Chicago-based designer Kira Crugnale’s typographic work is nuanced — her compositions range from frenetic hand-illustrated lockups to classic, airy composition perfect for upscale branding projects.

This malleable voice allows Kira’s design acumen to easily adapt to the challenge at hand — a skill perhaps forged by her experience in other complementary visual mediums. A student of photography at Ryerson University, she graduated in 2011 and began her career as an in-house photographer for fashion brands and publications — currently she finds herself as a senior designer at VSA Partners. In addition to agency life, Kira is also founder of Sidewinder Co, a brand of desert-inspired design goods that utilize typography and illustration to make their mark.

In this issue of My Favorite Five we learn about some those type families Kira personally vouches for, as well as insights into her design ethos and a look at some of her favorite projects. Read on!

Kira’s Favorite Five Typefaces



Typeface family of 10 weights

Check out Gentleman

“I was introduced to this typeface fairly early on in my career and it has been a go-to ever since. The thinner weights like ExtraLight and Book make for super modern body copy, while Medium to Black create headlines that cannot be topped. These fonts can take a beating, so throw a skew or a stroke on ’em for some customization if you’re in a pinch.”

ITC Serif Gothicâ„¢


Typeface family of six weights

Check out ITC Serif Gothic

“The ITC Serif Gothic family is one of those typefaces that just sort of speaks for itself. Its unique letterforms make it perfect for pulling apart and putting back together, but I’ll always be a sucker for a sentence-case headline in Bold or Black. Full disclosure: I once made a t-shirt using this font and I pretty much never take it off.”

Sauber Script


Typeface family of one weight

Check out Sauber Script

“Every designer needs a script behind her (or him) and the Sauber Script design is one of my absolute favorites. It’s super unfussy and surprisingly customizable — not to mention the organic, nearly mono-line form makes it easy to create your own swashes or more traditional feeling descenders.”



Typeface family of six weights

Check out Eskapade

“Escapade Fraktur is one of the most unique fonts I’ve had the pleasure of stumbling upon in the last few years. It might be blackletter, but it is entirely legible in both lower and upper case which makes it perfect for nearly any project. It even comes with a set of calligraphic style glyphs if you’re looking for a little extra-oomph (or a drop cap or three).”

Modesto Text


Typeface family of six weights

Check out Modesto Text

“One of the only serifs I ever work with, the Modesto Text family has this incredible way of feeling old-world sophisticated and laid-back modern all at once. While its lighter weights make for super legible body copy, there’s nothing quite like an outlined, uppercase headline in the Medium weight. As with most of my favorite fonts, it’s extremely easy to push and pull, making it a great option for more custom pieces like logos and branding elements.”


Kira’s Work


“Earlier this year I was invited to take part in Type Hike’s second exhibition: Shores. The Indiana Dunes hold a special place in my heart so it was an absolute no-brainer to choose this location for my submission. Not to mention, all of the proceeds from their sales go directly to the preservation and protection of our National Parks.”


“One of my favorite branding projects to-date, I had the pleasure of working with Erika Duran of Eradura to create a logo suited to her southwestern roots.”


“Whenever possible I love taking on projects for causes I truly believe in — like One Tail at a Time: a Chicago-based shelter advocating for the rescue and adoption of dogs in need. For this project I was tasked with creating a line of merchandise to help fundraise for one of their oldest residents: Miguel. A patch-eyed pit bull who I’m happy to say was finally adopted last month!”


“Yet another design for a cause. This time around, I got to work with copywriter extraordinaire Lisa Plachy to create a set of protest posters for the 2017 March for Science. These posters were free to download at”


“After my first visit to the Sonoran Desert in 2015 I was inspired to create a line of ‘desert-inspired dry goods’ under the name Sidewinder Goods. To this day, the company is still going strong and has even gained a partner! Above is a small collection of my favorite Sidewinder products, designed by yours truly.”


Where to find Kira


Find Kira online at her portfolio site, on Instagram and on Dribbble.


Kira’s Go-To Type Tip

“Don’t be afraid to push a letter to its limit. While it’s important to get to know what you can and can’t achieve with a certain font, there is absolutely no harm in playing around with your effects until you get to a place that you’re happy with. Arc, Bulge, Flag, Rise. Command-Z is your friend.”


Get your mits on some merch!


Be sure to check out Sidewinder Co., one of Kira’s projects with designer Mike Domzalski. Their collection of illustrative pins, patches, bags, and apparel strives to, in their words, “appeal to the desert dweller in all of us.” Go take a look at their designs now, and pick up some loot!


We want to know what you think

How do you like My Favorite Five so far? Who would you like to see featured? Interested in being featured yourself? Get in touch at [email protected] and let us know. And while you’re tweeting, use hashtag #MyFavoriteFive to let the world know what your favorite five go-to typefaces are. Stay tuned for our next issue!