The Different Types Of Serif And Sans Serif Fonts: What You Need To Know [Part 2]3 min read

hand touching the touchpad of her laptop

The Different Types Of Serif And Sans Serif Fonts: What You Need To Know [Part 2]3 min read

Serif and sans serif fonts differ primarily in their decorative flourishes. Still, there are other factors to consider when deciding between them.

You learn about the various types of serif and sans serif fonts in [Part 1]. So now, in this part, we will help you explain how to differentiate those typefaces and how you choose to use them.

How Do Serif And Sans Serif Fonts Differ?

There are two main types of typefaces: serif and sans-serif. Sans-serif and serif letters may not seem to contrast significantly at first glance. A closer examination of the design elements reveals several significant differences between the two types of lettering below.

The Decorative Strokes

A decorative stroke that protrudes from the end of a letterform is known as a serif. Serif typefaces have decorative strokes known as serifs, while sans-serif typefaces do not. Georgia, Garamond, and Times New Roman are three common serif typefaces. Arial, Futura, and Helvetica are a few popular sans-serif fonts.

The Mood

Serif fonts are seen as more traditional or formal. In contrast, sans-serif fonts are frequently seen as simpler or more informal. Serif fonts are commonly used in print media, such as books and newspapers. While, sans-serif fonts are more prevalent in digital media, such as magazines.

The Legibility

Some people think that serif fonts are preferable for reading text in print at small sizes. In contrast, sans-serif fonts are simpler to read in digital formats. Over the years, advances in retina displays and graphic resolutions have greatly improved most digital font legibility, leaving most people’s experiences to personal preference and comfort.

woman working on a laptop with a mug and pen on both sides

How To Choose A Font

Using serif or sans-serif fonts depends on your medium and message. However, some general guidelines exist when deciding between serif and sans-serif fonts.

1. Consider The Medium

Think about where and at what size people will read your font most often. Do you use a digital or printed medium? Is it for a lengthy essay or a logo design? Is it intended for children or adults? Children’s books use sans-serif fonts because the letterforms are easier to recognize.

2. Look At Examples

Examine similar works and note their fonts and how simple or difficult they are to read. Make notes on how the eyes are affected by longer pieces in a particular font more or less and how the legibility of your text can change with different colors.

3. Start By Choosing A Few Fonts

While narrowing down your options is helpful, keep a few extra font options on hand. If you like how a font looks in 12-point size, enlarging or condensing it will change how it appears. Compare the fonts separately and side by side, remembering something you like about these.

4. Think about the Typographic Hierarchy

A typographic visual hierarchy describes how letterforms are shown and where they draw the viewer’s attention. Using a serif heading and a sans-serif subheading for a project can draw attention, summarize the subject, and entice readers to continue reading.

In Conclusion

Both fonts are suitable for use, but before choosing one, you should consider the guidelines, and your writing should be concise and clear.