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the top 100 types of all time?

Welcome to a nearly new version of; some changes have been made in response to user feedback, and the site behaves differently now.

'Next page' destinations for the start page, and the pointing hands (back and forward) have been implemented. Some of the names in the navigation panel at left have changed, which now includes a search function. There are new diagrams for the sizes and the timeline, and a revised how to page.

This site is presented in 2007 as the practical project work of a Masters Degree in Art & Design by Ben Archer at AUT University in Auckland, NZ.

The background context of the project is a particular pre-graduate graphic design paper taught at AUT University, but this site is offered 'as is' to all students and devotees of typography and printing history worldwide.


This is a reference website for graphic design students of 100 significant typeface designs since the time of Gutenberg.

This site aims to provide educational reference only; it is NOT a commercial site. You can NOT buy or download fonts on this site.

The original list of the 'top 100 types of all time?' is at and was compiled by Paul Shaw for the Type Directors Club in 1999.

Please send any bug reports, enquiries, new information, requests and/or disputations to (you will need to type this address into your mail program). Your patience and understanding will be appreciated.

Paul Shaw's list is generally perceived as non-partisan, independent, and authoritative.
It is NOT a ranking selection of current bestsellers, but was drawn up to include typeface designs of outstanding aesthetic or technological achievement since (and including) Gutenberg.

The list includes a large number of famous typefaces, some interesting examples from private presses of the 19th & 20th centuries, and some high profile designs from recent years. Although there is a bias towards European type history and typefaces for book and text setting, the list is pretty heterogenous in that it doesn’t favour any one particular foundry or stylistic category.

It also contains at least four typefaces identified as ‘hard-to-classify’, meaning that this list also partly reflects the current break in consensus about typeface classification.

Not all of the typefaces were found to have direct digital font equivalents, but wherever possible a further reference – a hyperlink or a reference image has been included on the typefaces' individual profile pages. Most of them are still originated as digital fonts by both major and minor foundries and very often with the same names.

Look for hyperlinks direct to the relevant foundry websites wherever a current equivalent is listed on the profile pages.

In some cases either the font name has changed, or the result was my best guess as to the nearest likely match.

My apologies for anything I have incorrectly guessed at or mislabelled.

Enjoy. Don't forget to make your own list sometime...

To get started, visit the how to page.


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version 1.6 21/7/07