Last updated September 5, 2023
Serif or sans serif font: Both may look similar, but to a designer, each has significant differences. As a designer, you have hundreds of fonts such as Times New Roman, Helvetica, Futura Bodoni and many more. But before choosing the right one for your brand or design, it’s essential to understand the different font families, categories, and their use cases.
Serif and sans serif are two of the most important font categories. You need to understand them better for an impactful design.
So, to help you, we have listed all the differences between serif and sans serif fonts in this blog.
What is Serif or Sans Serif?
When you first hear the phrase “serif or sans serif”, what is the most important difference that comes to mind? We can say that the absence of serif in one and the presence in the other.
Serif fonts have a tapered or attractive stroke artfully added to the letter. Sans serifs, on the other hand, have no such traits. Without strokes or tails, sans serif fonts look clean and simple.
Importance of Serif fonts in branding?
Serif fonts give off a traditional and classic vibe. This font is dated 18th century, emphasizing the old style. Brands that have been around for decades still use it. Its high readability score makes it ideal for books, magazines, newspapers and related businesses. Even traditional businesses like insurance companies, law firms, and financial institutions use this typeface in preference to evoke the old style. Brands that want to convey the idea of being trusted, established, and trustworthy can choose serif fonts. This is great for showcasing the company’s legacy and heritage.
Examples of serif fonts
Some of the best examples of serif fonts include: Georgia, Times New Roman, Garamond, Palatino, etc.
Examples of brands using the Serif font in their logos
Serif is the most popular choice because logo font for well-established brands. Brands that use this font in their logos include Vogue, Honda, Sony, Coach, Rolex, Tiffany & Co., Time, etc.
Importance of sans serif fonts in branding
While serif fonts aim to evoke the bygone era, sans serif fonts exude modernism and sophistication. Their minimalist and simple look makes them more modern. If your target audience is the younger generation, sans serif fonts are the fonts to go for.
Tech companies and startups use sans serif fonts to convey accessibility and modernity.
Examples of sans serif fonts
Some of the most popular examples of sans serif fonts are Arial, Helvetica, Poppins, Tahoma, Roboto, etc.
The sans serif font is a good choice in font association for creating headings, infographic text, headings, etc.
Examples of brands using the Sans Serif font in their logos
As mentioned earlier, sans serif fonts are preferred by startups, tech companies, and recent companies to design their logos. Its minimalist look makes it ideal for all modern logos.
Evolution of the brand from Serif to Sans Serif
Serif or sans serif font plays a central role in branding. When it comes to the design sector, brands are switching between fonts for a refreshed look.
Even graphic design trends show a shift towards a simpler, minimalist look. This has led to the popularity of sans serif fonts because they are simple, readable, and easy to scale up and down. Many famous brands have jumped on this trend. They switched from serif to sans serif for a branding overhaul.
Google’s logo design is a perfect example of transitioning from a serif font to a sans serif font.
Here is a list of brands that have changed from serif to sans serif.
Brands that have redesigned their logos from Serif to Sans Serif
How do I choose between Serif and Sans Serif fonts?
Well, there is no universal solution to this question. But there are a few workable guidelines you can consider to find the right font for your needs.
Consider the support:
Before choosing between serif or sans serif typeface, find out where people are going to see it. Also consider the size at which it will be visible to them. Do you want to use it on the web or in print? Is the font for a logo, social media post, or text? Don’t forget to consider the age range, whether it’s a younger audience or adults. Children’s publications often use sans serif fonts because of their readability factor.
Analyze the examples:
Once you’ve finalized the support, find out why you need it. Determine if you want to choose between serif and sans serif fonts for logo design, web design, brochure, newspaper, magazine or something else. Once finalized, look around and check out the examples of the same. Find the font in each artwork to narrow down your choices. Enlarge and reduce a particular font to see its readability. A 12 point font. the size may not be the same when enlarged or reduced. Compare each font, then make a final decision.
Analyze the typographic hierarchy:
The typographic hierarchy makes your text more readable. It’s a way to organize text in a way that emphasizes key information and grabs attention. If you’re designing a project, you can choose a few fonts and see what those fonts look like. You can use font pairing techniques to combine a serif font for the title and a sans serif font for the subtitle. This will help you get the perfect font combination for your project.
Although serif and sans serif fonts have their own characteristics, you can choose any font you like. Understanding the difference between serif and sans serif fonts will work in your favor. This will help you mix and match fonts perfectly for visual clarity. You have to strike a balance while using it for the body, delivering the right message and delivering the user experience. Both serifs and sans serifs have a perfect use-case scenario, and if you know when to make the right choice, well done, you’re growing as a designer! You can even create your own custom fonts. custom fonts speed up reading and improve comprehension.
Last but not least, be creative and try out different pairing ideas to make your design impactful.