The earliest serifs came from Italy in the 1400s as a way to set type apart from the blackletter writing style of traditional illuminated blocks, making the serif almost as old as movable type itself. At the time, they were called Venetian or Garalde – calling them serif or serifed fonts came in to distinguish them from sans serif type.
Rick Banks’ iconic modern classic is another on this list which takes Didot’s font designs to new places and new heights. Given the TDC Tokyo Award, F37 Bella has actually been improved since then with the addition of new alternates. This spectacular serif was joined recently by a sans serif cousin, F37 Bolton, and together they make an extremely flexible duo of the kind you find new reasons to use.
The idiosyncratic design of this beautiful slab-serif font is designed to give the impression of a child’s journey into adulthood, blossoming through thin, low weights until it reaches an impressive peak, with the thick slabs adding impact at every level. Like a lot of the fonts from the Polish Dada Studio, this glows with personality and can easily help bring that same character out of your writing.
Few other fonts can match this one for a mix of energy and character. Drawing on Didot, Bodoni, and other masters of the form, the vivacity of this Argentinian type explodes off the page or screen. It’s hard not to be swept along in the playful style, yet Reina can be useful for lighthearted but formal work too. The font family contains twelve varieties including some stunning decorative pieces – this font is flexible!
There are few fonts that scale as well as Glosa. Intended for editorial purposes and perfect for any project where font sizes may vary from section to section – newspapers with magazine supplements, magazines, and many news-driven websites spring to mind – Glosa retains legibility at very small sizes while creating a delicate atmosphere, but in large print has an understated power behind its elegance. There are eight weights in this family to provide even more options.
With roots deep in the Garalde era of serif, Carrig still provides a distinctive twist on the style, creating its own look while seeming altogether familiar. Particularly notable is the alternate bullet point which enhances the ‘prestige’ appeal of this elegant modern classic.