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Proxima Nova Webfont in Focus

Foundry’s Description

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Editor’s Notes

Of the commercially licensed webfonts (as opposed to freeware or system fonts) Proxima Nova is by a clear distance the most prolifically used typeface on the web. In part, this is due to its early availability for web licensing via the Typekit platform, but it continues to be extremely popular whether offered as part of subscription packages like Typekit’s or Fonts.com’s, or sold as a single purchase license – it’s been the top seller at MyFonts since self-hosted webfonts became available there at the beginning of 2011.

But its sustained success has outlived that of some of its contemporaries for a number of reasons. Stylistically, it’s very neutral. Museo, which was the defining typeface of the early days of webfonts thanks to its designer offering the regular weight for free, made a far greater visual stamp on the sites it was used on but hasn’t survived as strongly as Proxima Nova. Museo’s more overt visual character seems to have caused web designers to grow bored with its ubiquity. Proxima Nova doesn’t have that problem; it’s achieved widespread adoption but mainly as a typeface for setting longer paragraph texts, where its taller x-height and plainer, geometric character make it a more attractive choice than the default sans serif system fonts.

Proxima Nova is best suited for paragraph settings, but we do have several examples of its heavier weights making impressively substantial headlines. All in all, this is an extremely robust, adaptable and multi-functional if rather neutral and unspectacular typeface family suited for a wide range of applications.

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About Proxima Nova

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