Welcome to the Starting Point for what eventually will become a series of Lists, Tables and Identification Guides I have compiled with facts and data about subjects that have interested me over the years. They represent many hours of research and data collection, usually just to satisfy my own curiosity. I will try to give references to my sources and I welcome comments, suggestions, and corrections (if they are authoritative).
The Font Identification Guides are sample showings of families of stylistically related type faces, intended to help you identify a typeface in the subject style grouping.
In case you are interested in the topic of what types are 'Best', or 'Good', you might want to read my essay on the subject -- just as a place to start your thinking. I would welcome your comments on it.
The Bauhaus-style Font Identification Guide was the first Guide project and shows samples of about 200 typefaces that reflect (possibly by accident) a geometric style that flourished with the Bauhaus School in Germany in the Pre-World War II era. These styles, because of their simplicity, still are finding an audience today.
The Sans Serif Font ID Aid/Guide is a tool to help identify Sans Serif fonts by using the shapes of just 7 letters (a, e, g, G, M, R & y) to identify a list of fonts with similar characteristics. The Guide uses samples showing the 7 key letters and 10 other distinctive letters in the form of a nonsense name ('MRS Wilfy C Gadget Jr'), to make identification even easier. There are currently some fonts that are not illustrated, so you will have to have a way to know what those fonts look like to complete the identification. You can do that by searching font provider sites, and a supplier is now identified for each font.
The Serif Font Identification Guide is an interactive tool that allows using attributes of 12 key letters (a, b, e, g, y, E, J, K, M, R, U and W) to help identify the typeface families you often see in books, magazines and newspapers. [As of mid-October 2007, this Guide shows over 1,530 font families, but is always in work, with some missing images needing sample donors.] To use the Guide you select the attributes using radio buttons and hit 'Search'. The Search Results page will show the fonts which meet your selections, using samples of a nonsense name made up of the key letters and five other helpful characters ('MR Gabe JUKE Wygt QC?'). The Key samples make it easy to narrow your possible matches quickly. Then you can see full alphabetic samples, including the Italics face, if there is one, or text samples (in Roman and Italics faces, if applicable), and you can compare them to each other to see if one matches your own sample.
The Script Font Identification Guide and accompanying Script Fonts Reference List provide a unique, very comprehensive display with reference listing of over 3,200 available commercial script fonts, who designed them and when. It also includes some names of nearly identical look-alike versions of those fonts. 'Script' is loosely used here, as this collection includes any font that looks like it was hand-drawn.
The Lined Fonts Identification Guide provides displays of multi-lined and inline font styles. Many of these types resemble, or recreate, typefaces from the Art Deco era of the 1920's and '30's. Some of these styles interlock in interesting ways, with complex ligature combinations. Many find their way into advertising and book titles, because of their eye-catching looks.
I hope that they are useful, interesting and can save you the time of doing the work yourself. (But I would never want to discourage it, if you are as driven to make your own lists as I have been, ever since I was a kid and copied all the animal names from the dictionary.)
If a title in the following Lists links is not underlined, the link is not active yet, because the page is still under construction, or is just a twinkle in my mind's eye.