Some individuals rely on a single typeface for their entire lifetimes. Others can sort through thousands of fonts and still never find the right one for the given moment. Between these two poles, most graphic designers may be found. They pine for typographic orientation and decision-making assistance! For all the members of this group, the Hermann Schmidt publishers in Mainz have released the book “Schriftwechsel” (currently available in German only). Over 300+ pages, the book’s authors Ralf and Stefanie de Jong present their favorite fifty text typefaces; 200 additional selections are also listed, to encourage comparison. The criteria behind their selections is anything but subjective; there is a not unpopular view that designers should just be able to “feel” which typefaces are the correct choices. But “Schriftwechsel’s” authors believe that this situation is just unbelievable, and impossible to objectively ground. Therefore, they suggest more important criteria, such as legibility, readability, and reader comfort, as well as technical aspects including rasterization and format, cost and service, internationality, and the differences between typefaces old and new. “Schriftwechsel” is not a marketing instrument; the book strengthens your decision-making ability. It is a guide that propagates formal and economic criteria for the correct selection of typefaces … a must-have for all designers.
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