex of this trend. The lowercase ‘a’ has two styles; a double-story version is the default but the family also comes with a second story option. The alternate to the lower case ‘r’ stands out replacing the shoulder with a solid circle.
Brunner is working on lighter weights as well as a mono-spaced version, both will be available soon. We can expect to see more of Circular in the near future.


Lumin, Lumin Display, Lumin Sans and Lumin Sans Condensed

Designer: Nikola Djurek / Publisher: Typotheque

The Lumin family, designed by Nikola Djurek from Typonine, consists of a slab serif, sans, sans condensed and display face. It was originally developed for editorial usage.
What makes this font contemporary is its higher x-height, bigger counters, wider openings, and low contrast. What’s more appealing are the sharply carved and very thin connections creating a high contrast serif. You’ll also notice that the stems are scraped. There are a lot of typefaces that emphasize inktraps but Lumin does this differently. The condensed version is only 30% narrower than the regular but still very legible and economical.
The Lumin family covers a variety of weights and styles. It’s a great choice when you need consistency, but have multiple uses.


Rolling Pen

Designer: Alejandro Paul / Publisher: Sudtipos

Rolling Pen is a light and elegant mono-line script face. It is similar to Ale’s other script face, Business Penmanship, which has more speed in the strokes and formal feeling. In contrast, Rolling Pen is laid back with a more casual look. Ale includes lots of alternates and ligatures to give you plenty of options to play with.
We see a rising trend in monoline scripts, and are sure a lot of designers will try their hand at them. To see Rolling Pen in action, check out the faux neon posters by Sebastian Mozuc. They’re plain sexy. Also watch this sexy animation that Tomás García created.


Domaine Text, Display, Display Narrow and Display Condensed

Designer: Kris Sowersby / Publisher: Klim Type Foundry

We couldn’t have been the only ones who spotted Kris Sowersby’s Domaine used in the pages of ELLE U.K. and IL magazine. Its beauty is something hard to ignore. Sowersby finally released Domaine for public use last year, and it’s a real treat. This typeface is constructed with appealing curves carefully applied to the basic structure of a Scotch Roman. The elegant and sharp serifs, the rolled terminals, all these details are plain beautiful. It’s excellent type work full of details and great overall gestures.
The Domaine family includes 46 different styles – including 3 variations of the display version and a text version. It’s functional and flexible enough to be applied to many situations; adding a touch of class to anything.



Designer: Tal Leming / Publisher: Type Supply

Balto is a well defined American Gothic, designed by Tal Leming. There are many earlier examples in this category but many are overwhelmed by their strong gestures. Until now, there hasn’t been a version that handled these characteristics with sophistication and subtlety.
Balto swept away those problems and accomplished neutrality and restored utility. It has an astounding set of 8 weight variations from very light to super bold; all with italics. The long, hard work that was put into Balto over of the course six years (2007–2013) surely paid off. You can read Tal’s journey developing this impressive typeface here.



Designer: Maximage / Publisher: Optimo

Julien Tavelli and David Keshavjee, Maximage, aren’t strangers to type design programming. Their typeface A and B was a great example of that process. They explore this method again with Programme, which was published by Optimo last year (not to be confused with Program that was also released in 2013 by Emirgré).
Traditional type design methods were still used, but Programme is a great hybrid of the two processes. It incorporates programming in an elegant manner, and utilizes the strengths of both approaches. Programme Primitiv exposes the code-generated nature in a more explicit way, but the touch of the computer can be found throughout the family.
Programme comes in light, regular, and bold weights each with corresponding italic and rotated versions. It won the Swiss Federal Design Award in 2013. We are always delighted by typefaces of both formal and conceptual sophistication.



Designer: Berton Hasebe / Publisher: Commercial Type

Portrait is an ambitious typeface that exposes Commercial type’s love affair “with the French Renaissance forms of Granjon, Garamont, and their contemporaries”. It combines the proportions of a classic serif face and the triangular serifs of a Latin face.
Berton Hasebe’s face carries important elements like a high-waisted ‘R’, a wider opening in the bottom of the ‘S’, relatively low x-height, and longer ascenders and descenders. All these components come together with the iconic triangle serifs, creating a typeface that feels totally new.
There are Display and Text versions, along with Condensed and Inline versions (the inline includes a sans). It will be a definite workhorse for many designers. Portrait can be seen in action in the Wallpaper magazine and website.



Designer: Maximiliano Sproviero / Publisher: Lián Types

Erotica is high contrast copper plate script face, with a sexy and elegant look. Like Ale Paul’s script face, it includes a lot of alternates and extra character sets making it more useful. According to the designer, Maximiliano Sproviero, the proportion of this face was adjusted over time. As a result, the cap height became taller and x-height became lower making the face more elegant.
The Erotica family comes with a inline version, a font set for smaller sizes, and a thin slab serif with swashes. Erotica released from Lián Types has won TDC2 in 2013.


FF Kievit Slab

Designer: Mike Abbink and Paul van der Laan / Publisher: FontFont

FF Kievit, released in 2001, was a handy and useful humanist san serif that included old style figures and small caps. Michael Abbink and Paul van der Laan spent over 4 years to creating a slab version of FF Kievit. They spent the extra time to refine this face with excellent craftsmanship.
The family comes with 9 weights with corresponding italics. Kievit Slab and serif are to be used in the branding of WDR (West German Broadcasting).


Superior Title

Designer: Jeremy Mickel / Publisher: MCKL

When it came time to redesign the world famous Travel & Leisure, Luke Hayman of Pentagram needed a fresh typeface. He chose Superior title for its high contrast and transitional serif structure. Designed by Jeremy Mickel, this typeface is a unique blend of Bodoni and Times.
If you look at the serif ‘E’, ‘F’, and ’T’ the diagonals point outwards. In contrasts the ‘C’, ‘G’ and ’S’ direct inwards. All of these details catch your eyes making a very unique look. The angled legs of the ‘M’ are another delightful detail.
Superior Title has been used as the brand typeface of 3sixteen, an American denim brand. It is now publically available and we’re patiently awaiting a text version.



Designer: Ondrej Jób / Publisher: Urtd

Ondrej Jób is known for his typefaces Klimax, Doko, and custom typeface for energy company EDP. He released Odesta last year and it’s a different but refreshing direction for his work. Odesta is based on a logotype he drew for his friends’ wedding photography company. Ondrej brushed it up and turned it into a proper typeface.
Odesta comes in hair, thin, light, regular, medium, black weights. There are also stencil, calligraphic and swash script alternates creating a robust and flexible family. It’s a truly fun typeface to use and we’re excited to see more applications.


Noe Display

Designer: Lauri Toikka / Publisher: Schick Toikka

Noe Display is the second retail font by Berlin-based type foundry Shick Toikka. Originally called Colette, the typeface was started as graduation work in Lauri Toikka’s Type&Media course at type]media.
It is a high contrast face ideally used for bigger sizes. The most iconic elements are the triangular serifs and terminals. We know this approach is popular right now, but Noe Display brings something new to this game. There is an edge to its sophisticated construction making it both fun and serious at the same time. As the weight gets heavier, these characteristics are more prominent, which we find very appealing. Even the thickest black version doesn’t lose its balance. You can tell it was carefully created for display use.
We’re excited to put Noe Display on this list, now someone please put it on a poster or billboard!



Designer: Lucas Sharp / Publisher: Incubator / Pagan & Sharp

Ogg is a display serif inspired by the lettering of book designer Oscar Ogg. There is a ton of calligraphic style in it, especially in the dramatics angles of the italics. It’s full of fun details that will surely delight designers.
Overall, Ogg is both fragile and classic creating a strangely human touch. You can really feel this in the Roman and lowercase italic sets. Check out the alternates for ‘C’, ‘G’, ‘Q’, and ‘R’, also, ‘c’, ‘e’, ‘g’, and ‘y’. Their unique look will help to increase the range of its dynamic use.
Designed by Lucas Sharp, of the design duo Pagan & Sharp, Ogg is available for purchase through Village.



Designer: Stefania Malmsten and Göran Söderström / Publisher: Letters from Sweden

When Stefania Malmsten became the creative director of Swedish fashion magazine Rodeo, she decideed to make an untraditional monoline script. She chose Göran Söderström, who runs Lettters from Sweden, as a partner for designing a custom typeface.
Line was the result of their efforts. It’s an ambitious script face with classical characters and an elegant flow. In addition to a ton of alternates and ligatures, there are 40 different modular embellishments that connect letters. This flexibility allows you to create beautifully creative combinations.
Line comes in 5 different weights based on a careful system in order to make all lines look consistant. It’s fascinating to learn the process of this typeface, which you can read about here. We found it really cool to see how NYC street graffiti made it’s way into a Swedish fashion magazine.



Designer: Bahman Eslami / Publisher: Typotheque

Harir is the first Arabic typeface with optimized variations of three different sizes – display, text, and caption. It is very ambitious and carefully crafted based on the Naskh calligraphy style. Stroke weights are adjusted carefully for each purpose. Compare the text version, which is very contrasty, to the caption version which has less contrast. Even though we don’t read Arabic, there’s a real balance and harmony to Harir when you see it in application.
Latin characters are taken from a tweaked version of Lava, which was also released in 2013. This inclusion of Lava into Harir gives the family a base to cover a variety of languages.
Harir was released by Typotheque in September, 2013 and you can read about its fascinating inception here.



Designer: Swiss Typefaces / Publisher: Swiss Typefaces

NewParis was originally made as a custom typeface for L’Officiel Paris. It is a family with KingSize, Headline, Text, and Skyline versions. All the versions have the personality of a Didone (with the exception of Skyline).
There are a ton of fun details. Look at a the tip of ‘A’, ‘V’, and ‘W’, and the stems of ‘M’ and ’N’. You notice that the bottom curve of vertical serifs are rounded on ‘C’, ‘G’, ‘E’, ‘F’, ’S’, and ’T’. The KingSize, as the name states, is meant to be used for bigger sizes. The thinnest weight, Air, does something unique by omitting some serifs and ball terminals. Skyline has attractive alternates in some of the capitals and lowercase characters.
Overall, it’s a typeface that adds quirky details to established standards. It’s fun to discover all the differences throughout the family, so go find them!


Duplicate Slab, Duplicate Sans and Duplicate Ionic

Designer: Christian Schwartz and Miguel Reyes / Publisher: Commercial Type

Originally called Zizou Sans, a custom typeface made for Fast Company, Duplicate Sans was renamed for public release. Christian Schwartz took the idea after drawing from memory a famous early 60s face, Antique Olive by Roger Excoffon. The experiment began as a re-creation but evolved to have it’s own unique distinct personality.
Each character is contrasty and has wide openings. Comparing it to Antique Olive, Duplicate is looser and more square shaped; making it more contemporary. The slab version was an extension from the Sans, and an Ionic version was made shortly after. The Ionic version feels like a Clarendon variation of Duplicate and has thick bracketed serifs and ball terminals distinguishing it from the slab version.



Designer: Paul van der Laan / Publisher: Bold Monday

Oskar was inspired by early 20th century Dutch architecture and lettering in advertising. This geometric sans serif has design variations ‘One’ and ‘Two’. Both include lower waist ‘P’ and ‘R’ similar to fonts of the Art Deco period.
Oskar One is somewhat futuristic feeling with wide openings, whereas Oskar Two is a more straight forward geometric sans serif design. The Oskar family contains a well drawn inline version, which looks particularly excellent in heavier weights. It is definitely a useful and unique type family.


Looking for more fonts?
We have 30 other typefaces we shortlisted but still love to share as recommendations from 2013.


Founders Grotesk Text







Xenois Family




Doctrine & Doctrine Stencil



FF Dora & FF Dora Display

Dala Moa

Px Grotesk

Bree Serif


Sauna Mono

Metro Nova


Aria Text

Nocturno & Nocturno Display

FF Mark


Neacademia Display


FF Quixo

29 LT Arapix