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Favorite fonts

Wood Guy

I recently "discovered" Segoe UI and don't know where it's been all my life. I've been using Calibri for notes and dimensions on drawings, and have tried various other fonts but until someone else recommended Segoe UI I didn't realize how well it works on CAD drawings. I'm trying Segoe UI Bold for room names, a big change from the TNR I've always used. What are your favorites? I'm not a hardcore font nerd but do appreciate the subtle differences between fonts. 

On a related note, do you use all caps for drawing notes? Or conventional upper and lowercase as you would in a document, or all lowercase? I was taught all caps and that's what I've always used, but I'm not sure why--I think conventional caps and lowercase are easier to read. Plus they take up less space. But maybe they don't read as well when printed at half scale.

Which brings up my final font question--what size for notes and dimensions? I have used 3/32" for years (on 24" x 36" sheets) but so many clients and builders print their own sets at 11" x 17", 3/32" can be hard to read, so I've been trying 1/8" for notes and dimensions. They obviously take up more space on the sheet but it's not as bad as I thought it would be.

I'm sure this has been discussed but if so it's been a while.

 
Sep 21, 20 5:20 pm
citizen

Great topic!  Swamped with work today, but looking forward to others' responses.  Meantime: if looking for a reliable architectural font, go to Helvetica.

Sep 21, 20 5:25 pm  · 
1  · 
citizen

Also: Font Nerd sounds like a great little unknown spot outside Paris.

2  · 
tduds

Pronounced "Foh' Nerr"

4  · 
Wood Guy

It does sound French. I'm teaching myself French (with the help of Duolingo) so my wife and I can visit Non Sequitor once quarantine is lifted. And so we can get around in France.

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Wood Guy

Citizen, no rush on responding but I'm curious what you like about Helvetica, vs. Calibri or Ariel--they all seem very similar to me. I'm not sure why I landed on Calibri before discovering Segoe.

1  · 
citizen

Mostly nostalgia-- it was everywhere when I was in school. (Also, one of David Sideris's hilarious stories includes a housekeeper named Helvetica.)

Now, I use Calibri all the time, since it comes up as the default, and it's just fine. 

But when I really need to pack in the words, there's no better high-density communicator than Arial Narrow. It's like a room full of basketball players and super models.

(Gee, I guess I wasn't so busy after all!)

1  · 

I love Century Gothic for presentations.  For CD's it's Arial Narrow.  All caps, all the time. 

Sep 21, 20 5:53 pm  · 
5  · 
Wood Guy

Interesting, the first firm I worked at used Century Gothic. What do you like about it? Does it align with your design style? I like cleaner lines but appreciate that serif fonts can be easier to read.

Is there a reason you use all caps other than tradition? 

 · 

For both questions the answer is it's easier to read. I like CG because while not being boring it's simple. Also when you do small caps it still reads well.

1  · 
bowling_ball

I'm trying to transition away from all caps. It gives the reader fatigue and they stop reading because it feels like they're getting yelled at.

2  · 

On construction documents - no they don't.

 · 
code

helvetica 

Sep 21, 20 7:29 pm  · 
1  · 
atelier nobody

Wait...there are other fonts than RomanS?

Sep 21, 20 7:32 pm  · 
1  · 
atelier nobody

I actually like the Franklin Gothic and Swis721 families. For my "logo" I use Special Elite, all lower case...

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go do it

https://www.dafont.com/leaner....

Sep 21, 20 8:16 pm  · 
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citizen

I ran across Optima somewhere years ago and loved it.  Very clean, but ever so slightly serif.

I don't find it available anymore, at least in MS world.  

Sep 21, 20 8:25 pm  · 
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This thread needs examples:

Make your own: https://www.fontshop.com/tryou...

Sep 21, 20 11:20 pm  · 
3  · 
citizen

.

3  · 
randomised

Optima is a Republican font though ;-)

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ivanmillya

We exclusively use Arial and Arial Bold at the office (bold for drawing titles, tags, dimensions; normal for notes, auxiliary info). 3/32 for note text, 5/64 for dimension strings, because that way I can fit stupid numbers like 1'-1 1/4" onto a string without a leader. I've been trying to get my firm to move towards using Segoe UI or Century Gothic though, because we all use CG on our emails and office notes.

Sep 22, 20 8:08 am  · 
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Non Sequitur

I like this discussion.

Our offices uses Arial (all caps) for working drawings and notes and Calibri for cover letters, invoicing, response letters, ccns, etc. Boring and predictable, I know, but it's much better than City-Blueprint or whatever the hand script font is called.

Our logo font is Avenir:

Avenir Font Free - Dafont Free

But when I do anything outside of the office standard, I use Agency FB:

Identifont - Agency FB

Sep 22, 20 8:34 am  · 
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Wood Guy

Non, I was not familiar with Agency FB but just tried it out--looks cool for short notes, but very busy for long blocks of text--what do you like about it? I don't mean to criticize your choice, just curious what people find appealing about different fonts.

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Non Sequitur

I use it for presentation and internal office memos, not CD notes. I think I first discovered it while looking for a discrete font for my thesis footnotes. For me, I like using this font in regular sentences because of the tall & narrow capital letters and bonus... looks even better using "small caps" option in InDesign. I'm also a sucker for a neat looking ampersand and letters that look different depending on up or low case.

See below for small caps example:


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Wood Guy

I do like a neat ampersand! I've been using "+" instead for a few years because "&" is ugly and old-fashioned looking in most fonts, but people sometimes read "+" as plus, not and. I still think the font is hard to read, but for short notes the distinctive appearance I can see where it would make sense.

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Non Sequitur

I agree that the font looks odd in paragraph form. I typically use it in narrow text columns that average 6 to 8 words wide or bullet points.

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gwharton

Open Sans is a great alternative to Arial or Helvetica. Well designed with lots of different weights. Also free. I'm a fan.

Google Fonts is also a great general resource for well-designed, free typefaces.

Sep 22, 20 11:19 am  · 
1  · 
Almosthip

Am I boring if I only use Arial Narrow?   Takes up less space on my drawings.  Everything CAPS, ALWAYS

Sep 22, 20 12:21 pm  · 
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That's what we do. Oh and you and I are boring, at least on our CD's.

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Almosthip

Oh my CD's are sexy as hell

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Sexy, but boring?

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Almosthip

ONLY THE FONT IS BORING, MY BUILDING SECTIONS, WALL SECTIONS AND DETAILS ARE SEXY AS FUK

1  · 
Wood Guy

Quit shouting! (LOL) Seriously, though--do you have a reason for writing in all caps on documents, other than tradition?

If one's font is sexier than their drawings, perhaps they need better drawings...

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Almosthip7

For clarity. There was a time when drawing where copied by a blueprint machine. The capital letters are more clear. Now drawings get printed in large format, but it still applies. When you print the drawings on a smaller scale t

 · 
Almosthip7

The words are still legible

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Non Sequitur

One reason for all caps, that I remember from my first days drafting up CDs, was that some low-case letters can read differently if rotated. The main example I can remember is stair direction notes: UP & DN vs up & dn. Easy to see how up can read as dn if you flip the text or mirror the detail.

 · 
sameolddoctor
Use comic sans
Sep 22, 20 12:30 pm  · 
1  ·  1
randomised

My dad used comic sans all the fucking time, so now it’s even on his tombstone...

1  · 

I had a word processing class in like 9th grade where we had to create and print business cards for ourselves. I used Comic Sans and killed it (fading gradient on half the card and everything). The only reason I remember it is because I stuck one in a luggage tag, and I can't get it out, so every time I use that piece of luggage, or see it in the back of the closet, I'm reminded of the last time I used Comic Sans seriously.

1  · 
Wood Guy

I've considered using Comic Sans just to piss off the establishment, but can't bring myself to do it.

1  · 
Great discussion.

I have been very experimental with fonts for over years now.
Branding and typography is something that really feels so much in coherence with our work in general.

For over 5 years my go to font was Futura PT. I somehow managed to sneak that into my previous organisations presentation templates and the legibility of the same really impressed the clients.

Also used OPENSANS for their font and office purposes.

While I looked for a new identity, I stumbled upon Promxima nova.
Very subtle and a good font even for drawings.

But then ..

I worked on projects for one of our clients (contemporary co-working spaces, you got it right ?) and dude...

The CD Sets when one sees, falls in love with drawings no matter what details.

What a phenomenal template setup they have done for all the drawings. Be it CD Set or a concept set presentation or city submittals.

They use Segoe UI in combination with Swiss 721 BT.

While I am a sucker for helvetica myself, various iterations of helvetica are also nice.

Dieter rams, after all has made a documentary on helvetica such that one cant stop really loving what it has done to the world.
(Please watch it).

Currently, I also use avenier light, Roboto, and avant garde as well in various purposes as invoices, leaflets, websites, magazine publications and posters/ social media materials.

- always caps for notes! Haha once we had to do 2 delta revisions just for notes being in small caps.

- @randomized, comic sans is one font which I find so annoying, in any form. (No offence).

- There are some great new fonts which really are better versions of calibri, CG and others the past I would say boring.

- Lol, I so get you @ivanmilya.

Btw the typography scene in Asia is super hot, given the diversity of languages here, experimentation is on another level.

Check out some cool stuff here :
https://www.indiantypefoundry.com/

Ciao.
Sep 22, 20 1:45 pm  · 
1  · 
Non Sequitur

Can confirm, big fan of Swiss721

1  · 
OneLostArchitect

Yup... Swiss721 everything since University

1  · 
randomised

I personally like the classic Akzidenz Grotesk when avoiding Helvetica, or better yet, the more recent and fresh Akkurat when going for a contemporary sans serif. My work now uses Roboto and Impact in presentations and Verdana for regular communication but I don’t really care for those. Don’t even know what they use in technical drawings. Haven’t seen any yet...

Sep 22, 20 3:21 pm  · 
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SneakyPete

Yup

Sep 22, 20 5:57 pm  · 
2  · 
awaiting_deletion

ARIAL.

Sep 22, 20 9:23 pm  · 
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Dank Gehry

some fonts use more ink than others. If you want to save ink, you should use thinner fonts.


Personally I use the Breitbart headline font so I can express my preemptive outrage about to the contractor.  



Sep 22, 20 9:57 pm  · 
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ivanmillya

I just make sure to use a lot of exclamation points, especially in my note not to scale drawings on site (usually 3 !!!)

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simransandhawalia

i use Emporia And Cormier For TItles because These Are Really Attractive Fonts

but otherwise, Century Gothic, Helevetica and Josefine Sans Are just beautiful.

Sep 23, 20 5:23 am  · 
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Non Sequitur

Waiting for the one wanker that uses Papyrus on their CDs.

Sep 23, 20 10:34 am  · 
1  · 

Don't forget about wingding.


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TIQM

Papyrus

Sep 23, 20 4:04 pm  · 
1  · 

I had forgotten about that. Thanks for sharing

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suprised this doesn't have more likes, then I realized no one is clicking the link. Here's the video

 · 
atelier nobody

Anyone else us SpecsIntact/UFGS to write specs for DOD projects? Everything is in COURIER - it is almost physically painful having to read them.

Sep 23, 20 6:48 pm  · 
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citizen

.Find & Share on GIPHY

1  · 
SneakyPete

I know a guy who used to write his specs on a digital rainbow. Basically a typewriter that could reprint the thing you typed as many times as you want on a dot matrix. Fun, fun.

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I think I'm lucky to have been able to avoid SpecsIntact/UFGS so far in my career. Sorry for your pain.

1  · 
atelier nobody

I actually use an "old typewriter" style font for my logo, but Courier it ain't:

1  · 
robhaw

Great thread. 


1.Helvetica Light for presentations. 


2.Calibri Light for emails. 


3.DIN is a personal favourite. 

Sep 24, 20 5:37 pm  · 
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TIQM

I have never really liked Helvetica.  I think it's modern, dry and unexpressive.  Impoverished.  Very Bauhaus...and not in a good way. 

I much prefer serif fonts, because I think they are more gentle on the eye, and easier to read. 

But for sans serif fonts, I have always preferred Avant Garde to Helvetica:

https://www.prepressure.com/images/type-poem-Avant-Garde-Gothic.png

Sep 24, 20 8:25 pm  · 
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Herrygrany

I like Century Gothic for the presentation. For CDs, this is Arial. All in capital letters, if possible

Oct 18, 20 8:36 am  · 
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