As a freelance web and graphic designer, I know how crucial it is to know the basics of typography in design.
The right font can make all the difference in giving a project a professional look, and a unique and engaging feel.
In this article, I’ll take you on a journey into the world of typography, exploring the 5 key fonts that every creative should know.
Whether you are just starting out, or are an established graphic designer, my goal is to inspire you to improve your design skills and create visually stunning and engaging designs!
What are the 5 types of font?
Here are the 5 main types of fonts and how to use them to brand identity designs.
1. Serif fonts
Let’s start with the first point right away and talk about the main types of fonts called serifs, which have a unique quality that can add a touch of timeless grace to any design.
The delicate thin and thick strokes called “graces” that decorate each letter of a Serif font add a harmonious flow between the characters, creating a sense of refinement and elegance.
Serif fonts are perfect for formal invitations, printed materials, book covers, or magazine layouts, as they catch the eye and evoke a refined beauty.
If you want to make your text stand out, consider incorporating a serif font to give your words a classic, unique, and engaging appeal.
Serif Types of Fonts
- Old-style serifs: A serif font called “old-style” is for a design with an atmosphere of years gone by, and who better to represent the past than a beautiful serif font?
- Slab serif fonts: Slab serif fonts are a type of serif font characterized by thick, block-like serifs. The slab serifs end can be beveled and angular.
- Transitional serif fonts: called transitional serifs are those that combine the features of old-style serifs, with the elements of “Didones” (drawn forms).
- Traditional designs: Serif fonts are perfect for creating a formal aesthetic to design projects.
- Print materials: as in the past, serif fonts are still commonly used in print materials such as brochures, flyers, and posters.
- Newspapers and magazines: over time, serif fonts have always been widely used in newspapers and magazines because of their readability.
- The book covers: serif fonts also add a touch of elegance and sophistication to book cover designs.
- Brand and logo designs: serif fonts can convey a sense of confidence, elegance, and reliability in a logo design.
- Titles and subtitles: Serif fonts are often used for titles and subtitles in both print and digital design.
We can find many elegant serif fonts to choose from, but my primary font is still the peerless Times New Roman – do you agree with me?
It has a timeless appeal! The only thing is that it is widely used, so my advice is to do a bit of research to find more, which is why I am providing you with 5 other outstanding serif fonts:
My personal experience
As you can see from other blog posts, I have a real passion for fonts, and serifs have always been under the magnifying glass for me.
One of my best personal experiences with Serif fonts was when I designed a book cover for a client, using a classic and refined Serif font.
In my opinion, serif fonts give a refined, upscale feel, while the expertly crafted letterforms enhance the readability of the title and author’s name.
Would you like to learn more about the wonderful art that is typography? Then I recommend you join Ellen Lupton, a renowned graphic designer with more than 30 years of experience, and discover the secrets of fusing visual elements with the power of language.
Through her experience and impressive body of work, including bestselling books such as Design is Storytelling and Thinking with Type, Ellen has mastered the art of storytelling through typography.
In this Typography Design for Brand Storytelling course, Ellen will guide you through the process of building brand identities using typography, exploring the interplay between colors, textures, words, and images.
Try Envato Elements
Best font marketplace overall (Editor’s Choice)
Another thing I want to recommend is to check out my favorite platform for choosing fonts, such as a quality script font, which is Envato Elements.
Envato Elements offers a huge library of high-quality fonts, from cursive fonts to grotesque fonts, made by professional designers to help you bring your typographic projects to life.
With a single subscription, you get unlimited access to a wealth of creative resources such as fonts, templates, graphics, and photos!
Get started with Envato Elements.
2. Sans Serif fonts
Sans Serif fonts are the second font type on this list, and in addition to their clean, elegant, and modern aesthetic, they offer simplicity and readability that lend a modern, clean, and innovative style to any design.
To be honest, in my opinion, Sans Serif typefaces reflect an unparalleled elegance and minimalism that you can hardly resist, can you?
Sans Serif fonts are perfect for use, especially in the field of branding and logo design, and in the field of web design, either as headers or as body text.
In addition, Sans Serif fonts, due to the fact that they are highly readable and very clean, are considered the perfect fonts for digital projects.
Sans serif Types of fonts
- Geometric sans serif fonts: Geometric sans serifs are a certain genre classification of typefaces, which represented more thick and thin strokes, squared and formed forms.
- Grotesque sans serif fonts: Grotesque sans serifs are typefaces that originated in the 19th century and are precisely the first form of sans serif typeface to appear.
- Humanist sans serif fonts: Humanistic sans serifs are another classification of typefaces, which are inspired by Roman and Carolingian humanistic styles, and include forms that refer to the stroke of a pen, which is why they are called “humanists.”
- Web Fonts for App Design: Sans Serif font types are perfect for digital platforms and websites, offering clarity and readability on screens.
- Fashion & Magazines: Ideal for contemporary projects in many areas that focus on a clean, minimalist aesthetic.
- Modern Branding: Sans Serifs are suitable for innovative, minimal branding to create a sleek, professional image.
- Headlines and headers: Sans Serif font types are a great choice for headlines, subheadings, and short blocks of text, adding emphasis and impact.
- Font pairing: Works well in combination with serif fonts, creating a harmonious contrast in typographic design.
If you are looking for popular sans-serif fonts that have a flawless design, of course, you should definitely check out Helvetica.
This versatile, evergreen font family has been a favorite of top designers for years, lending a clean, modern look to everything from print projects to online content.
In addition to this sans serif font, you can explore other fonts – for example free Google fonts – many of which take their very cues from Helvetica, such as:
My personal experience
Throughout my design journey, Sans Serif fonts are something I can never do without. There is a certain charisma about these fonts that is hard to ignore.
Personally, I find Sans Serif fonts perfect for most projects, as they bring clarity, simplicity, and pure minimalism – my personal favorite.
Attend Typography that works
I recommend another typography course, called “Typography that works“, that allows you to unlock your skills in using typefaces and helps you master the art of creating design compositions using fonts.
With each class, you will gain valuable tips and practical techniques for communicating messages most effectively through the use of typography.
Try Design Cuts
Best marketplace for fonts
The second tool I feel like recommending is Design Cuts – which is more than just a font marketplace-it is a community of designers and creatives from around the world.
Curated by industry experts, Design Cuts has a collection of high-quality fonts that caters to lovers of classic elegance and minimalism.
I can say that Design Cuts is the platform of choice for typographic design and a must for anyone who wants to be on the cutting edge.
Get started with Design Cuts.
3. Script fonts
We have arrived at the third font type on this list: welcome to the world of Script fonts, which effortlessly capture the elegance and fluidity of handwriting.
With cursive-like strokes and varying thicknesses, a formal Script font mimics the art of calligraphy, lending grace and refinement to typography.
Whether you’re in the process of creating a design for wedding invitations, greeting cards, or even a new logo design, casual Script fonts offer endless possibilities for adding flair and beauty.
Script Types of fonts
- Handwritten fonts: Handwritten calligraphy is a genre classification of typefaces: those that resemble a handwritten style.
- Cursive fonts: Cursive is a style of writing, dating back to the 16th century, designed to make handwriting faster and more pleasing.
- Calligraphic scripts: Calligraphic fonts are among the most elegant and reminiscent of handwriting and are often drawn with flat-tipped pens or brushes.
- Create a sense of elegance and sophistication in wedding invitations.
- Add a touch of femininity to feminine-oriented branding materials.
- Convey informality and playfulness in greeting cards and personal stationery.
- Enhance the artistic and creative feel of logo designs.
- Bring a handwritten and personal touch to social media graphics and blog headers.
Script fonts represent the purity of design, and provide an output of elegance and sophistication in design projects, thanks to their characteristic flowing and cursive strokes.
To help you harness the potential of a Script typeface, I offer below 5 best Script fonts that I love, and that are worth considering (find them on Google Fonts and Envato Elements):
My personal experience
As I have told you before, these different font families of Script fonts have the power to add elegance, charm, and a touch of personalization to any design project.
Throughout my journey as a designer, I have had the pleasure of working with several Script fonts and seeing their ability to evoke emotion and create a unique visual experience.
Have you ever wondered about the complexities behind creating a distinctive brand identity? The efforts go far beyond creating a logo!
It is also and more importantly about combining many other factors to create a unique concept and accompanying graphics that embody the essence of the brand.
Daniel Barba López, an expert with over 8 years of experience developing brand identities for big names like VANS and Sony Music, will guide you in this Typography Customization for Logo Design course on how to create an original logo using a modified typeface.
Best tool for Beginners Graphic designers
Read my full Canva Review.
If you are relatively new to the world of design and are looking for a design tool that empowers even non-designers, I recommend trying Canva.
With its easy-to-use interface, it will take very little for you to learn how to use it, and in typography, it’s a great choice for quick designs, given its extensive library of decorative fonts, slab serif fonts, handwritten fonts, and much more, that make typographic design accessible to everyone.
Get started with Canva.
4. Display fonts
Display fonts are specially designed to be eye-catching and full of unique personality, with bold shapes, intricate details, and exaggerated proportions that break away from traditional fonts.
Need to jazz up your design? Display fonts are perfect for standing out, such as for a website header or poster design.
Precisely because they are designed to attract attention, their style is unique, bold, large, and distinctive, and as a result, they have an immediate impact and allow you to create a truly memorable visual experience.
Display Types of fonts
- Decorative fonts: Decorative typefaces, counted in the display category, are the richest in uniqueness, as they are highly decorated font versions of sans serif, serif, script, and other font styles.
- Modern fonts: Modern is the term used to classify fonts created around the 18th century and in the style of that period. They are recognizable by their subtle design; I classify them in displays, but there are also modern serifs.
- Ideal for creating eye-catching headlines that demand attention.
- Perfect for designing attention-grabbing logos that make a strong visual statement.
- Great for emphasizing key messages or important information in a design.
- Suitable for creating striking display banners, posters, or billboards.
- Adds a touch of creativity and uniqueness to any design project.
These Display typefaces are specially created to catch the eye with their bold shapes and very large sizes, perfect for emphasizing key messages.
Let’s now explore some of the best Display fonts that are sure to make your projects distinct and eye-catching:
My personal experience
If you want to give your design a boost and make it stand out, or you want your messages to be conveyed in an effective and punchy way, then Display fonts are the right ones for you, because they grab attention right away. and experimenting with them has enriched my design journey tremendously.
Experimenting with them in my designs, especially in poster design, has greatly enriched my journey as a graphic designer, and I’ve really used them for everything from headlines to logos, leaving a lasting impression.
Try Decorative fonts
As mentioned often in our Desircle blog, I always recommend evaluating the Envato Elements platform, which offers a plethora of fonts at a very affordable price indeed-the quality is absolutely worth the small expense.
In the section dedicated to decorative fonts, you will find the best decorative fonts, among tons of different fonts, such as geometric sans serif fonts, handwritten fonts, grotesque sans serif fonts, serif font styles, sans serif font styles, and much more!
Download your new decorative font
5. Monospaced fonts
Using monospaced typefaces can take your project to the next level of organization: typography critics agree that a monospaced font family is the best choice for creating a structured, uncluttered look with equal spaces between each letter and symbol.
These fonts offer consistency, precision, and a typewriter-like aesthetic, making them an ideal choice for coding projects.
Let’s explore monospaced fonts and discover how their distinctive style can elevate your design vision and bring it to life.
Monospaced Types of fonts
- Typewriter fonts: These different fonts were initially created for typewriters and were later adapted for use as a computer font.
- Programming fonts: The font used for software development is called a monospace font. In this typeface classification, each character occupies the same amount of space.
- Coding and programming: due to the constant width of the characters, which makes the code more readable and organized, they are often used by programmers.
- Technical documents: Monospaced font types are often used in technical documents, such as user manuals and instructions, to improve clarity and ensure accurate alignment.
- Data visualization: these different font styles are important for representing tabular data and aligning columns.
- Legal documents: these fonts are also commonly used in legal documents, such as contracts and agreements, to ensure uniformity and legibility of text.
- Typewriter: finally, these font types are often chosen to evoke a retro or vintage look of the typewriter.
Do you want a font with consistent character spacing and a structured appearance? Then you need to try monospaced fonts.
With an equal space for each character, these font types offer an orderly and systematic look to the text and are the weakness of coders and writers who like precise fonts.
And below, to conclude, I have gathered 5 of the best monospace fonts you should have in your library:
My personal experience
Working extensively as a web designer, I have come across Monospaced fonts more than a few times, and they have dramatically changed the way I design typography on the web.
Although more difficult to use than a Sans Serif, these fonts are a game changer when it comes to creating organized, clean, and structured designs.
They are my favorite when it comes to even spacing between each character because it adds order, make text more readable, and they are great for conveying complex information.
Try Monospaced fonts
Do you need a font for body text or titles for a new fresh website, that will please the eyes and make the design unique? So you should give monospaced fonts a try.
In this curated selection of Envato Elements, I’m sure you’ll find unique style fonts ready to get used for your next design project. Try to create font combinations using a monospace font of your choice, with a decorative font, or grotesque fonts!
Download your new monospace font
What is a font style?
A font style refers to the unique visual characteristics and design elements of a typeface, such as serif, sans-serif, script, or display.
How do I find different types of fonts?
You can find the different types of fonts by exploring online font libraries, using font identification tools, or seeking inspiration from design resources and websites.
How do I identify a font style?
You can identify a font style by analyzing its characteristics such as the shape of the letters, the presence or absence of serifs, and the overall design aesthetic.
What are 5 examples of font style?
Some examples of font styles are serif, sans-serif, script, display, and monospaced fonts. Some examples of font styles are Arial, Times New Roman, Helvetica, Calibri, and Courier.
- Best fonts overall
- Best cool fonts
- Best graphic design fonts
- Best luxury fonts
- Best minimalist fonts
- Best condensed fonts
- Best fonts for headers
- Best vintage fonts
And here we come to the conclusion, congratulations! You have taken the first step toward mastering typographic design.
By understanding the distinctive characteristics of different typefaces-serif, sans serif, script, display, and single-spaced-you can create visually appealing and impactful designs.
The fascinating subject of typography can make all the difference in the way a message is perceived by an audience.
Now is the time to start exploring, experimenting, and honing your typographic skills, visit the blog in the font section to see our top selections.