Serif fonts have the little extra ticks that set a font apart and can give it a more classic look. Think of fonts with decorative strokes but that are still easily readable by the human eye and you’ll have an idea of what a serif font looks like. You may have used one recently at work, in a document or some other printed matter. Figuring out what are the most popular serif fonts requires a bit of detective work.
Serif fonts are often found in magazines, newspapers and books. However, they also appear on websites, on invitations and on posters. Anywhere you can use a sans serif, you can probably use a serif. They simply provide two competing looks with a similar purpose. Most popular serif fonts are easily recognizable.
What Fonts Are Hot Right Now?
There are four main types of fonts you can utilize as a designer, which you likely already know about. They include:
- Sans serif
The popular fonts at any given time can include ones used by the most people as well as new creations that hit all the right design notes. To come up with a list of most popular serif fonts, we paid attention to the ones popping up over and over in search engine results.
We then compared them to traditional most popular serif fonts and also applied good design skill basics to the equation. Here’s what we came up with for our favorites. You’ll likely find a few familiar ones as well as some unique options.
1. Times New Roman
Times New Roman (TNR) was created for the Times of London newspaper in 1929 by typographer Stanley Morison. It was created for easy readability for print publications. However, as computers began to gain popularity and eventually take over the publishing industry, TNR kept its popularity. It is still used frequently today.
The font is narrower than some other serif fonts, even in bold typeface and will fit more text per line than other fonts. Higher education often requires students to complete reports in the font so as to avoid students using wider fonts simply to hit a word count without doing all the work.
TNR is one of the most popular serif fonts because it is utilized so frequently by people in design, business, education and publishing.
Ogg is a serif font with a touch of calligraphy in the accents and letter shapes. Note how the lowercase “G” almost makes a figure eight. The font factory describes Ogg as a calligraphic serif typeface. Lucas Sharp designed it in 2013. Sharp has said his inspiration came from hand lettering by Oscar Ogg in the 1900s.
Although you won’t see Ogg as frequently in body text, we chose it for this most popular serif fonts list because it appears frequently in logos and headers. It works well to add a touch of whimsy without overwhelming the design. It’s still easily readable and works as well on the title of a wedding invitation as on a movie poster.
Designing something with an early 20th century tone? Athena font has a varied look that is reminiscent of the era. Note that the thickness on letters varies even within the same letter. For example, the letter A has a thin vertical line on the left and a wider one on the right. The serifs vary between squared off ends and small curls on portions of lowercase letters, such as the “T.”
One thing about some of the most popular serif fonts, is that there might be multiple versions of them. The Athena we love comes from designer Ellen Luff. The contrast of the font shows the extremes of her style from thick strokes to thin curves and everything in between.
Athena works well for headlines and logos. You can create dramatic looks with bold or go with the regular type and still make a more subtle, but elegant, statement.
Isn’t Georgia a gorgeous and versatile font? You can use it as easily for body text as you can for a headline. It’s easy to read, even on smaller screens and offers many variations to best match your design requirements.
For history buffs, Matthew Carter designed Georgia in 1993, making this one a vintage beauty. The font was originally created for Microsoft and found its inspiration in the Scotch Roman designers of the 1800s.
The font has thin strokes and ball terminals. It appears in books both online and offline and works well in printed material, even though created for digital use.
There are numerous variations of Baskerville font, but our favorite is the Baskerville Display PT by Adobe in regular typeface. Out of the most popular serif fonts we’ve chosen, Baskerville is arguably our favorite for its cozy mystery look and beautiful thin accents on letters.
For example, look at the “B” and how the stroke thins toward the bottom left. John Baskerville first designed the look in the 1750s in England. The look was modernized by various font designers, but still keeps the shifted axis and rounded letters. You’ll find contrast between thick and thin strokes, giving the serifs a sharp or tempered look, depending on the letter.
Baskerville works well both for headlines and as a body text. It’s readable in print and on digital devices.
More Serif Fonts
There are thousands of additional serif fonts. Although the most popular ones appear frequently online and offline, the one that works best for your project may be more obscure. We’ve listed a couple that aren’t quite as common, but we’ve also tried to cover some of the tried and true fonts that appear over and over.
The more you know about fonts and their unique features, the easier it is to pick one that works best for your project. The most popular serif fonts aren’t always what you need, but they are a good starting point for any design brainstorming.
These are very awesome serif fonts. Thanks for sharing this useful information that is very beneficial for beginners. It is a very informative article.
Once again thanks for this information.