The periodic table of fonts

Screen Shot 2016-04-08 at 7.32.35 PM.png

Here, from a stable of tables courtesy of the Kuriositas website of oddities, is a periodic table of typefaces. This periodic table comes last in “Fun and Interesting Periodic Table Spin-Offs,” courtesy of the Save Best for Last Dept. A periodic table of fonts is doubly intriguing because a period table looks a little bit like a typewriter keyboard, adding a twist to the fun. Of course, unlike the letters of the alphabet, I am prejudiced against the sans-serif typefaces. But here is some of the thinking behind this table:

Like traditional periodic tables, families and classes of typefaces are grouped: script, sans-serif, realist, blackletter and more.  They are also given a ranking depending on the number of lists the typeface appeared on.  Interestingly, the creator’s favorites receive a special ranking on the table.

The table was created by Cam Wilde, whose favorites I am unable to grok because I do not understand a periodic table, not even the periodic table of the elements, which we all memorized in, what, seventh grade? I suppose the places of the most notable elements are where Wilde has placed his favorite fonts. Someone will have to decipher that for me.

The other periodic table parodies that appear before the typeface one are, in order from the top: Periodic Table of the Elements (with cartoon symbols), of Alcohol, of Wine Grape Varietals, of Herbs and Spices, and the Periodic Table of Game Controllers (the patterns of the buttons on remotes for Playstation, Nintendo, etc., can be grouped intelligently, it seems). They all have a degree of fun for various types of people – different strokes for different folks, ya know – who can probably also be grouped in a funny periodic table.

Visit, and know that you can bump up the size of the periodic tables on the site so that the fine print is readable.

About David Brussat

For a living, I edit the writing of some of the nation's leading architects, urbanists and design theorists. This blog was begun in 2009 as a feature of the Providence Journal, where I was on the editorial board and wrote a weekly column of architecture criticism for three decades. Architecture Here and There fights the style wars for classical architecture and against modern architecture, no holds barred. My freelance writing and editing on that topic and others addresses issues of design and culture locally and globally. I am a fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, and a member of the board of the New England chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, which bestowed an Arthur Ross Award on me in 2002. I work from Providence, R.I., where I live with my wife Victoria, my son Billy and our cat Gato. If you would like to invest your prose with even more style and clarity, please email me at my consultancy, dbrussat@gmail.com, or call 401.351.0457. Testimonial: "Your work is so wonderful - you now enter my mind and write what I would have written." - Nikos Salingaros, mathematician at the University of Texas, architectural theorist and author of many books.
This entry was posted in Architecture, Art and design, Books and Culture, Humor and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The periodic table of fonts

  1. popcrate says:

    this is awesome. i bet there is even make a periodic table of programming languages

    Like

  2. I don’t see Comic Sans on there anywhere. Thank god.

    Like

  3. A periodic table of spinoffs would be good too. Like All in the Family, Archie’s Place, Maude, The Jeffersons, and Good Times. Star Trek, Next Generation, movies, etc. Then overseas imports and exports like the UK Coupling and the horrible, horrible American version.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s