Greek typefaces worth studying

In addition to the historical examples illustrated in the publications listed elsewhere in this section, it is worth studying good examples. My list below is not exhaustive, and is only focused on text-intensive typefaces. (Don’t get all worked up about the typefaces on the list: each one listed may have unresolved issues, just as many good ones may not be listed. This is, after all, an introductory list. Also, I only include work I know in detail.)

  • Start with the Didot Greeks, which defined the contemporary modulated-stroke style (converted into Monotype Series 90); and

  • the Monotype hot metal monoline / low contrast Greeks, which were models for Greek adaptations of Latin sans serifs

I omit on purpose the first batch of phototypesetting Greek typefaces, which were intentionally “Latinised”. Contemporary digital typefaces to look at:

  • the ClearType family: the Greeks in all are good enough, but Gary Munch’s Candara is a superb example of fresh thinking.

  • Robert Slimbach’s modulated Greeks: Garamond Premiere Pro offers a re-interpretation of a historical standard; Arno Pro, a versatile update of a calligraphy-inspired family, and the relatively new Adobe Text Pro (which always makes me think “This is what Times Greek should look like!”).

  • Jeremy Tankard’s Greek typefaces: his Bliss Pro (as well as the CT Corbel) are exemplary low-modulation Greeks.

  • Frantisek Storm’s Anselm Sans Pro and Anselm Serif Pro show a successful adaptation of Greek to a very eclectic style.

  • Peter Bilak’s Fedra Greeks (the family is massive, and in the serif styles I strongly prefer Serif B over A). The extensive weights and styles of Fedra have made it extremely popular within Greece in recent years, mostly in newspapers and magazines.

  • Hoefler & Frere-Jones’ Whitney Greek, a very good example of a Greek extension to a successful Latin family

  • Jovica Veljovic’s Agmena Pro, an exceptional adaptation of traditional styles to contemporary typographic needs, with an innovative take on writing-inspired ligatures.

Last but not least, John Hudson’s SBL Greek is probably the best updating of the traditional Didot style, with a twist. It has a massive character set, but unfortunately only one weight. It is a free download from the SBL site.

There have been some very good custom jobs, like the Vodafone Greek corporate typeface done a few years back by DaltonMaag (unfortunately the site does not show the Greek portion of the job) and the localised Cheltenham for the Greek edition of the New York Times (not easily seen online, if you don’t know Greek). Others are similarly difficult to see.

Update late 2015

Notable recent Greek typefaces that are good examples, two by Irene Vlachou, and two by Toshi Omagari:

Type-Together Marco

• Typographies Colvert Greek

Type-Together Literata

Monotype Haas Unica Greek