View Full Version : Typography - What fonts do you use?

08-04-2011, 10:29 AM
I've been looking around and I haven't seen a post like this so I figured I'd start one.

When you use text on anything the shape, style and spacing of the letters become part of the design. It can make a big difference for the feel of a map if you use big blocky text or something more fine. It may vary depending on what exactly you're labeling. Though I read somewhere that it's more typical on maps to keep the font the same but to change the line thickness or the letter spacing.

Anyway, I was wondering: What font's do people use for their maps? And if you have an example of it being used please share. For those of you who letter by hand (kudos!) if you've got neat penmanship please share and tell us if your style was based on anything. (I was impressed by Blaidd Drwg's Ivorell "http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?5251-Ivorell-Hand-drawn-D-amp-D-Campaign-Map&highlight=sketch"

I've been using:

Trajan Pro, It's a serif font with small caps based on Roman capitals.
Vivaldi, Somewhat calligraphic serif italicized

example (place names are Trajan, the title is Vivaldi): http://www.cartographersguild.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=37479&d=1312260394

08-04-2011, 11:16 AM
Hi flocko!

There's a 'font library' sticky on this subforum where people put up the fonts they like to use in their maps. The choice of font depends very much on the style of the map that's being made.

08-04-2011, 11:31 AM
Thank you!

Wow... That's quite the oversight on my part. Every time I searched 'font' I never found it. Now I see it was a few pages deep. Thanks again.

08-04-2011, 03:49 PM
I try to never reuse a font. I always try to change things up to get a different feel.

08-04-2011, 04:39 PM
Arial ought to be enough font for anyone (Helvetica if you're a PostScript user, of course).

Then again, I have the artistic sensibilities of a rock.

08-04-2011, 04:47 PM
Being that I generally prefer to draw more antique looking maps, I usually go with either antique typefaces (baskerville, fell type, etc) or hand-lettered, depending on the tech level of the place the map would have come from :)

08-04-2011, 04:50 PM
A sans-serif font like Arial, IMHO, is a poor choice for most maps, simply because 'sans-serif' is more difficult to read (on a map) than any serif font. (Serifs being the little tails and end-objects at the ends of the letters. (For a research paper, as a wall of text on white, I can put up with sans-serif, but even then prefer Verdana, because some letters like capital "I" has serifs.) While I might not try a different font on every map like Ascension, since there are thousands and thousands of fonts to choose from why not be experimental or find some flavored font that especially fits a given theme for a map. There are numerous Celtic fonts, some more readable than others. I might use an exotic font like Elric, but only for a main title and not for individual labels, as Elric is very difficult to read beyond short titles. For most of my Kaidan maps, I want a slightly exotic, oriental font, but most oriental fonts look 'cheap' to me, so I've been using AucoinExBold. This font while not officially oriental the curves on the strokes as well as the serifs have a distinctly oriental brush style yet doesn't look like a cheap Chinese Restaurant menu font.

I do carefully choose my fonts for maps everytime, though.

08-04-2011, 05:04 PM

I was about to say that I have the opposite attitude from Ascension, but waldronate proved that wrong! When I find a good solution, I tend to keep using it until I find a better one, so I reuse the same fonts frequently. UnZialish, Zapf, Tempus, Century Gothic, Tahoma, Garamond, and a few others that I can't call to mind right now.

08-04-2011, 06:34 PM
I tend to find a font that works best for the kind of map I'm making. For my map of Khanre, which is meant to look ancient, I used an AutoREALM font that looked hand-drawn to me. If it was for something meant to look more classical, i.e. Renaissance/Age of Exploration, then I'll use something for that era. Basically, whatever looks good with the whole map.

08-04-2011, 06:39 PM
Depends on the map, though I do have a soft spot for Junius Unicode and Linux Libertine.

Steel General
08-06-2011, 08:19 AM
I just try and find fonts that fit the theme of the map, though there are probably about 10-12 I use regularly.

08-06-2011, 09:11 AM
I agree with the General but to mention some examples I use more often AR JULIAN and JOEHAND.