I honestly couldn’t imagine putting together a more pretentious article than: “My favourite minimalist fonts”. But as much as I try to pretend that I don’t drool over a nice slab serif, it’s time to face facts: I am one of those people. I really love typography. “More than life” is the somewhat concerning evaluation of my sister when I asked her if I actually did love alphabetical design quite that much.
Typography was something that I noticed from a young age. My first love was Dom Casual when it eased my through my first poetry recital. The labels on my school books were the height of avant-guarde cool thanks to Wingdings 3.0. Soon afterwards, I joyfully upgraded from Office 95 fonts to the seemingly endless possibilities of Office 97. As much as I like Matisse ITC, I didn’t want my teachers to think I was an anarchist. These were exciting times for an 11-year-old.
As I grew up, the font patterns emerged. Frutiger is used in almost every bloody airport. Indian restaurant menus feel a home with Trajan Pro. Danish hairdressers and locksmiths across the country have united in using white Broadway on black background on every sign (someone please explain why). Lately, Brandon Grotesque has become the international standard for EVERYTHING and we’re bored already. Or I’m just smug in my disapproval.
Fonts are a way to personify our words, giving even the most mundane text a layer of visual meaning. There is a personality in every typeface. Consequently, there are certain fonts that capture the Scandinavian personality: clean, functional, beautiful, quirky as hell. But alas, not all fonts embrace the Scandi alphabet with it’s å, æ and ø possibilities (I’m looking at you Governor). Here are my top picks of fonts for the Scandinavian alphabet:
Very simple. Very Scandi.
Fonts similar to Avenir
This typeface looks both incredibly modern but also classic. Guess what font you’re reading right now? You guessed it: Caslon. Definitely my favourite serif font. If you’re looking for a classic font that’s similar to Times New Roman with an edge, Caslon is you’re best bet. Been around for ages, and will be for even longer. Long live Caslon!
Move over Futura, this font is my new standard sans serif. I discovered it when researching Bouvetøya, a remote Norwegian Island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. If you’re into graphics and strange remote islands, the Bouvetoya: A Cultural History of an Isolated Landmass book is not only a beautiful book, its a fascinating read.
This is probably the sexiest font in town. I remember texting my friend: “I can’t stop looking at this font. This font is my everything.” I finally purchased the font as the 30th birthday present for myself. I don’t know why I’m telling you these embarrassing details about myself.
Another beautiful, elegant font created by Playtype.
Other Fonts We Use on This Website
Generally on Scandinavia Standard, we stick to Adobe Caslon in headings and body text, and Futura for small headings. Obviously, we’re having an occasional rendezvous with Fugue for graphical elements. Occasionally, in the newsletter, we use New Standard. And in case you’re interested, the Scandinavia Standard logo is Austin, with a few customised letters.
Do you have a favourite Scandi font? Let us know in the comments!
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