Joshua Darden’s Freight

One of the more talked-about fonts of the last year, the Freight family does heavy lifting
48-point Freight Micro48-Point “Freight Micro”, one of the Freight superfamily by Joshua Darden

One of the more talked-about font debuts of the last year has been a family with a strange name–Frieght. But saying Freight is a “font family” is a little like saying that American Idol is “a TV Show” or Donald Trump is “a big businessman”–the description lowballs the reality just a bit.

Freight is, as a thing, sprawling. It comprises five different aspects with specifically designed variations, causing the whole collection to comprise, on its own over 120 individual fonts. There is something in this collection for just about everyone and almost every application:

  • Freight Text: Designed for extended reading in periodicals and data-intensive applications
  • Freight Sans: designed for text, signs, displays, and wayfinding
  • Freight Micro: A slab-serif, designed for what are termed “inclement” text conditions (which we read as small, tight spaces), though they think it looks pretty good big too (and so do we)
  • Fright Big: A titling face designed for section heads and headlines
  • Freight Display: Another titling face, designed with thicker hairlines than Freight Big, and useful in much the same way.

Not just this range, but the range of cases inside each variety include specifically-designed book, light, black, italic, medium, and bold versions (as well as small italics) or each variety. This font superfamily really does try to cover all needs and applications.

The surprise is that it does it so very well. Looking over the specimens we get the feeling of a design sens that respects its origins while coming off as an original take, sort of like type evolving. To our eyes, the slab serifs speak of a very light Clarendon without being a copy of it; the Sans combine something of the look and feel of Officina with the sensibility of Gill Sans, but again still being original. It’s generic, but in the good way.

There is a great deal of originality, and a classic respect, indicating deep design. John D. Berry, writing in his “dot-font” column on, had it exactly right when he said:

The Freight family is inspired by historic typefaces, though it could never be mistaken for a revival

Darden’s Freight may not be the universal solution, but it answers a great many needs with a good-looking and interesting panache. To view and purchase, either follow each one of the links in the list above or go to the Frieght family page at by following this link right here.