A wonderful typeface, full of great character. Har har harPerhaps one of the most enlightening discussions we’ve had at Imulus was in regard to the following question.

Starting now if you had to read all type for the rest of your life in one typeface, what would it be?*

My answer: Gotham. The font is profound, clean, inescapably strong, yet different enough in weight to convey emphasis and prowess. Gotham is the sort of typeface that a type-designer becomes famous for. It’s Helvetica with out the genericism**.

So while Gotham is used frequently (pdf) it deserves credit for being a landmark typeface in the twenty first century***.

In the end a typeface is much like wine, if it tastes good to you the complexities and price don’t mean much. However, you may just find that over time your tastes refine. And as far as Gotham is concerned, it’s about as refined as it gets.

* Note: This means an entire font family, not one particular weight.
** I’m a wannabe lexicographer.
*** Gotham was released from H&J in the year 2000.

  • Addy

    Now if there was a serif version of Gotham, we might be able to talk refined. But really? I concur that it’s beautiful, yet the lowercase lacks a certain sense of character. Not to mention that Helvetica’s “genericism” started happening about 20 years after it’s creation, just you wait, we could very well see the same with Gotham. I’m not a fan of commitment, I guess I would say.

  • http://ryanpeterson.net Ryan Peterson

    Courier. I’m really tired of of letters being different widths everywhere I look.

    *I’m a wannabe lexicographer.

  • http://artletic.com Matt Crest

    I also love Gotham. I’m finding it so easy to put into various client works – but doing my best to refrain from over use. Interstate was my choice a few years ago, but as you stated, Gotham feels so capable of conveying the appropriate feel for most applications – much more so than Interstate (for me at least).

    As for a serif – I’d have to say Mrs. Eaves is my huckleberry. It’s just so elegant and soft feeling – due to the short x-height – but very legible.

  • http://imulus.com Bruce

    Addy, true enough statement regarding Helvetica’s generic feel. And you do make a good point that we could start to see that with Gotham.

    I suppose once that happens I’ll still feel good about it because I was on the ban wagon from the beginning. It’s an ego thing.

    In seriousness, I think Gotham absolutely is refined. If you look at it in small sizes it’s quite readable, yet very bold in the right instances as well. The letters convey a very clear geometric goal, but don’t annoy the reader doing so (i.e. Futura at times). Overall the typeface has a ton of thought behind it, and I call that refinement to the utmost degree.

  • Kathryn

    Univers all the way… especially if it’s the entire font family.

  • http://ryanpeterson.net Ryan Peterson

    I think the Helvetica’s genericism is a great strength, for *me* at least. Most things I read I want to read it instantly, and I’m sure I gain a few thousands of second when the type face is as recognizable to me as Helvetica. If it is one typeface for the rest of your life you will bored of it anyway.