What’s This Font 1.0 – Esquire

Hey guys, so like many other graphic designers I’m a font nut and I like to know what is being used out there and if I can use it too. So for this first post of What’s this font, I will be exploring our friends at Esquire Magazine U.S. If you’ve ever wondered what font they are using, this is the place to look. Most of Esquire’s typefaces were custom made for the magazine though not all of them. You can find the ones that weren’t, online ,(they do cost a bit though but nothing particularly excessive for a font family).

The first one we’ll start with is Graphik (the font used on their cover) which can be bought through commercial type and was designed by Christian Schwartz in 2009. Esquire uses it on the cover and throughout the issue for categories like “Style”, “cars” and “MaHB” (Man at his best). It’s a very nice font, modern and bold,very easy to use as well as easy on the eyes.

The next one is Granger, which was commissioned by Esquire from Commercial Type. The name of the typeface was for their long-time editor in chief and was designed by Kai Bernau and Susana Carvalho. Granger is also used as one of their pillar typeface with Graphik throughout the issue and is quite prominent. Both those fonts stand very well together and bring the layouts together nicely.

Now the last one I’ll cover today I am not sure about. They use a condensed type on their cover which I would assume after digging around, is Giorgio Sans from Commercial Type. It’s a very nice typeface, lots of different weights, very modern and simple. It goes very nicely with Graphik and Granger, so nicely actually you almost don’t notice there’s a third type family on the cover.

I will keep updating this post as I get more info so stay tuned!


About joannabehar

Graphic Designer, hand-letterer, illustrator, wanderer, recovering nut butter addict.


  1. Love this kind of analysis. Now if only you could do some mind reading and see the thought process that went into each selection: Why Georgio instead of, say, Helvetica Condensed? Why retain the one line of Stag after the change to Graphik?

    • Well the font changes came with the redesign. Esquire has the chance of being able to get custom fonts and the process to create them must be great. Their covers have been standing out more and more in the past few years and they keep evolving in a very good way. This is a combination of not only amazing photography but great design. Giorgio is a beautiful typeface and you can’t compare it with Helvetica which is pretty much used everywhere. oh also, it’s probably misleading, but they didn’t retain stag, I just used it to write the date of the issue and show their previous typeface choice for covers for comparison =)

  2. Helvetica was just an example. Why Georgio in particular over any other sans serif? What characteristics of the font made it the designer’s choice?

    • Well I wouldn’t want to make something up. I don’t know their exact process, I know Giorgio Sans is a beautiful font and it was a very nice choice in this case, it works with, and complements very well the other typefaces.

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