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The Complete Font Guide: Types of Fonts in Typography

by Campbell Jof Tweet - in Typography

The Complete Font Guide Types of Fonts in Typography

Last updated on May 1st, 2023

The world of typography is huge! Thanks to the thousands of new fonts added to a wide range of conventional ones over the years. Still, there are some basic types of fonts that most brands regularly use to create visual identities considering their target audiences. In this post, we have shared the complete font guide stating all types of innovative fonts in typography. Have a look.

Fonts are an inseparable part of most visuals that we see around in advertisements and other marketing materials across all platforms. In the bygone era of prints, the use of fonts was restricted to newspapers, magazines, books, pamphlets, and other printed matters. Today, digital screens have transformed the world of fonts dramatically.

But, the question arises: Why should all modern marketers pick fonts carefully? In short, what is the importance of choosing the right fonts?

Importance Of Choosing The Right Fonts

01. Express Your Brand Personality

Fonts play a key role in branding a business. You can use a particular font to showcase your brand personality. For instance, a business selling toys can use comic fonts in its business logos and marketing campaigns.

02. Build Brand Recognition

Consistent use of the same fonts helps your target audience to identify and recognize your brand. They can instantly identify your brand by just taking a glance at the fonts used in your logo and other visuals. A cleverly picked font and its consistency across all of a brand’s visuals are a way for your customers to build trust in your brand.

03. Influence Buying Decisions

Fonts have their own personality and they can make an impact on the potential customers of a brand. This, in turn, helps in influencing the buying decisions of customers. Many people make purchasing decisions based on the impact a brand makes through its visuals.

04. Hold The Attention

While the attention span of people today has decreased fast, typography, or the right type of fonts can be your tool to catch their eye. You can hold their attention when they are reading your blog or website pages with the choice of a legible font.

05. Allow For Scanning The Content

Picking the right type of font is also important for easier scanning of your website page content. The readers should be able to scan it easily. People mostly view websites in a certain pattern.

So, the right placing of a font for headlines, body text, and other content on the web page is essential. After you are convinced of why typography is so important to your brand, you should pick types of fonts carefully.

In the modern digital world, fonts are everywhere on the web. This is because every single ad and brand promotion is done mostly on digital platforms. This has also resulted in the creation of thousands of more fonts than ever before.

Today, most fonts are available easily on the web to the users. They have the problem of plenty as they can’t pick one or two fonts out of thousands of them. But make sure that you keep the basics so that you can select the right types of fonts.

Here Are The Key Types Of Fonts You Can Think Of For Your Brand

01. Serif Fonts

Serif fonts are called so as they have little feet at the end of the letterforms. You can notice the serifs clearly at the top and bottom of the letters. These typefaces were used first regularly in the 15th century. There are many types of serifs. These include old-style serifs, classical and neo-classical serifs, transitional, and other serifs. All of these serifs are different in terms of their weight, shape, and ascender heights.

02. Slab Serif Fonts

When talking about serif fonts, slab serif deserves special mention. A key feature of these serifs is that they are large and impressive, contrary to their classic counterparts. Slab serifs are mostly incorporated into a design that demands a rugged impression. Marketers commonly use these fonts for brands related to outdoor activities.

03. Sans Serif Fonts

Sans serifs fonts are the ones that have no little serified feet. These fonts were first used way back in the mid-19th century. But it is in the modern era that they are everywhere. Sans serifs are today known for their clean and modern look. These have less detailed shapes and so more readable.

Most digital screens use them due to their simplicity and readability. When it comes to using them, generally they are preferred for headlines and blogs. But they also are equally good to use for long paragraphs.

04. Script Fonts

Script fonts mimic handwriting and are mostly used to convey a casual and friendly brand personality. You can pick these informal and casual fonts. Formal script fonts should be your choice when mimicking the handwriting of 17th and 18th-century masters. So, these are fancy fonts due to their over the top flourishes and curls that come out from the serif or swashes.

Casual scripts look more like the works of painters. You will find far fewer swashes, which makes these fonts more legible. Generally, these types of fonts find a place in brands that wish to depict a more casual feel in their company’s logos and posters.

05. Handwritten Fonts

Handwritten fonts are a little different from casual script fonts. These fonts are usually lacking in the structure of traditional script letterforms and can also be technically categorized as sans serif. You can access these types of fonts in a wide range of forms.

Mostly, handwritten fonts work well for posters, book covers, and logo design. This is because of the unique creative touch they provide to a design. Use these fonts when you wish to add charm and a little character to your design.

06. Comic Fonts

Comic fonts, as is clear by its name, mostly find use in creating cartoons, speech bubbles, and comics. You can also choose ultra-legible fonts that are easier on the eyes. However, note that comic style fonts are overused fonts. This means that you may want to pick something unique font style to stand out.

07. Display Fonts

Display fonts are mostly used on posters, billboards, packaging, and book jackets. These headline type fonts are preferred to attract the viewer’s attention. Generally, they are incorporated in larger than 14 points, which is why they are called ‘’display’’. These are generally considered a good choice of font to set a design’s tone.

08. Retro Fonts

If you plan to give an ‘old fashioned’ look to your design piece, then retro fonts could be your choice. You can access these types of fonts in serif, sans serif, and script styles. Mostly, classic posters, logos, and packaging designs have these fonts.

09. Calligraphic Fonts

Calligraphy font is known for its unique artistic lettering. In ancient times, flat-edged pens were used to create these fonts as part of the writing technique. The thickness of lines depended a lot on the movement and direction of the pen. Today, the calligraphic font is commonly used in creating formal invitations and letters and gives the impression of fine art.

10. Stencil Fonts

The stencil fonts come with their typical characteristics of capital letters that have breaks in the face, which is their key identity. Other features of the font are rounded edges and thick main strokes.

Initially, when invented first in 1937, these were used to set newspaper headlines. Now, a variety of design pieces such as public signage, labeling, graffiti or street art, and posters have widespread use of stencil fonts.

11. Dingbat Fonts

Known also as ornaments or printer characters, Dingbat fonts are not your conventional fonts that use alphabets and numerical characters. Instead, these have a wide range of shapes and symbols. You can find a variety of pictograms, user interface elements, illustrations, bullet lists, buttons, and design elements as dingbat fonts.

Tips To Pick The Right Fonts

Now that you know about the main types of fonts, think of the ways to choose a perfect font to reflect your brand personality. While most of the above-mentioned fonts come with their own unique characteristics, not all of them are created the same for your brand. So, pick a font based on what your brand is all about.

Here Are Some Tips

01. Serif

Use serif types of fonts to design books, blogs, magazines, and any long-form copy. This is mainly because serifs help our eyes easily follow the letterforms.

02. Sans Serif

Sans Serifs are versatile fonts that you can use to add some zing and personality to your design, though many fonts in this category are neutral. Also, use them whenever there is a requirement to keep a design minimal, clean, and modern-looking.

03. Script

Pick script font when you wish to give your design an old-word or retro vibe. Some brands want to build an identity of being a conventional business. They can use these fonts. Therefore, many book covers, wedding invitations, and places of historical significance use such fonts.

04. Calligraphic and Handwriting

You should think of calligraphic and handwritten types of fonts when your brand has an informal vibe to it. For instance, if you deal in products for children or want to create a light mood in a design, pick such fonts.

05. Display / Decorative

Use display fonts to display something that is most important to your brand in a design or text. Similarly, you should use a decorative font where you need to do some decorative work. But make sure that you don’t go overboard or there may be a hindrance in reading a text easily.

Pro Tip: How to combine different types of fonts?

Modern-day designers and visual identity creators have access to a myriad of fonts and ways to combine them for an impact. Your computer already has many fonts and on top of them, you can search many others on the web.

Sometimes, designers want to combine a sans serif all caps font with an italic serif font. They think of balancing the light italic fonts by bringing in a bit heavy and dark weight sans. This helps create a new look to the design.

Combine Same Family Fonts

Also, the users have the choice to combine different fonts from the same serif family which has the same weights and spacing. This means that one font can be incorporated in so many ways in the one same design. In this way, you can have a condensed and heavy font for the headline. But use a different style of the same font for the body copy. So, fonts are versatile enough to be used in different ways in a design.

But, a reason for the popularity of sans serif is that they are the best option to create digital designs. However, other families of fonts are also being used frequently to create designs for digital screens. You can just tweak them to make them more legible across all platforms and formats. Such use of fonts is especially useful in reducing strain on the eyes.

When picking fonts for websites, know that many fonts are custom built already for this purpose. You should search and use them for your unique digital interface.

Think Of Your Brand Personality and Era

A font carries its own baggage from the bygone era when it was created or frequently used. So, for instance, you should avoid using a calligraphic script font from the Victorian age for the modern web design business. Similarly, a geometric sans serif is unlikely to work effectively for a company in the business of gardening.

These are the major considerations regarding the types of fonts. Focus on some of the fonts you need to create your brand personality and visual identities. You can experiment with different font combinations to find out which one of them suits you better to communicate your brand message.

Once you are chosen one or two fonts, you can then mention them in your design brief. Then, think of launching your design contest on Designhill for talented designers from across the world. In a short period of one to two weeks, you will have a winning logo, etc. design for your brand with the right type of fonts incorporated. Get started now to have your design visuals created with the right fonts.

Wrapping Up

Typography is an essential part of creating a brand’s personality. But there are many types of fonts available to modern marketers. They need to pick suitable fonts that can express their brand’s personality and message with an impact on viewers. Serifs, San-Serifs, Script, handwritten, calligraphy, retro, display, and many other font types to choose from.

I'm a blogger and designer and I work as a creative head for Designhill. I write on topics concerning design, ecommerce, startups, digital marketing, interactive content. My creative work has earned me several laurels over the years. Facebook | Twitter | Google+

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