Over the history of printing, a wide range of font types have been developed. You can see plenty of other ways to choose fonts on our categories page, but it’s worth asking why the most famous types are so important.
Sans-serif fonts were designed at first to create a clean-lined, simple font with as little ornamentation as possible. Over time they developed their own kind of elegant appeal, and now are also often used because most sans fonts match well to being read onscreen. You may also see them referred to as gothic or grotesque fonts. Over the history of printing, a wide range of font types have been developed. You can see plenty of other ways to choose fonts on our categories page, but it’s worth asking why the most famous types are so important.
The term serif refers to little flourishes attached to the end of a stroke. Often known as Roman fonts because Roman lettering was one of the first types to prominently feature these lines, these became popular with printers as the serifs helped make the text clearer and easier to read in print.
Slab-serif fonts typically have a weight and impact to them that can’t easily be duplicated by other typefaces. As the name suggests, a slab-serif font adds extra weight to or extends each letter’s serifs, creating a stronger, bolder impression. They’re also much more likely to make the serif ornamental in style. Slab serif fonts are often at their best in strong, bold weights, and are often used for posters and in small print due to their clear design.
There’s an incredibly wide range of script fonts – just browse our selection and see how varied they become – because the concept of the script font is based on something extremely wide-ranging; human cursive handwriting. There are very casual and beautifully ornate options, with something for everyone.
Blackletter fonts echo a classic, Gothic style of typeface adopted by early Germanic operators of the printing press, designed to reflect the heavily ornate style of handwriting which was prevalent at the time. They give an instant archaic effect to any text, as well as being highly decorative.
There are two types of mono font; monospace and monoline. What they have in common is that both are designed to keep something constant; monospace fonts make sure that all letters occupy roughly the same space (which is why all typewriter-style retro fonts are monospace) while monoline fonts use lines that are always of the same thickness (common in sans-serif fonts).
Hand-drawn fonts have a beautiful, organic quality to them as each is initially created by painstaking work in drawing letters and alternates. They allow font designers room to play with concepts.
Some of the most spectacular fonts of all are decorative fonts, where the gloves are truly off to allow for wider creativity. Designed with a certain ornamental beauty in mind, decorative fonts put form over function but remain fully functional. Well worth having at least one of in your font toolbox.