Introducing Font Faves, a new blog series

Cathy ZielskeScrapbooking53 Comments | font faves | font faves
Someone left a comment last week asking, “Cathy, what are some of your favorite fonts? Do you have a blog post that covers that?” and my answer was, “No, but that’s a really great idea.” Ergo, a new blog series called CZ Font Faves. My goal with each post is to highlight a favorite font, maybe give a little history on it and definitely show you ways I’ve used it. Many of my favorites are old standards that I’ve used for years. But I’m also going to seek out cool new fonts and share those here as well. Should we get started? One old favorite and one new find. Here we go. | font faves
Hello Avenir.

I wish I could remember the first time I laid eyes on this font. I’m sure it was in the early 1990s, when I was working as a lowly designer for a debt collection trade association. Or maybe it was later, during my brief but glorious stint as a senior designer at the Science Museum of Minnesota, but I can tell you this: I knew it was the one font I would take with me to a deserted island so I could live out the rest of my days in typographic bliss.

Created by Swiss designer Adrian Frutiger in 1988, Avenir is a sans serif font and is quite simply a perfect typeface. It’s modern without being too trendy. It’s minimal without being boring. It lends itself to both titles and journaling. I personally use this font more than any I own. I love it so much that a variation of it—Avenir Next—is the font used in my 2014 brand overhaul. You’ll see it in my CZ Design packaging, branding and class materials.

I’m sure a renowned type designer like Frutiger never imagined his typefaces would grace the pages of a middle aged scrapbooker, but there you go. I go to this typeface time and again for its versatility and it’s ability to communicate a story without drawing too much attention to itself. Therein lies the beauty of typography. It doesn’t have to hit you over the head.

Here are a few pages featuring Avenir. | font faves
USAGE: title and journaling. Want instant font harmony on a page? Use just one font for the title and the journaling. (Layout template here.) | font faves
USAGE: journaling. Avenir is such a great story font. Here I used Avenir Roman (my go-to choice for journaling) and it balances nicely with the funkier Helvetica Rounded Condensed in the title. (Layout template here.)

USAGE: journaling. When I have a long story to tell, I like how easy Avenir is to read. Of course, a generous leading—the space between lines—and breaking the text into two columns definitely helps boost that readability. (Also, I haven’t read this page in years and I’m sorry, but… damn, that’s some good memory keeping.) | font faves
USAGE: journaling. Here I used another font—Interstate Bold Compressed—to create these journal cards. (Layout template here.) Avenir creates a non-attention grabbing compliment to the font on the cards.

So that’s my font fave for this edition. Now for a fun new font find. | font faves
Hello Perfograma.

How fun is this font? Now I’m not usually smitten by display fonts. Display fonts are your more decorative typefaces; they’re fun, a bit dramatic and occasionally a bit over the top. But used in small amounts, that can be really cool, especially for things like scrapbooking page titles.

Perfograma is free, too! So go download and make something fun with it. Just don’t use it to journal, deal?

Well, that felt pretty good. I’ve got many more font faves to share over the coming months, so stay tuned.



Cathy ZielskeIntroducing Font Faves, a new blog series

53 Comments on “Introducing Font Faves, a new blog series”

  1. #1

    Thanks for sharing the fonts that you use. I love your clean, simple lines in your layouts.
    When I went to their website, they seemed to have a lot of choices for the “Avenir” font (light, book, roman, medium, heavy, black) and different price points. Which “Avenir” font do you use the most? Thanks.

    1. #1.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Book and Roman. Either I use for journaling AND for titles, because they look great large, too. If I had to buy one, it would probably be Book. Although, if you look at the very first font sample I created at the top of the post, that big ‘avenir’ in orange is Avenir Light. That just shows you how it feels substantial the larger it gets.

  2. #5

    I LOVE your blog. Have been reading it for years although I haven’t scrapbooked in at least 2 years. Reading this post and looking at your pages made me itch to sit down and do some scrapbooking. right.this.minute. Of course, I’m at work so I can’t. But now I have to find some time to fit some in. You’ve inspired me. Thank you!

  3. #6

    Looking forward to this as I am a font fanatic myself. I appreciate the free ones. Do you organize your fonts and if so any helps or hints before they take over my computer and memory. Thanks!

    1. #6.1
      Cathy Zielske

      This could be a post for another day. My system is far from perfect. And I have a ginormous hard drive so memory for me is not an issue. I’ll definitely compile some info for this going forward!

  4. #7

    I love fonts. Still in a big learning curve on how and when to use which with what. I shall follow this blog as I have learnt so much todY reading this. Off to download these fonts now. Thanks Cathy.

  5. #8

    I’ve been following you since the kids were knee high to a grasshopper and I have always loved your use of fonts! I always have wondered what they are and what you have (almost like looking into your stash of scrapbooking supplies). Guess I’m going to have to breakdown and buy Avenir!

    1. #8.1
      Cathy Zielske

      I will be sharing my faves that are both ones you have to buy but also ones that are free, too! 🙂 A nice mix with emerge with this series.

  6. #10

    Thank you for sharing this. I love your blog and pages, the clean look. Be sure to share fonts that are no-no too please, if there are any of those. Thanks again.

  7. #13

    Just when I think I can’t possibly love your blog any more than I already do … BAM! You knock it out of the park. Thanks, CZ! Looking forward to this series. 🙂

  8. #14

    Love it, love it, love it! That is the font used in the logo for the company I work for. As a graphic designer too, I have a ton of fonts but always want more! It is kind of a sickness. LOL 🙂 Also, very interesting that you were in Africa. Looking forward to more surprising blog posts.
    Patti 🙂

  9. #16
    Helen High

    From one font obsessed person to another, thank you for starting this blog series. This is going to be fun!!

  10. #17

    Another home run of a series. Now if I could just find the font and format for a baby days remembered

  11. #18
    Michelle t

    Loved seeing and reading your layouts, since I’ve not been here very long. I love learning new things and will really appreciate this series. Thanks. Michelle t. Ps…neat stories on your layouts.

  12. #21
    Kathleen S.

    Wonderful series! Can’t wait for the next post. And hope a post on organizing fonts is just around your creative corner. Thanks!

  13. #22

    I’m going to love this series. I have a rather large collection of fonts on my computer. Thanks Cathy!

  14. #23

    Just wanted to say I love discovering new fonts and remembering why I liked others. I am teaching a college course on rhetoric and design and will share these font stories with my students. Awesome new series! Love, love it.

  15. #27

    Bless your heart for doing this!
    I’m in the middle of trying to “refresh”my blog, and a font change-up is high on my priority list, but I STINK at choosing fonts. You officially just made my girl-crush on you, even bigger 😉

  16. #29
    Jenny B.

    Yay! Great series idea! 🙂 I was so happy when I finally made the switch to Mac, and there waiting for me was what I knew to be one of “the” Cathy Zielske’s go-to fonts! 🙂 Now if only Archer was free… 😉

  17. #30

    I love this new series! Your book was what made me interested in fonts. I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of fonts you feature.
    On another note, your Liberia page is wonderful. It reminds me of a “I Remember” page I did of my grandma after she died. It’s such a personal page. Very therapeutic.

  18. #32

    I’m glad you specified NOT to use the decorative font for journaling. I cringe when I see examples online of people making really bad font choices for journaling.

  19. #33

    Hi Cathy

    Thanks for this lovely post. If I may ask, how do you store your hybrid pages? Do you keep them in protectors? Does it fit? Or do you punch holes in them and put them in an album? I love your pages, and am so inspired, but don’t know what is the best way to keep these pages.

    Thank you,

  20. #36

    Love this series Cathy!! I DL’d several that you’ve used in Project Life before and will not be added these to my collection. THANK YOU! (I’m still loving the Halloween Bumble Bee outfit so much — and even though Halloween is over, I bet you secretly wear it on any given day around the house, just buzzin and vacuuming…. or drinking coffee…. or wine. heehee!)

  21. #37

    ** now
    I will NOW be adding these to my collection
    (goodness me, not enough coffee in this body yet this morning!)

  22. #39

    This is an AWESOME blog feature Cathy! I am not super font savy – although I learned a LOT when I took Design Your Life back in ’08 (have I mentioned that you should do a re-vamp of that course so that more people’s scrapbooking can be COMPLETELY transformed by your awesome design advice??). So I am totally digging the idea of having you present some specific fonts along with examples of how to use them well. I don’t do a lot of typed journalling because I’m lazy and handwriting is simple faster and easier for me, but when I do take the time to type my journalling for a longer story, I want it to look good! Thanks again!

  23. #40

    I knew that I should use Avenir. Because you told me that long ago. Then Avenir came on my new Mac and there were SO MANY avenirs that I was totally confused. (I know, stupid, right?) Anyway, I was so interested to read this!! Again, you put my mind at ease and I can move forward. Thank you.

  24. #42

    Great series coming up based on the pilot. I am finding I’m using a handful of favourite fonts thanks to your typography class a while back. Look forward to seeing more in this series.

    …, what I *really* want to know… why were you in Africa? ??!

  25. #43
    Christine (A&M Momma)

    So happy you will be doing a blog series on fonts. I struggle with choosing fonts for my hybrid and digital pages. I’ve often thought of asking you for your recommendations! I would love to learn more about organizing and choosing sizes. I have a tendency to choose too big or too small. Thanks for sharing your expertise on this topic.

  26. #44
    Missus Wookie

    I have Avenir because you recommended it in one of your classes. I do use it regularly for journalling. I often use the same font what title and journalling and remember you explaining that theory along with equal margins when I do so. Always makes me smile!

  27. #45

    I was the person that asked for this- yay! Thank you for fulfilling my request.

    I wish YOU could be a font, Cathy. I would download the crap out of you!

    (That really isn’t supposed to be creepy, it’s supposed to be cute. Did it translate?)


  28. #46
    Cathy Zielske

    Ha! Hey Laura, yes! You inspired the series. Which reminds me… I need to do another post!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *