“‘Form follows function’ in modernist design and the principle certainly applies to modern fonts,” writes Rebecca Gross in Canva’s DesignSchool blog. “Based on geometric lines and forms, modern fonts are clean, clear, and easy to read; plus with a creative twist or dash of detail they have a cool, contemporary vibe.”
Gross goes on to give us a list of 50 modern fonts that will wake up your creativity and “position your work at the forefront of design.”
Most of these modern fonts are sans serif, like One Day and Radnika. Others, like Modeka, riff on the idea of a serif font with a decidedly modern twist. All make us want to get out and design something new.
If you don’t see what you need on the list from Gross (they’re all free to download, so why not?), check out the little gizmo called Spector.
“For her graduation project at the Royal College of Art, [Fiona] O’Leary developed a handy, handheld tool she calls Spector that captures typefaces and colors in the real world, and then transfers them directly to InDesign,” notes Liz Stinson in Wired.
“Here’s how it works: Place Spector over a piece of media and depress the button on top. A camera inside photographs the sample, and an algorithm translates the image into information about the shape of the typeface, or the color’s CMYK/RGB values,” Stinson explains.
The device then beams the info to a font database, allowing you to use that font on your own screen. Oh. My. Gosh.
O’Leary says the idea was born, like many great inventions, out of personal frustration.
“When you design for print on screen, it never looks like how it’s going to print,” says O’Leary. “It’s hard to get a sense of scale, typesetting can be deceiving, and color values don’t always translate from screen to page. “If you’re going to design for print on screen you should start with print,” she says.
The only catch? It’s a working prototype, and not yet available for sale. We expect that will change after the publicity it’s getting now. Because really, what designer doesn’t want this?