4 Styles of typefaces you need to know


Ever wondered what style of font suits your brand? The selection of font, the style is used, can create a certain way people feel about your business. Understanding some basics around typefaces will help navigate the emotions you want to create.

There are 4 main styles of typefaces - each of these can be further categorised into separate styles - but let’s start with the basics..

  1. Serif

  2. Slab Serif

  3. Sans serif

  4. Script

Traditionally, when typefaces were created in the 14th Century - they were made out of lead. Each individual letter was a separate piece and placed along a piece of lead (the space between lines of text is referred to as ‘leading’ - the height of the lead!). This is where the serif font was born.

Serif fonts: Serif fonts are recognised with bracketed feet and contrasted stroke widths. Emotions created: Classic. Sophisticated. Expensive. Delicate. Stable. Glamorous. Respectable

Slab serif: Slab serif fonts have consistent stroke weights and angular serifs. Emotions / Simple. Confident. Versatile. Solid. Balanced. Geometric. Strong yet playful.

Sans serif: Popular sans serif fonts are generally geometric in design and simple in design Emotions / Modern. Geometric. Minimal. Simple. Versatile. Informal. Legible. Innovative.

Script: Based on formal calligraphy writing styles, these can have contrast in upper strokes. Emotions / Creative. Personal. Feminine. Natural. Delicate. Warm. Elegant. Sophisticated.

Difference between a font and typeface?

A typeface (or font family) refers to the overall set of fonts, with consistent design. A font is an individual size and style of a typeface for example, ‘Helvetica italic’ is a different font to ‘Helvetica Bold’. “Helvetica’ is a different typeface to ‘Times New Roman”. Confused?!

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