Understanding the difference between type families


There are many different breeds of typeface and as a designer, it’s important to understand the difference between them.

Different fonts are used for different circumstances and evoke a different feeling in a viewer.

Below are 5 of the most popular and common types of fonts; serif, sans serif, script, slab and black letter.

the serif font 1024x403 Understanding the difference between type families


Serif fonts are traditional, sturdy typefaces which are identified by the little nodes at the end of letters called ‘serifs’. Traditionally used in newspapers, older books and posters, a serif font is a timeless approach to design. There are two web standard fonts in serif format, Times New Roman and Georgia.

Common uses for Serif fonts:

  • Logo Design
  • Page layout
  • Business Card Design
  • Retro Influenced Design

sans serif 1024x403 Understanding the difference between type families

Sans Serif

The term Sans Serif is defined as without serif, and are a group of modern fonts which are identified by the structured appearance but lack of serifs at the end of the letters. Sans Serif fonts are typically used in corporate design, as they are clean, legible and timeless. Popular and well known sans serif fonts are Helvetica, Arial, Din Pro and Gotham.

Common uses for Sans Serif fonts:

  • Logo Design
  • Posters
  • Billboards
  • Page Layout
  • Business Cards & Stationary

the script 1024x403 Understanding the difference between type families


Script fonts are angled typefaces which appear handwritten. They come in a huge range of traditional to modern options and are characteristically joined together. They look like traditional handwriting and are great for adding variety to a design, as long as legibility is taken into account.

Common uses for Script fonts:

  • Invitations
  • Logos
  • Business Cards
  • Headings

slab 1024x403 Understanding the difference between type families


Slab serif fonts are similar to serif fonts, but are bolder and chunkier. Their serifs on the end of the letters resemble more of a bold square. The fonts are used for impact and are a great alternative to using a sans serif font to modern a design.

Common uses for Slab fonts:

  • Logos
  • Business Cards & Stationary
  • Call to Action
  • Billboards

the black letter 1024x403 Understanding the difference between type families

Black letter

Black letter typefaces are characterised by their brush like composition. They are very traditional in appearance, and reminiscent of the European Gothic era. In modern times, black letter fonts are commonly used in tattoo and music design, as they are elaborate and focused on aesthetics rather than legibility.

Common uses for Black letter fonts:

  • Tattoos
  • Manuscripts
  • Headings
  • CD Covers

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