Few things contribute to the personality of a web design more than the font choice. A color scheme can set the mood, but the fonts are what the end-user spends the most time digesting. Because of this, your font choice is crucial for site cohesion and transparency.
There’s no way in one blog post to analyze even a fraction of the available typefaces out there. Every day, new fonts emerge. And not only is it expensive to keep up with the latest daily fonts, it can be extremely time-consuming searching for that one great font in a haystack of forgettable typefaces.
But just because fonts are so important, doesn’t mean you have to spend hours searching the web or paying top-dollar for the right ones. There are plenty of free fonts out there right under your nose that are perfect for your next design project.
Created by Eben Sorkin, this typeface was specifically designed for screen readability. Currently, there are eight styles that range from light all the way to black. There is also Merriweather Sans; a sans-serif variant which still retains the same core style of its serif version.
One of the great bonuses of this font is that it is an evolving project which means there are constant updates and alterations. This helps keep Merriweather fresh and relevant.
2. League Gothic
League Gothic, originally crafted by Morris Fuller Benton way back in 1903, has seen a surge in recent years. This is mainly due to new leadership updating and revising the font for more modernistic use.
This font owns a classy, authoritative voice and is great for headers and subtitles. Luckily for us, the typeface is in the public domain due to its early creation date.
3. Josefin Slab
Josefin Slab, authored by Santiago Orozco, wasn’t created pre-1950’s like League Gothic, but it was designed to mirror a prominent typeface trend of that time.
But, don’t worry, this font isn’t just a retro, antiquated typeface without a modern application. The font certainly carries reminiscent features of the typewriter style, but with a gothic, modern flair that gives it a bit more edge.
Published under the Open Font License in 2010 by designer Lukasz Dziedzic, the typeface’s name translates to, “Summer” in Polish. And with the font’s semi-rounded edges, it gives off the warmth that that name would imply.
At first glance, the font appears pretty standard; another sans serif font devised chiefly for body text. But when analyzed deeper, it’s evident that the font accomplishes its original goal: balancing readability for body text while displaying original traits when used on headers and subtitles.
Not only does this font compliment many other existing typefaces, it comes in 10 different styles.
Let’s go way back with this one. No, not just into the early 1900’s. Or 1800’s. This typeface owns a genealogy that travels all the way back to the 16th century. So why in the world would it still be relevant in the realm of web design today?
Garamond, redesigned by Georg Duffner, is a typographic icon and is arguably the most copied font on earth. With a slight Medieval flair, the font carries with it it’s own authoritative personality while somehow still managing to have a high readability. Plus, if anything in this world has been able to stand the test of time for over 400 years, I wouldn’t rush to say it will be antiquated any time soon.
Rosario is a semi-serif typeface featuring smooth edges and a unifying contrast. Named after the town in which it’s designer, Hector Gatti, lives, since it’s inception, the typeface has always been a top-shelf choice for marketing materials. And, as far as semi-serif fonts go, you would be hard-pressed to find another one that has as high of a readability.
With an elegant, friendly voice, Rosario historically has been utilized for magazines and academic journals, but with the increase in web-based materials over the last two decades, it has made a strong transition away from print.
Of all the fonts on this list, Oswald is my favorite for web design. One of the reasons is because it is a featured web font for Google which gives it a familiarity and comfortability for the end user. In addition, the Oswald family of fonts have seen a myriad of updates throughout the years. From additions like Light, Bold, and Extended Latin to more complex alterations featuring kerning and overall spacing. Oswald is friendly and familiar.
8. Museo Slab
Designed by Jos Buivenga, Museo Slab rivals Rosario for the most friendly on the list. Used predominantly for body text (though with versions for headers and subtitltes), this robust slab serif font is compatible with a wide variety of languages. Further, it comes in a whopping 12 styles!
The stylishly sophisticated Stalemate typeface ads a splash of personality to any web design. Created by Jim Lyles, this script font features a classical touch with a modern twist that’s sure to catch the user’s eye as a display or accent font. Throw this font into a web design and tell me it doesn’t jump out at you!
Bevan has an ultra bold display that exudes authority. Redesigned by Vernon Adams from a 1930’s slab serif, the typeface has been optimized specifically for display on today’s web browsers; desktop and mobile. Further, this font is a nice serif option to replace the often overused Impact font.
So there you have it. What are some of your favorite web design fonts?