Sometimes breaking the ‘rules’ not only works, but works well.
The ‘Rule of three’ which suggests that no more than three typeface families should be used in any document is often widely quoted. This seems to be a piece of advice in the spirit of the desultory modern minimalist attitude that is to be encountered everywhere these days, and not something that we personally generally hold with.
Yesterday, we happened on a rather triumphant (we think) example of breaking this rule. This was the dust jacket of Ian Samson’s “Paper: An Elegy” (HarperCollins, 2012). We think we’ve identified seven different typeface families here, but it all works beautifully, in the manner of 19th century music hall and theatre posters.
Incidentally, one of those typefaces is a member of our very own ‘Bromwich’ family…