Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Periodic Table of Typefaces


Squidspot, a web and print design group, has created a table representing a list of the most “popular, influential and notorious typefaces today”, in a format we are all so familiar with – the Periodic Table.

As with traditional periodic tables, the Periodic Table of Typefaces presents the typefaces grouped by families and classes like  san-serif, serif, script, blackletter, etc. Each cell of the table lists the typeface and a one or two character ("symbol"), the designer, year designed and a ranking of 1 through 100.


Click on the image to view it in large

The table looks incredible and has a beautiful old, worn out look, just like those huge posters you find hanging in schools and college classroom walls – torn and discolored due to age. In fact, unless you looks at it carefully it looks like the original periodic table.


The ranking was determined by statistically sorting and combining various top-100 and top-30 lists prepared by various sources. The final overall ranking was achieved depending on how many lists the particular typeface was presented on and it's ranking on the lists. 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 it's final resting position. That was some work!

Now you can order a 45 inch X 31 inch wall decal of this table. (Thanks pixel pusher)

[via Behance]


  1. Absolutely awesome! Very cool!

  2. I don't get it. What's the periodicity?

  3. I also don't get it, are they just ranked by popularity? In that case you missed the obvious opportunity to group them into font families and create a useful and insightful depiction of different typefaces. May I suggest you give it another attempt.

  4. apparently nobody has looked closely at this table, they are organized periodically by family, progressing from grotesques on the left to humanist, geometric, and didones on the right with other families represented in between, moving down the table, the fonts become generally more elaborate. I think the ranking is somewhat more subject to the organization than the other way around.

  5. We just got permission from the designer Camdon Wilde to produce this as a wall decal. You can check it out here:

    Don’t you just love sharing.

  6. @pixel pusher: The poster looks cool!

  7. Hey there is a new version of this print at Scribble on Everything. Its on black paper with a metallic silver ink.


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