This January type fonts earned long overdue recognition as “designed objects” when the renowned Museum of Modern Art in New York City acquired 23 digital typefaces for its Architecture and Design Collection. Except for its acquisition of Helvetica, this is the first time typefaces made it into MoMA’s permanent collection.
This quiz is to see if you can name the 23 faces inducted into the MoMA permanent collection — and three more classic faces we added just to round out the alphabet. To help you along, we included a clue alongside the font letter, and can tell you that the type designers chosen for the MoMA collection are Wim Crouwel, Matthew Carter, Erik Spiekermann, Zuzana Licko, Jeffery Keedy, Erik van Blokland, Just van Rossum, Barry Deck, P. Scott Makela, Jonathan Hoefler, Neville Brody, Jonathan Barnbrook, Tobias Frere-Jones, and Albert-Jan Pool. Good luck! (Answers on next page.)
In announcing why it established a typography collection, MoMA stated: “Type design follows the history of object and building design throughout the centuries; it similarly reflects social developments, advances in materials and means of production, cultural biases, and technological progress. Just like the design of artifacts and buildings, in the past two centuries type design has grappled with the industrial revolution first, and the digital revolution later. Just like architecture and object design, type design has had Modernist and postmodernist phases; like other designers, type designers have felt the need to find new inspiration in traditional examples, in the vernacular, and in popular culture. Type is a design universe unto itself, an essential dimension in the history of modern art and design. Typefaces–the building blocks of information printed or displayed onscreen–are design in and of themselves, even before they are used.”