“Out of thousands of typefaces, all we need are a few basic ones, and trash the rest.”
Massimo Vignelli has been outspoken about his belief that designers should stick to a small core group of typefaces. While many have argued against this, Massimo has stayed within a group of 12 typefaces.
His core five are:
Century Expanded (pictured right)
But he has also used Optima, Futura, Caslon, and Baskerville.
Massimo on a designer's use of fonts.
"You begin sifting to see which one are appropriate for one use... and at the end when you pick out the best, you wind up with about a half a dozen, or a little more of typefaces.
And those are good, those are good for everything.
So yes, there are only a good maybe a dozen…actually I don’t use much many more than three or four in my life.
Every good designer doesn’t use more than a few typefaces and when they’re less good, the number increase. And if they’re worse, then use all of them."
"The more you use it, the more you learn how to use it. And it is a great typeface, it will last forever. Along with the Garamond, along with the few of the great classic typefaces."
Quote from the movie Helvetica (2007) on the Helvetica typeface.
"There are people that thinks that type should be expressive. They have a different point of view from mine."
Massimo Vignelli has published a 96-page book on better understanding typography in graphic design, according to him. The book gives specific details on Vignelli’s methodology and approach as well as how he decides on paper sizes, typefaces and other tangibles. It is free to download (see links).