The Very Best 10 Commercial Serif Fonts
“In typography, serifs are semi-structural details on the ends of some of the strokes that make up letters and symbols. A typeface that has serifs is called a serif font (or serifed typeface). A typeface without serifs is called sans-serif, from the French sans, meaning “without”. Some typography sources refer to sans-serif fonts as “grotesque” (in German “grotesk”) or “Gothic,” and serif types as “Roman.”–Wikipedia
In my last post, I enumerated my best sans serif fonts and as promised, I am going to list also my favorite serif fonts. As I have mentioned I am not a fan of serif fonts. But, as a designer, I have to use and love this type of fonts as a requirement. If only I could use just sans-serif fonts all the time!
The reason why I am using this serif font for my website! Looks very similar to Times New Roman, Georgia is the serif companion to the first Microsoft sans serif screen font, Verdana. It is designed for clarity on a computer monitor even at small sizes, partially due to a relatively large x-height.
Although there are many versions of this serif font, the most used version today is the Adobe Garamond version. Garamond’s letter forms convey a sense of fluidity and consistency. Some unique characteristics of Garamond characters are the small bowl of the a and the small eye of the e. The letters also have long extenders and the top serifs have a downward slope. Garamond is a great serif font for long bodies of texts such as in magazines, textbooks and websites
This serif font is widely used for both body text and display type. The reason of its popularity is maybe because of its inclusion— along with Helvetica and Times — in the Mac OS. Also in the Palatino family are the Palatino Linotype, Palatino nova, Palatino sans, Palatino sans informal and Palatino Arabic.
Trajan is an old style serif font designed in 1989 for Adobe. The design is based on Roman square capitals, as used for the inscription at the base of Trajan’s Column from which the serif font takes its name. This serif font has been the favorite of the designers of many Hollywood movie posters .
I mainly use this serif font for headlines and logos. Bodoni has a narrow underlying structure with flat, unbracketed serifs. The face has extreme contrast between thick and thin strokes, and an overall geometric construction which makes it a very aesthetic looking font. Bodoni has been used for a wide variety of material, ranging from eighteenth century Italian books to 1960’s periodicals.
It is characterized by short ascenders and descenders, bracketed serifs, moderately-high contrast, robust texture, and moderate modulation of stroke. Caslon and its variants are good, readable choices for text.
A classic serif font dating from the 1750s, the many variations of Baskerville and New Baskerville serif fonts work quite well for both text and display use.
Cambria is part of the suite of serif fonts that come with Microsoft Windows Vista, Microsoft Office 2007 and Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac. It is specifically designed for on-screen reading and to be aesthetically pleasing when printed at small sizes. Cambria also features even spacing and proportions. Diagonal and vertical hairlines and serifs are relatively strong, while horizontal serifs are small and intend to emphasize stroke endings rather than stand out themselves.
It comes in PostScript format, and supports ISO-Adobe character set. A unique feature of Minion is the support of Regular and Display optical sizes in Regular and Italic fonts. The different optical sizes of this serif font have different stroke contrasts and details, designed to optimize texts for specific applications. Minion Black does not have italic counterpart.
10- Goudy Old Style
Also known as just “Goudy”, this serif font is suitable for both text and display applications, Goudy Old Style is a graceful, balanced design with a few eccentricities, including the upward-curved ear on the g and the diamond shape of the dots of the i, j, and the points found in the period, colon and exclamation point, and the sharply canted hyphen.
So, there goes my list of favorite serif fonts. Please also checkout my article about best sans-serif fonts (if you haven’t read it yet).
Credits: Images from Wikipedia