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Ivan's picture

The Periodic Table of Typefaces

The Periodic Table of Typefaces is obviously in the style of all the thousands of over-sized Periodic Table of Elements posters hanging in schools and homes around the world. This particular table lists 100 of the most popular, influential and notorious typefaces today.

As with traditional periodic tables, this table presents the subject matter grouped categorically. The Table of Typefaces groups by families and classes of typefaces: sans-serif, serif, script, blackletter, glyphic, display, grotesque, realist, didone, garalde, geometric, humanist, slab-serif and mixed.

Each cell of the table lists the typeface and a one or two character "symbol" (made up by me simply based on logic), the designer, year designed and a ranking of 1 through 100.

Ranking was determined by statistically sorting and combining lists and opinions from the the sites listed below. The final overall ranking was achieved depending on how many lists the particular typeface was presented on and it's ranking on the lists (if the particular source list used a ranking system; some did not, in which case just the typeface's presence on the list boosted it's overall score.) After averaging the typefaces appearances and rankings a composite score was given and the list was sorted on a spreadsheet then finally given an overall score of 1 through 100 based on its final resting position.

Unfortunately, the typefaces could not be sorted exactly numerically on the table while at the same time keeping them in groups of families and classes. It had to be one or the other. Of course it COULD have been done but I would have had to seriously sacrifice aesthetics of the overall design (i.e. it wouldn't have come out looking AT ALL like a traditional periodic table.) However, upon close inspection, you find that at least the typefaces are ordered within their family/class groupings.

Source: beheance

Commenting on this Blog entry is closed.

Alinilla's picture
1 pencil

wow!!!! it is amazing the way you mixed together two complex topics and had a great result out of it..
I think its a great way to get people to visualized type and its influence to graphics....

Tice's picture
44 pencils

Thanks for the pic. : )

steveballmer's picture
653 pencils

My people tell me that Macs can only use half of these fonts an linux less than half as many as the Mac!

I am not Steve Ballmer pretending not to be me!

hawks1528's picture
48 pencils

Thank you for this and all the wonderful little resources you have provided. I feel very fortunate to have stumbled upon this site. Having access to so many well established designers is fabulous, for me as a newbie student and all. I am very grateful for how many of the members are so willing to give advice and guidance to other members. Anyway...Thanks! Tina :)

Ivan's picture

Thank you for your kind words. I will try live up this expectation.

satch's picture
8 pencils

Where can I buy a print of this? :)

taba's picture
163 pencils

Where can we buy?

taba's picture
163 pencils

What? No Comic Sans?! LOL!

agtalpai's picture
57 pencils

LOL, I wanted to comment the same. It's an outrage!

my little blog:

Cam's picture
2 pencils

Thanks for all your kind words. It looks like some clarification is in order though.

First, have a look at the explanation text I provided on the original posting of the design at the Behance Network:

You'll see that I didn't choose what typefaces made it on the table, I simply averaged and statistically sorted the credited existing lists to come up with the "ultimate" list of 1-100. No Comic Sans? That's because it wasn't on the source lists (and for good reason!)

To steveballmer: I'm not going to get into a Mac/PC war (I use both) but as far as saying that half these typefaces don't work on a Mac is simply untrue. I made this design on a Mac and they all worked and still work fine.

As far as requests for prints: I'm working on it. I could have had something ready by now, but I'm holding out for my favorite traditional letterpress shop to print it. I'm in talks with the owner now. I think the design would be greatly enhanced by their work: traditional, old style letterpress on some heavy, textured stock. I've got tons of e-mails asking for a print and I'll be letting everyone know when I've got something set in stone.

Also, at that time (once I get prints in hand), I'll be releasing the source files (vectored and very large scale pdf) to whoever is interested for whatever price they want to pay (or not pay). The source files will be limited to personal use only, up to 5 projects and not to be distributed.

Oh and Ivan, the large image you have linked to above is an older version that has a couple of minor discrepancies (read: typos, haha) the latest large version is here:

Again, thanks so much for the kind words (and thanks Ivan for posting the design) and I'm glad I found this site. It's really great!

Ivan's picture

Thanks for the correction. And, do let us know when prints are available! :)

pokie's picture
1217 pencils

VERY cool!

bocciaman's picture
78 pencils

Is it possible to get this table in poster form?


Ivan's picture

See two comments above.

Cam's picture
2 pencils

Prints, source files, and other stuff is now finally available!


Thanks for all the kind comments and support!

- Cam

Ivan's picture

Great news! thanks!

Jframe2002's picture
94 pencils

That is sweet. Thank you... I'm using this as my wallpaper now. :-)

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