John Cowen

John Cowen

User Experience • Design • Creativity

Little Black Font Book


Last week the fine fellows at Hype For Type sent me a copy of volume 2 of their Little Black Font Book. A pocket size collection of 44 fonts - curated by Alex Haigh of Hype For Type. It’s designed to be an easy go-to reference and inspiration for designers.

Little Black Font Book

The Little Black Font Book

It’s a great looking book and much more interesting (inspiring) than a typical black and white font catalogue. It’s small - but this actually works in its favour. At this size it will sit on my desk so I can grab it and quickly look through any time I want. A bigger reference book would end up located on the bookcase at the other end of the office - take more time to look through when looking for a font and probably end up being used much more infrequently because of it.

There are hundreds of great fonts available to designers, I’m always spotting new ones I’d like to use. But when the opportunity to use a new font comes around, I either can’t remember half of what I’d seen - or struggle picking the good ones out of the 100’s listed in many online font sites.

A curated list of 44 quality fonts, with examples of them used in real design work is something I can see myself coming back to time and again. And there’s easily enough diversity across the chosen fonts to stop you getting stale any time soon.

Fonts instantly earmarked for future use are:

Breakers Slab

Breakers Slab font

A quirky & characterful font with a feel of Clarendon about it.

My self imposed ban on myself for overusing this one a few years ago can probably be lifted now

A lovely display serif with a few swashes to bring it to life

Domani font

Nanami Rounded
This looks a really strong font family with lots of diversity with enough variety between faces to cover you from corporate headlines to something more characterful and quirky.

Nanami Rounded

Nanami Rounded is actually a great example of where the Little Black Font Book comes into its own. If you view the font online - you can see the different faces but, personally, I find it difficult to visualise how these fonts will really work in an actual design. The Little Black Font Book changed Nanami from a font I might not have given much of a second though to (viewing online) - to seeing a few of its faces brought together in a simple layout and recognising it as being a font I could really see myself using.

It’s also worth noting that this book only costs £2.99. Yes I was sent a copy for free - but I’d definitely pay for this. Time saved looking for fonts would pay for itself in no time. Available to buy on Amazon.

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