Jason Santa Maria talks about his favorite fonts

 

Jason Santa Maria

 

  

In the second installment of our Designer Spotlight series we shine FontShop’s yellow glow on Jason Santa Maria, founder and principal of Mighty, a Brooklyn-based design studio, and creative director of Typekit.

  

  

Creator of highly acclaimed web experiences, Jason’s weapon of choice is typography, which he wields deftly to make complex topics accessible and appealing. This is evident in his work on Typedia, a shared encyclopedia of typefaces; A List Apart, a magazine for people who make websites; and his own award-winning site for which he famously breaks from the traditional blog template, designing each entry separately to fit the subject at hand.

  

  

Whether he’s designing web pages or printed pages, Jason’s typographic palette is understated, yet constantly changing. His respect for the tried-and-true classics is clear, but his eye also scans the horizon for interesting new releases. Here are some of his favorite typefaces and the work they helped produce.

  

 

Freight Sans

 

Freight Sans
Freight Sans is one part of Joshua Darden’s wonderful super family that also includes serif and display variants. It has this odd ability to fade into the background sometimes, or jump up and down when you need it to. And damn that man knows how to make an italic. 
– JSM

  

News Gothic

 

News Gothic
Paul Giambarba’s branding work for Polaroid was one of my first exposures to News Gothic (though its cousin Franklin Gothic, also by Morris Fuller Benton, has always been a staple for me). It’s a bit vanilla, but its compact stature and angularity make for powerful typography. 
– JSM

  

Cooper Black

 

Cooper Black
I know these days it’s campy and shlocky and makes most designers cringe. But Cooper Black is like a dog that’s so ugly it becomes cute, and for that I love it. There, I said it. It was also a no-brainer for this piece because it’s still Tootsie Pop’s pride and joy. 
– JSM

  

Skolar

 

Skolar
Skolar was the first of the fonts making their way onto the web for screen use that I fell in love with. It feels formal, without being stuffy, and has a bit of quirk to it, like someone wearing a suit with rainbow striped socks. The italic is especially lovely. 
– JSM

  

Garamond Premier Pro and Trade Gothic

 

Garamond Premier Pro and Trade Gothic
Garamonds will always have a place in my heart, and I jumped at the first chance to use Robert Slimbach’s labor of love which is based on the variant hand-cut type sizes by Claude Garamond. Trade Gothic remains one of my favorite typefaces, it’s sturdy as hell, mechanical, and remarkably forgiving. 
– JSM

  

Yoga, Yoga Sans, and Titling Gothic

 

FF Yoga and Titling Gothic
FF Yoga and FF Yoga Sans by Xavier Dupré are both beautiful and highly legible book types with a modern flair. David Berlow’s Titling Gothic makes for great headlines, especially because you can keep the text large with the more condensed weights on such a small book as this. 
– JSM

  

Yoga, Yoga Sans, and Titling Gothic

 

Vista Sans, Adobe Garamond, and FF Dax Web
Jason’s web designs are seen by millions every week thanks to his work for popular destinations like Dictionary.com, which he freshened from its former stodginess using Vista Sans; A List Apart; and Typekit, which offers Web FontFonts to those who prefer a library subscription.

  

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