Bold & Justified: The Typographic Universe in One Infographic

I don’t know if FontShop’s very own Communications Manager and TYPO SF co-organizer Meghan Arnold exerts some subliminal influence, but after Meghan Dailey’s FontShop fan video this is the second consecutive post discussing the work of a Meghan. Last month the COLOURlovers website published a rather impressive infographic about typography titled Bold & Justified. The goal of the infographic was to start the conversation about how large and interesting the world of fonts is within the COLOURlovers community, many of whom are not designers. It was designed by Meghan Robichaud, a graphic designer and illustrator from New Brunswick, Canada, currently living in Vancouver. This graduate of the Art Institute of Vancouver’s Graphic Design program works as a freelance designer and illustrator, and has been featured in AdWeek’s Talent Gallery, Most Creative Resumes, and Toy Design Served.

Detail of the Bold & Justified infographic.

The infographic is concise yet comprehensive, its subject matter ranging from the essential to the anecdotal. It covers typographic evolution and type classification, typographic anatomy, statistics, type styles and family names, geography, system fonts and webfonts, and the cost of digital type. Meghan’s research into typography made her discover many things. She explains that sourcing the content was more difficult then she expected – most of the font foundries/resellers do not post their statistics anywhere, and since there were duplicates of a lot of fonts across the resellers, it wasn’t possible to just add them all together to get the total number of fonts available on the web. She ended up deciding that the font resellers with the largest font collections were sufficiently large sample sizes to make assumptions about the type available on the web, and was able to piece a lot of information together that way.

Unfortunately, as Meghan only had a week to create the entire infographic, it is marred by a couple of errors. She regrets that despite a lot of spell checking and extra sets of eyes, there are some embarrassing typos (Bidoni instead of Bodon, Calson instead of Caslon…). However I applaud her effort in designing such a sprawling infographic that manages to be informative on an entry level without becoming overwhelming.

To design the infographic Meghan used the skyline sans Steelfish, Dan Rhatigan’s low-contrast slab serif webfont Copse, Numbers, the classics Baskerville and Helvetica, the script-inspired sans serif Amaranth (which reminds me of Bree) and superstar designer / illustrator / letterer Jessica Hische’s curly script Buttermilk.

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  1. This has kept me glued to the screen for the last 10 minutes, some really interesting facts – Norway, the cheapest fonts, who’d have thought that?. Great Job Meghan, especially when you consider the time you had to do this.

    Posted by Tom on Mar. 8, 2012
  2. I love this information. I wish I could find it in a PDF that I could print out or add anchors to. I found in the “Industry Distribution of Webfont Integration Systems” graphic placed below “Typekit vs Fontface” that in the pie chart, “business” is listed twice at 22% and at 11%…I just wonder if one of those should have another label. Or perhaps this is related to Typekit vs Fontface but if so, then I suppose “Health” is split down the middle or an equally shared stat…not sure.

    Great graphic work and very interesting stats.

    Posted by Steve Horn on Mar. 8, 2012
  3. It is impressive in many respects; but some of it makes no sense. The ‘Average Number of Glyphs’ section shown above is a case in point — how can the average typeface family have a number which is less than double that of a single typeface?!

    Anomalies like that undermine the project’s credibility, I’m afraid.

    Posted by RTaylor on Mar. 8, 2012
  4. @RTaylor: it’s kind of obvious that those numbers count how many different glyphs are present in a face/family, not every occurrence of them (ie, a family with just the lowercase english alphabet in 10 styles counts 26 different glyphs, not 260).

    Posted by rcc on Mar. 12, 2012
  5. I wish I could Find A PDF of this would love to print it and hang it on my wall.

    Posted by Troy on Mar. 12, 2012
  6. Meghan Robichaud you are my heroe today!!! What a beautiful design. I was looking and looking for a “buy the poster NOW” button… I can see this easily here in my office wall.

    I am most impressed also by the amount of research and data collected.

    Meg, you had me at “Hello”… ; )

    On another note: the facts are incredible… that good dog font the most downloaded.. OMG…

    Posted by Tatiana Hindes on Mar. 13, 2012
  7. @rcc: No.

    Firstly, the letter /a/ in Light is a different glyph from /a/ in Bold.

    Secondly, if what you say were true, that would mean the average typeface family would contain the same number of glyphs as a single typeface. So the stats quoted would still be wrong.

    Posted by RTaylor on Mar. 15, 2012
  8. What a beautiful infographic!

    Posted by Stig Bratvold on Mar. 25, 2012

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