Best Free Serif and Sans Serif Fonts 2020
Typography is more important than one gives credit for. Until you start working with people who share a tremendous love for typography, or a Typophile if one would say, you don’t quite grasp the significance or impact a certain font type can have on your design. And finding that perfect free font is not at all that easy.
Choosing the right font to use in your design or project is just like deciding what to wear for your job interview. You’d have to follow a dress code suitable for the job your applying to. The same principle applies to fonts and the concept you are going to give to your design or project is mutually dependent on the type of font you will apply.
The internet is suffused with various types of font and choosing the one would be harder than expected. To narrow down the list, you could first start by recognizing the approach you are going to give to your design.
Once that is established, you can narrow down the list a little bit further by researching about font psychology because communication is key on all instances. Our associations with different inspirational typography trigger powerful ideas and emotions.
If you’ve ever heard about the “Gestalt Theory”, which states that people often intrinsically see the various parts of an entity as a whole. What this means is that we consciously seek to find meaning in things, even when that meaning is not necessarily apparent. In web design, especially when designing brand logos, all parts shall fall into perfect harmony to convey the brand’s unique values.
Serif and Sans Serif fonts are tremendously popular by almost everyone in the web world or even broader. In this article, we are going to provide with the most extraordinary and rare serifs and sans serifs, fonts to convey the right message for your audience.
Sans Serif typefaces originate back from the eighteenth century but did not witness widespread until a century later. There is a clear distinction between the two fonts, in the print world serifs are universally used in for setting body copy text, nonetheless, in the web world sans serif typefaces seem to be ruling.
In the next sections, we are going to show you what typefaces are appropriate to use and where. As we made a compilation of some of the most beautiful and singular serif and sans serif fonts. Stay with us.
Why Choose Sans Serif fonts?
As the names suggest the main distinction between the two fonts is the presence or the absence of serifs within the letters. What is a serif, one might ask? A serif is a decorative line or tail that is added at the beginning of the end of a letter’s stem.
Sans Serif fonts are sleek and sophisticated and tend to give more of a modern sophistication look. Sans Serifs are minimal and simplistic and they can often be seen more approachable due to their simplicity.
Depending on the message you want to convey with your brand or design, if you are looking to come off as more youthful accessible, Sans Serifs are the way to go. The sharp, cutting-edge, and clean lines of Sans Serif, will make your brand more receptive and playful due to the lucidity these typefaces show.
Why Choose Serif fonts?
On the other hand, while Sans Serifs are perceived as more modern and are commonly used in design, Serifs have their advantages when it comes to elegance and style. Serifs are perceived as more traditional and elegant, but they most certainly are not outdated.
As mentioned earlier, Serifs have been widely used for setting running text, mostly, in books, newspapers, and magazines, that might be the reason they convey a more classic, formal or sophisticated warmth and feel.
If you want your brand or design to convey the message as reliable and trustworthy, then Serifs are the obvious choice. These typefaces would make the perfect fit for companies that are traditional-oriented like law firms, financial firms or insurance companies, or even editorials, like the example of Vogue magazine. Serifs will give people a feeling of elegance, assurance, and stability.
Top 15 Most Rare Sans Serif fonts
For this article, we have chosen 15 of the most beautiful sans serif fonts that you can download for free. They are guaranteed to elevate your design in scales you would have not imagined. Although Sans Serifs are widely spread across the web, we have hand-picked some of the rarest typefaces which you can download for free.
Acumin is a Sans Serif font designed by Robert Slimbach and published in Adobe Fonts. Acumin is considered to be the “Helvetica for Reader“. The creator of this font Slimbach aimed to create a font that could work as a text face but designed in a contemporary neo-grotesque style.
The font comes in various styles. It is available in five widths, with each width in nine weights and matching italics. That comprises of 90 styles, only 4 of them being available in the free version from Adobe.
This next font Glacial Indifference is a geometrical Sans Serif font designed by Hanken Design Co and inspired by Bauhaus font and has similarities to the exclusive Futura font. Included within the font are 3 styles, Italic, Bold and Regular.
Glacial Indifference is a free and open-source font that you can download, to style your next design with style and sophistication.
Another geometric Sans Serif in the list, this time we have included Poppins as one of the most beautiful fonts to include in your next project. The typeface was created by Indian Type Foundry with the support by Devanagari and Latin writing systems. Both writing systems are based on pure geometry and particularly circles.
Poppins typeface is characterized by monolinear letter form, with optical corrections to the stroke joint only where it is necessary to maintain an even typographic color. This font would make the perfect choice as a heading font or body text.
HK Grotesk is another free open-source Sans Serifs fonts inspired by classic grotesque. The goal for designing HT Grotesk was to create a more conspicuous typeface that would be best suitable for small text.
The font comes along with 14 styles and was designed by Alfredo Marco Pradil. The styles vary from Light to Black, each with matching italics. HK Grotesk is issued under the SIL OFL license which can be used for commercial and personal use.
Next on our rare Sans Serif fonts is Space Grotesk that is an altered version of the fixed-width Space Mono typeface. he alteration included proportional fixes, but also retain some of the angular eccentricity of Space Mono. The typeface was designed by Florian Karsten in 2017.
The Space Grotesk font comes with 5 weights and their corresponding italics styles available. Space Grotesk offer a functional face and supports Latin Extended-A character set, including several OpenType features that make this typeface suitable for many purposes
D-Din is an amazing free to download Sans Serif typeface. The D-Din font was originally designed for industrial use thus making the font perfectly fitted in technical traffic and administrative application. The uncomplicated, unadorned and austere nature of the font has made it highly popular in display adoptions.
The font comes available in 8 styles: D-DIN Regular, Italic, Bold, Condensed Regular, Condensed Bold, Expanded Regular, Expanded Italic, and Expanded Bold.
Renner is a refined Sans Serif font that was primarily inspired by the highly popular typeface Futura. Renner in its core concept was designed to maintain the attitude of Futura, not to be a cheap copy of the typeface. Futura was a revolutionary design speaking on the era it was created because it was highly functional.
Renner font is to continue the consistency and become as functional as possible in the digital generation. The typeface comes in 9 weights, varying from Hairline to Black and supports the OpenType Variable Font, meaning it allows users to control the weight and italic of the font. The Renner font is available for free download and comes in one style, the font has recently changed the name to Jost, so if you wish to download other styles, they will be under the new name.
Alegreya Sans is another of our rarest free Sans Serif fonts but comes crashing the list with bountiful styles and beautiful typefaces. Alegreya Sans is a font inspired merely by calligraphic letterforms, each conveying a dynamic and varied rhythm.
The font was designed by Juan Pablo Del Peral, it was originally aimed for long-form text, but the popularity of the font grew, making it a perfect fit for headlines as well. The elements in the font variety were carefully designed and work in perfect harmony and in an atmosphere of diversity.
Another amazing Sans Serif is added to the list comprising beauty and modernism as its core values. Inspired by Edward Johnston’s and Eric Gill’s typefaces incorporate contemporary dimensions, ocular adjustments and include some elements of the geometric sans.
The font was designed by Impallari Type and has maintained its originality. It comes with four weights and true italics and can be found on the Google Fonts library.
Let’s change the style a little bit, we are here to present to you Barlow Condensed, slightly rounded but high contrast font that’s part of the Condensed family. Inspired by the Californian lifestyle, this sans serif typeface resonates with the state’s car plates, highway signs, busses, and trains.
The font was designed by Jeremy Tribby a designer based in San Francisco, hence the Californian inspiration. This amazing rare Sans Serif font comes in nine weights in Roman and Italics.
Source Sans Pro
Another amazing free sans serif font accompanies our list to enrich it with style and elegance. Source Sans Pro is a free sans serif font available in Google Font’s library. The typeface is indeed the perfect pair for user interfaces. It bends well together with other sans serif fonts such as Roboto.
The font was designed by Paul D. Hunt and work under the Open Font License and can be used by all this who worship a fine taste of elegance.
Different from the name of the typeface, Gothic A1 is a versatile sans serif inspired by Korean and Latin font. Gothic A1 typeface comes with multiple weights and optimized spatial distribution. The font is licensed under Open Font License, meaning you are free to use the font on your next projects.
You can download the font for free on Google Fonts and use it either as your body text or headings.
Basier Mono is another addition to our rarest serif and sans serif fonts. The typeface comes in two families and includes 16 styles, giving you the freedom to create exceptional typography showcases. Basier Mono is a neo-grotesque sans serif that suited for logotypes, branding, editorials, and finds use in web design.
The font is mainly inspired by the International Style and was designed by Atipo is an independent digital typeface studio. The font can be used for personal and commercial works.
Another font on the list to add elegance and sophistication to our topmost rare sans serif fonts. Heebo is included in the Latin and Hebrew typeface family and presents a unique vertical metrics than that of Roboto font. This typeface project is lead by Meir Sadan and is available to download for free on Google Fonts.
Heebo is an elegant and classy typeface that would be best suited for text. The font is under the Open Font License, which means it is available for either personal or commercial use. Heebo comes free in 9 style randing in style and weight. Use Heebo on your next project to elevate your design.
We will continue our hunt for the best sans serif fonts to provide you with bountiful resources of typography options, as it compounds as a major component of each design. Next on the list of best sans serif font we have the typeface of Quicksand, a beautiful sans serif font that is primarily inspired on geometric shapes.
The typeface was first introduced by Andrew Paglinawan in 2008 and is a sans serif font with rounded terminals. Quicksand is free to download on Google Fonts under the Open Font License that allows the use of the font either for personal products and projects as well as commercial, print, or digital. The font is a great choice for display text but was optimized for small text as well.
Top 15 Most Rare Free Serif fonts
Serif fonts represent tradition and elegance, they provide the feeling for liability, and people mostly are dawn to tradition, as they associate the latter with loyalty and heritage. In this second part of the article, we are going to provide the list with the best and rarest Serif fonts that you can download for free.
Inknut Antiqua is a serif typeface designed by Claus Eggers Sørensen and it’s available for free download on Google Fonts. The typeface was designed for long-form text and paragraphs using the Latin or Devanagari scripts.
The font presents a beautiful paradox because of its modern cut from a historical style. The font was inspired to evoke Venetian incunabula and humanist manuscripts but hasn’t lost it the eccentricity that’s a characteristic in this artisanal tradition.
EB Garamond is a free and open-source font that is an implementation of the Garamond typeface, which among designers, especially print designers is considered to be one of the best fonts. The EB Garamond is a typeface that is distinguished because it is timeless and highly readable.
The font is perceived to convey authority and stability, as most of the Serifs are, but EB Garamond adds a slighter tone of warmth. Although Garamond fonts have a reputation of gein used perfectly in pine prints. EB Garamond is great for the screen as well. The font is under the Open Font License for personal and commercial use.
Another Gramond on the list, I guess our designers really love this font. Adobe Garamond is another amazing Serif font that is free to download in 6 styles. Robert Slimbach, the designer behind Adobe Garamond has beautifully balanced the original Garamond font while still maintaining a typeface that is all the benefits of the contemporary digital face.
Due to its resilience and legibility in a variety of sizes, colors, and compositions, Adobe Garamond would be the font to go for your next project or design.
We will continue the list with the Stunning Source Serif font that represents just the right amount of richness, expressiveness, and strength. The font was inspired by Fournier but has managed to maintain its authenticity with the eclectic touches
The font was designed by Frank Grießhammer and is available in 12 styles, each included in the free download, starting from the Source Serif Pro ExtraLight to Source Serif Pro Semibold Italic.
Adobe Caslon if up next on your free sources for Serif fonts, the typeface was designed by Adobe creator Carol Twombly who studied samples of pages printed by William Caslon between 1734 and 1770. Adobe Caslon has only 3 styles available for free, to gain access to the other three styles you would need a premium upgrade.
The free typeface styles include: Adobe Caslon Pro Semibold, Adobe Caslon Pro Semibold Italic, and Adobe Caslon Pro Bold Italic. This typeface would be the perfect solution for book publishing, magazines, journals, or corporate communications.
Following our free Serif fonts, Reforma is designed by Alejandro Lo Celso for the Universidad Nacional de Córdoba a pioneer university in Argentina, thus it implies that the font will convey tradition, diversity, and research.
Reforma is a multi-form family with diversification of styles and is free to download for public and private use under a Creative Commons license. All the Reforma fonts are included in three subfamilies: classic, modern, and a hybrid combination of the two subfamilies.
Young Serif is as the name suggest a free Serif typeface that was designed by Upload a graphic design studio in 2013, and comes available in YoungSerif Regular.
The Young Serif font is a heavy-weight, old-fashioned serif that was inspired by the works like Plantin Infant or ITC Italian Old Style. The typeface provides a sort of tenderness and due to the rounded curves on the lowercase b and f. This amazing and rare sans serif font is available for free under the SIL Open Font License.
If you are looking for a classical and ravishing design for your project or logo brand to transform construction, we might as well say it, the Butler did it. Butler is another open-source free typeface that comes in multiple styles, all free to download.
The font is inspired by the Dala Floda & the Bodoni family. Although controversial, the typefaces aimed to bring some modernity to serifs by working on the curves of classical serifs and adding an extra pattern to the font. Butler is an excellent choice for posters, big titles, books, and fancy stuff.
Libre Baskerville is an open-source serif typeface that comes available in Google Fonts. Designed by Impallari Type the font was inspired by American Type Founder’s Baskerville from 1941, with some changes and adjustments such as a taller x-height, wider counters, and a little less contrast.
This typeface is the perfect choice for screen reading body text. You can use it for your next portfolio project, agency, business website, print, digital, commercial, or otherwise.
If you are on the lookout for a classic, elegant, compelling typeface for your next project then Quattrocento is the obvious choice. This open-source Serif typeface comes with some distinct features like low contrast, cupped, and tapered steams that flow naturally throughout the serifs.
Quattrocento serif typeface makes the perfect choice for small body text. The wide and open letterforms alongside the greater x-height provide the incentive for such use. You can find the Quattrocento font free available on Google Font.
Next on the rarest free serif fonts, we have included Crimson Text, for its originality. This typeface was designed to be spread out in the book production world presenting a beautiful old school style that rich in tradition.
The Crimson Text was inspired by the works of Jan Tschichold, Robert Slimbach, and Jonathan Hoefler and designed by Sebastian Kosch. Use it on your next project as it comes free, available on Google Font library.
Cormorant Garamond is another absolutely stunning serif font developed by Christian Thalmann, inspired by Claude Garamont’s legacy. The Cormorant typeface presents elegance and beauty and the best thing about it is that it comes in a plethora of font files. Cormorant is free to download and include onto your next project, altogether with 9 different visual styles and 5 weights.
Use the Cormorant font for your next project, as it is available to be used either for personal or commercial application.
Another rare serif font on the list, this time we present to your PT Serif fonts, a versatile typeface with a unique design. The font originally for the project “Public Types of the Russian Federation”, but now finds use in exceptional typography showcases.
The font is released under the libre license that allows redistribution. Although comes only in 4 weights, including it and mixing with other typefaces like Open Sans would elevate the design.
For the list of the best free serif fonts we have included Caudex serif typeface as well, the font presents a unique and classic style that presents a strong character. The font was originally introduced in the late 90s for printing a piece of old handwritten text.
Currently, the font is available for download on Google Fonts under the Open Font License. This type of license allows you to use the font either on your next personal project for commercial use, print, or digital.
Spectral is the typical serif typeface that presents the embodied the decorative line that’s emblematic to serif fonts. Its beauty and elegance derive from the cutting-edge corners and versatile styles. The font is a new and fresh face f the serif typeface that comes available in seven weights and styles, with small caps.
Spectral will provide beauty and charm to your project as it is primarily intended for long texts, screen-first environment, and reading. The font was designed by Production Type and is available to download for free on the Google Fonts repository. It is currently under the Open Font Type License.
This concludes our article. In our prolonged list of free fonts, we have captured and included some of the most beautiful Sans Serif and Serif fonts that you can incorporate on your next design or project. All the fonts are available for free, meaning you have the freedom to use them for personal or commercial reasons.
Be picky of your typography and the fonts you choose, after all, they do play a major part in how your text, design or brand is going to be perceived by the broader audience. Choose wisely.
Neuron blog aims to provide helpful resources to all its readers, and we have a bountiful of lists that are designed and created to facilitate finding the best sources online. We have previously compiled a list with the best free resources to find illustrations online.