30 Fonts To Last A Life Time

30 Fonts To Last A Life Time

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Here are 30 of the Best Fonts / Typefaces that every designer must / should own sorted by alphabetical order. There are 15 serif fonts and 15 sans-serif fonts. These fonts will last you your whole career!

A brief description of what each font is best suited for is provided however are not limited to this.

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There are some top free cool fonts that are downloadable in this collection and some that come with your operating system… the others are not so free but they sure will help you improve your typography! They include original PC, Mac and Truetype fonts.

You may also be interested in How To Choose A Font or the Top 5 Typography Resources of all time.

15 Best Serif Fonts

What does serif mean?

1. Adobe Caslon

Magazines, journals, text books, corporate communication.

Adobe Caslon

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2. Adobe Garamond

Textbooks and magazines

Adobe Garamond

3. Bembo

Posters, packaging, textbooks.


4. Bodoni

Headlines, text, logos. (I couldn’t get big preview for this font.)

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5. Clarendon

Dictionaries and headlines.


6. Courier

Tabular materials, technical documentation, word processing.


7. Excelsior

Newsletters, Reports, Proposals.


8. Lucida

Low resolution printing, small point sizes, reversed out half tones.


9. Minion

Limited edition books, newsletters, packaging.


10. Perpetua

For displays with fine lettering, long pages of text, chiseled text.

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11. Sabon

Books and corporate communication.


12. Stempel Schneidler

For displays and fine publications that need a legible text type.

Stempel Schneidler

13. Times New Roman

Newspapers, magazines, corporate communication.

Times New Roman

14. Trajan

Books, magazines, posters, billboards, anything to do with the ages or religion.


15. Walbaum

Magazines, journals, text books, corporate communication.



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All the Fonts you need and many other design elements, are available for a monthly subscription by subscribing to Envato Elements. The subscription costs $29 per month and gives you unlimited access to a massive and growing library of 400,000+ items that can be downloaded as often as you need (stock photos too)!

15 Best Sans-Serif Fonts

What does sans-serif mean?

1. Akzidenz Grotesk

Large Signage, all purpose for print media.

Akzidenz Grotesk

2. Avenir

For books with large amounts of text


3. Bell Centennial

For listings and very poor printing conditions.

Bell Centennial

4. Bell Gothic

For very small amounts of text that contains large amounts of information.


5. DIN

For signage, posters and displays.


6. Franklin Gothic

Newspapers and where available space is limited.

Franklin Gothic

7. Frutiger

Large signage, all purpose font for print media.


8. Futura

Large displays, small text in books.


9. Gill Sans

Signage, all purpose font for print media.

Gill Sans

10. Helvetica

Large or small text, all purpose type figure.


11. Meta

Text, number, especially corporate communication.


12. Myriad

Large displays, all purpose media.


13. Trade Gothic

Newspapers and classified ads, advertising, multimedia.

Trade Gothic

14. Univers

Packaging, signage, text books.


15. Vag Rounded

Instruction manuals and print advertising.

Vag Rounded

Source: From the book “30 Essential Typefaces for a Lifetime” by Imin Pao and Joshya Berger. A history of typography is also found in this book as well as more information on each font and the designer.

To buy most of the fonts above I would recommend MyFonts however you must shop around!

What are your favourite 3 fonts? Any fonts that should or shouldn’t be here?

439 thoughts on “30 Fonts To Last A Life Time”

  1. Thanks Sumesh, I have added new links. The adsense ads are only there to cover my hosting costs but maybe that is why I have not been as successful on Digg as other social media sites.

    Vivien, well I ‘spose slow and steady didn’t win the race this time 😛

  2. Nice list, and dugg. But I’m disappointed that you don’t have links to the fonts.

    I’m not the typical Digg crowd, but those that are digg crowd-ish, will bury you for that Google AdSense unit. I have experience that suggests that you should remove them or else be buried (you won’t get much clicks from diggers, SU is better).

    Sumesh’s last blog post..How to access FTP servers without any software

  3. hehe… I’ve started writing a post on these 30 fonts last year, but somehow left it in my Drafts and never got back to it. I do like your approach and brief notes on when each of these types works the best.

    inspirationbit’s last blog post..A Bit Of Literature – Never

  4. I take it you limit yourself to only one specific type of design then? 😉

    Nowhere near enough diversity in this font list, although I will admit there are some absolute necessities in there.


  5. This post sucks. Why?

    1) its called “30 Fonts That ALL Designers Must Own” but you could not find a preview for Bodoni (don’t you OWN the fonts?).

    2) Showing the name of the font in preview? Seriosly, how does the rest of the font look like? next time try with “The Quick Brown Fox…”

    3) Vag Rounded on instruction manuals?


  6. Well, I agree with many of the selections I disagree with a few as well. I know they’re culled from a book, so please don’t think I’m criticizing you, but the original authors.

    Courier? Seriously? I could go my entire life without using a monospaced font. If we want technical, typewriter-styled fonts there are quite a few others out there that are not kerned so horribly.

    I personally don’t see the need for Bell Centennial ever, since there are many quite good fonts out there that will suit its purpose.

    Meta…and don’t get me wrong I friggin LOVE meta, is quite trend laden, and isn’t a lifetime type of font like Garamon or Sabon. Meta’s was back ‘in’ last year, so expect it to be ‘out’ for 2008.

    And I’d completely disagree with them regarding Times. Nobody ‘needs’ Times New Roman, but it’s ubiquity simply means we’ll never get rid of it. For you aspiring typographers out there, anything where Times will suit, try Minion or Garamond instead.

    I’m surprised that there isn’t a single ‘web friendly’ font like Georgia or Verdana in the list. These fonts are important because they are designed better for on-screen reading compared to others (turn of anti-alising on your system and look at these fonts…they’re still legible at nearly every size, now look at Garamond without it…yuck.) which is critical today, and will definitely be needed for a lifetime.

  7. Really nice article. Don’t worry about the adsense words. That won’t prevent you from getting popular on Digg…it’s mostly hit or miss. Adsense ads are the least obtrusive. For everything else, most digg users us adblock.

    Nice work and congrats on making it to the front page.

  8. I would have liked to see information on the licenses covering usages of such fonts. None seem to be free.

  9. It seems like most of the serifs were found in an Adobe font list. I like the list of sans much better, they can be much more useful/fun.

  10. Best fonts? Why? By who’s metric? What justifies these as the “BEST”? Simply your say so?

  11. For Serif faces, I think ITC New Baskerville is one of the best transitional/modern serifs and needs to be part of every designer’s repetoire, and for slabs/Egyptians Rockwell deserves the spot more than the mono-spaced typewriter font Courier. It’s hard to quibble over the sans list. Maybe Thesis Sans deserves a look, and Gotham is a nice face, but with any list you can always find others to include.

  12. cool, I always wondered the difference between sans-serif and serif I just never cared enough to actually look it up.

    thanks to your convenient wiki links, I learned today so thank you.

  13. I believe that the Gill Sans family has over-sized periods. Gill Sans Extra Bold for sure. My favorite font, hands down.

  14. Thank you all for your comments!

    Digital Revolutions, What your preferred serif fonts?

    Keetano, What would your list include?

    Mike, Your welcome and judging by my stats, a lot of other people were in your position too.

    Ric, Thanks for your comments, the fonts are there to last a lifetime!

    Zachary, thanks for the movie link, twas great!

    Eugene, If we all had the money we would own the fonts or at least some of them.

    Vinay, I do not codone piracy.

    Jeff, Comic Sans 🙂 Mmmm.

    Bigalow, oversized period eh?

    Adrian, interstate, nice choice… I don’t agree that this is a MUST own list but it sure is a good start and attention getter.

    Andrew, I got the list from a book.

    Miro, Depends on the quality of the client.

    Wisefool9, thanks for your long comment. I acan see where you are coming from on some of the things you brought up. Thanks!

    Ryo, Thanks… yeah I use adblock too, never see Google ads anyway. But it does cover server costs.

    Jamie, I agree with you there especially as a student. Maybe I should have changed the title.

    Ben Whitehouse, Thanks for your font suggestions.

    Ed, Nope no scripts here.

    John, Licenses are found on the linked pages.

    Daniel, Thanks for your contribution,

    Jive, Well every font is unique!

    Joe, Each to their own.

    Yonah, SEO that is all.

    Ryan, Thanks for your contribution… not so sure about Rockwell. Gotham is nice though 🙂

    Regan, Tell me about it! 40,000 visitors in 10 hours! Solid Internet (my hosts) got it sorted out pretty quick though.

    Rick, Why is it your favourite font?

    Liza, I would have to ask the authors who compiled the list why it was not included. Must have been hard to narrow it down to just 30 out of the thousands of fonts available today.

    Thanks again everyone for the comments and to the other 350+ who commented on Digg.

  15. Jacob, I was a little surprised that your commenters did not pick up one error: your Lucida sample is not set in Lucida, but in Excelsior. Not that I mind: I am not a huge fan of some of the Lucida subfamilies.

    On your choices themselves, this collection is not a bad mixture. These families are good workhorses.

    Favourites for me would be Jean-François Porchez’s Sabon Next (published by Linotype), Plantin and Century Old Style. For egyptians, Century Expanded remains one of my favourites.

    Sans serifs: we have an internal Swiss typeface which we tend to use instead of Helvetica, but since it’s not publicly available we can’t realistically count it.

  16. I wish you included a link to download them! No wonder people come form Digg for it getting disappoint only seeing a review!

    Good Luck 😉

    Vinay’s last blog post..Facebook Anthem – I’m Getting Bored of Facebook

  17. Great selection of fonts. And is interesting how you specify the way that these can and are used. A font that i really like that was not included in the sans-serif font is Interstate, a very clean and readable typeface that can be used in a number of ways. I am not sure if it a font a designer MUST own, but it is in my list of top sans serif font.

    Adrian’s last blog post..Inter Abroad

  18. Great lineup of fonts, I have a standard attitude towards fonts that cost hundreds of dollars, there are so many nice ones available for free, so I would never pay for a font, got to keep the cost down for the client.

    miro’s last blog post..The “Huge” Security Guide

  19. Nice list but some of these are incredibly expensive, $695.00 for the Akzidenz-Grotesk BE Collection? Not all designers can afford all of these so I don’t particularly agree with the ‘must own’ part but I must admit I sure want them!

  20. I agree Digital Revolutions. These sans serif fonts are great however I feel that there are some great Serif Fonts that are missing out, in particular Adobe Jensen / Janson

  21. It would be nice if the Serif fonts listed if they have small caps for numbers. (Georgia has small caps for numbers).

    jive’s last blog post..Royalty Free Sounds

  22. What about Goudy Old Style??? If Caslon and Bembo are on here, Goudy Old Style’s gotta be.. it’s a classic!

  23. cool, sans serif is my most favourite font, it’s much better than times new roman or arial!! haha.

    i’ve learnt a lot, it’s got me to my special place once more


  24. Awesome List!
    Thank you very much for these. You got my bookmark!
    These fonts will be very handy for our web developers.
    We use Myriad a lot, and this will give us a good page to see more options.

  25. The title of this page (in my browser) is “30 Best Fonts, Downloadable Fonts, Free Fonts, Cool Fonts for Designers,” yet as far as I can tell, all the links go to ITC, who charge for their fonts.

    Also, I don’t like most of those fonts. The only ones on that list that I like are Courier, Times, Trajan, and Helvetica. I could not disagree more with Wisefool9, who said that there is no need for Times; if I were the client, I would certainly not let the designer use Minion or Garamond in place of Times. ITC Garamond might be OK because its x-height is more than half its cap-height; regular Garamond is too distorted for me.

    Fonts that should be included? Let me check my font folder…A.C.M.E. Explosive is the only decent free comic book font; for money, Whizbang or Comicraft’s Gibbons. Everyone should have a good Souvenir, a good Benguiat, and a good Cooper Black for their retro needs. At least one decent calligraphy font is necessary; the best is RSLaserLondon, an outline version of the old London from the 1980s Macintosh “city fonts.” For simulating computer text, real, actual computer fonts are necessary, like OCR A Extended, November, PC Senior, and one of the many old-style video game fonts like Joystick/Emulator/Arcade. For typewriter fonts, VTCorona and American Typewriter. And here’s one that just recently came up in a project: ModeSeven. A friend of mine needed a font to make a video he was editing look like someone was changing channels on a TV, and he turned to me for advice. I used to have the right font, but after racking my brains I couldn’t think of its name, so I asked the LiveJournal community “fontaddicts,” and someone gave me the name. See the result here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvn6kvVLbjc

    (Edited to turn notification of followup comments on and replace HTML directed quotes with copied-and-pasted directed quotes. If post appears twice, please delete first version.)

  26. Jack Yuan, good pointing out, I will have to fix that up. Please note I did not make the choices it was the authors of the book from where I got the source.

    Chad, your welcome.

    Christian, Thanks for the link up 🙂

    Josh, Thanks.

    Rachael, Everyone is entitled to their own opinion 🙂

    Luke, just for clarification ‘sans-serif’ is not a font, it is a decription of how to classify a typeface.

    Sesebian, Your welcome

    Lukas, Your welcome, may your web developers have success.

    Katibob, it seems by looking at who has clicked which fonts the serif fonts were more popular.

    Felicity, yes the title is that, more for SEO purposes however some of the fonts are free but make sure you check on the licensing. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Thanks for your contribution with the other font styles, conv, some great ones in there. I think you chose the right font for the tv channel. You sound like a font addict yourself 😛 Hope you stick around, I value your contribution!

  27. I really enjoyed your list, thanks. I do have to admit though, I hate Courier and don’t feel that it deserves a place on this list. But everyone has their own opinions, right :). I really enjoyed the serif fonts. It’s somtimes so hard to find a nice serif that isn’t Times…

  28. Hey man, this is a great mix of goodie good fonts.

    You might wanna add Kozuka which is a superb font imo. URW Gothic(the whole set) is also very nice.

    Keep it up!

  29. I’ll make two quick points here. First, I found this page through etc. (http://www.fortysomething.ca/mt/etc/archives/007242.php), and not Digg. I seriously believe no self-respecting blogger should ‘try’ to land on Digg. That’s the same way Dvorak writes technically and logically incorrect articles to ruffle up feathers, but get tremendous page views for PC World. If your posts are good, people will come, and this is the second time I’ve bumped through here … so yes, your posts are good.

    That cleared up, I would really suggest picking fonts (even though I know you didn’t pick these) which look good anti-aliased as well as aliased. The reason for that is different OSs handle aliasing in different ways. XP is terrible as kerning with anti-aliased turned on, while Vista is slightly better. You can’t turn it off in OS X at all. ‘Verdana’, ‘Georgia’ are industry standards and hence favourites of web designers. Microsoft added ‘Cambria’ which is also a font I love. I believe ‘Consolas’ (a rather inferior but manageable port of ‘Monaco’ of OS X) is the future of monospace fonts because it actually looks beautiful (something monospace fonts usually don’t).

    All that said, I loved ‘Clarendon’, ‘Stempel Schneidler’ and who doesn’t love ‘Helvetica’ 🙂

    Aditya Mukherjee’s last blog post..Geek movies for ’08

  30. Nice collection there, as a writer I have a great familiarity with Courier (especially Dark Courier). On the whole though, I definitely prefer the sans-serif fonts.

    PJ’s last blog post..Bernadot Studios

  31. I’m very flattered that you have included my design, Lucida, in your list! Thank you! One problem: the font that you show in the image is not Lucida.

  32. Interesting list. Have you ever created your own font?

    My favorite is Bookman Old Style. Have you ever seen one similar to “Decorative Penmanship” (Cocoa Cola)?

  33. Hi Lee, not yet but I look forward to it… I am currently studying typography so will get around to it! Ah bookman old style, I was just working with that today in typography class. No I haven’t seen something similar… have you?

  34. It seems kind of pointless to say, “30 typefaces that all designers MUST own,” and then only include system fonts. Should have been called “30 typefaces all typesetters should own.” I don’t think Myriad or Courier should be on this list.

  35. Cale,
    Each is entitled to their own opinion 🙂 The majority of that list is not system fonts and if they are I would like to know what system 😛 Mryriad is a great font I believe… each font has its own purpose.

  36. I do agree that everyone is entitled to there own opinion. I also believe that this list could have been better. Some of the fonts are so similar to one another, that I couldn’t really see a “must have” reason to purchase these fonts. If a font family runs you (generously) $100 per. you would be looking at a $3,000 purchase. If this guide is for entry level designers or non-designers, I would hate to send them in the wrong direction for such a large amount of money. All and all you could just change the title to “30 Tried and True Fonts.”

  37. Great article here. Some good advice on which fonts to use for which styles of writing. I’m starting up a blog either today or tomorrow, this is going to be very useful. Awesome!

  38. kristarella: Because it’s too common – it’s used too much. Helvetica is about as exciting as gray asphalt, with the glow of a cheep convenience store. It should be banned, just like the incredibly ugly looking Comic Sans MS.

  39. The reason fonts like Helvetica and Times get used so much is because they’re so perfect. There’s nothing wrong with using a font that’s been used a million times before if it’s the perfect font. There /is/ something wrong with using a funny-looking font just because it’s new or rarely used.

    Comic Sans gets a bad rap, but it’s just used in the wrong places. Used correctly it’s a beautiful font.

  40. Kristine – dafont.com or Divide by zero are alright for free font, but remember that most of them have limited weights and styles (maybe no bold or italic) they might have characters missing (very unlikely to have a full character set with degree symbols and all that) and the creators probably didn’t spend hours checking all the kerning possibilities. Typefaces are expensive because they’re damn hard to make. That said, I’ve got a fair few of the free ones, they’re good for the occasional novelty.

    Alexander – you’re entitled to those feelings and thanks for sharing. I’m inclined to agree with Felicity that it’s a well done typeface that deserves to be used… not sure about the merits of Comic Sans though. It has been used and abused and I cringe when I see it.

    kristarella’s last blog post..Top GIMP tutorial sites

  41. Cale that is very true however do you see someone actually going out and buying every one of these fonts?

    Nick – Glad to be of help.

    Alexander – So do you believe it shouldn’t be on the list as it its too boring even though it is the most popular typeface ever to be made? Felicity had it summed up quite well. Thanks Felicity to getting here before me 🙂

    Kristine – Kristarella summed it up very well. Thanks for that Kristarella.

  42. Great post, thank you for taking the time to assemble it.

    I guess your first commenter “Sumesh” was wrong, 3006 Diggs, way to go!

  43. This is a great site, I work for an IT Help Desk. This was a huge help when suggesting fonts to users. You get dugg for this article, but I dont mean to nit pick, there are a few spelling errors throughout the article. Nothing to big its just because of my teachers when I was in school. Making us spell check everything we ever did on the computer. Like i said digg worthy article. Nice work.

  44. Hi Wh33zy,
    No worries at all. I have fixed up all 3 (hopefully) spelling mistakes. I guess my spell checker wasn’t on that day! You may also want to check your grammar in your comment above. Hint: Apostrophe.

    So why do you need to suggest fonts to users in your job? Sounds like an interesting job description.

  45. Good post. I like how you’ve illustrated each font – it makes it easy to see the differences between the fonts

  46. Great post and articles. This is the first time I read this website and I must admit I have been a sucker once when I was just starting in design. I personally love bank gothic and buena park fonts. Akzidenz and Perpetua are new to me. Thanks for the additional knowledge Mr. Jacob Cass


  47. To the person (people) criticizing Courier:

    You will never be able to appreciate the beauty of courier until you regularly use it. I only had to use courier because… a class in college mandated the font for all papers. At first I was thinking one thing: More space, less words.

    Now that the semester is over, I’ve really, really come to love the font. It’s an awkward member in the Typography family, like that quiet-kind cousin you have that’s always studying art somewhere in Russia or something… but you (should) still love it.

    Really though… Courier is awesome. There have been points in my designing where only Courier has done the job because you feel you need something you’d never otherwise consider.

  48. i like the list.
    but it seems a bit too dull. They all look the same except the shapes and stuff.
    Maybe you whould make the list of the best creative fonts and the prettiest.

  49. hey! i like your website! it’s so cool … and your post about the 30 best fonts would definitely help me a lot in my typography class. 🙂

  50. Typical traditional list. Timeless. Dull also. Typical hollistic typographer’s view on fonts. What customer cares about the tiny differences within these fonts? The list could easily be reduced to 10. And then add some fonts which compete because of their strong distinguished character or based on their application environment (newspaper/web). Come on guys, wake up. It’s 2009!

  51. How about Century Gothic? i like it. maybe this could be better if you listing the free fonts too.

  52. I generally use Trebuchet MS or Lucida. The information above helped though….. I liked many of your logo designs as wel, not to forget the lovely 3D bottles 🙂

    My favourite fonts are again Trebuchet MS and Zapfino!!! I am not fond of typography though…..

    Your website is cool, feels good to see all the fresh colours.

    Well-made website!!!! 🙂

  53. Excellent list Jacob, I can safely say that I own all of those fonts. 🙂

    Personally, I think Swiss T71 should be on the list of San-Serif fonts. I use it quite alot, especially for contact details on business cards.

  54. Courier? What? Lubalin Graph is a perfectly weighted slab serif that can be used for body or display copy. Rockwell is much better, too.

    Univers & frutiger a re a little redundant as well. Same with the Bells. For serifs, I think you could limit it to Helvetica, Futura, Avenir, VAG, Century Gotic (not even mentioned?) and maybe Rotis Sans or Avenir. Also – Garamond is way better (imo) then Clarendon. I feel like the x-height on Clarendon moves the balance up to much – it feels awkward.

  55. This is a great list specially for web designers when they are designing the graphics for the websites they are developing. Thanks.

    I might sound like a n00b, but these are not web safe fonts and hence are not recommended for use for showing text on HTML pages. Correct me if I’m wrong.

    I would love to have a list of web safe fonts or nearly web safe fonts that are recommended for use. Do you have any suggestions?

    Thanks in advance

  56. Boo on the Times New Roman. There are a multitude of better serif fonts you could be using over that.

    It’s not that it’s bad. It’s that it’s default.

  57. Thank you very much, I wasn’t familiar with some of these.
    Also I must say, you’re very patient with the complete strangers that spend their time making crass comments on the internet 😛

  58. I don’t think anyone needs that many. I usually only use the type families Garamond, Caslon, Didot, Bodoni, Courier, Helvetica, Univers, Trade Gothic and Gill Sans. If I could only pick one to use for the rest of my life it would be Garamond.

  59. I agree! these are perfect list! Font should be readable and just simple its up only up to you as designer on how you can make eye catching design using theses fonts. Thank you! Nice article.

  60. This is a great list.

    I have been looking for something like this. Now instead of scrolling through all of my fonts I can go directly to them.

    Great stuff 🙂

  61. Love Love Love (x10) your blog. A breath of fresh air. I think EVERY designer should join your BLOG…..will spread the word to all of my design students….keep up with what you are doing..

  62. Hi,
    Thanks your article usefull for me .Best wishes wish you your article will be good in future.

    Thanking you

  63. Good job Jacob, it’s always refreshing to see comparative analysis of quality fonts.

    To those bemoaning the lack of variety and creativity, I suspect you are looking for fonts that shout louder than the content they are supposed to subtly command.

  64. @Pali Madra

    If you are concerned how these fonts are going to look on the web, simply look at this page on the web and then you will see how they look on the web. Well actually it’s not that simple. Because people have various resolution screens, it’s good to check how your page looks with various resolutions. And working in ’ems’ is practical here.

  65. A ‘designer’ that clicks links like ‘What does sans-serif mean?’ or ‘What does serif mean?’ should go back to school :p I mean what self respecting designer doesn’t know those terms?

    Great list btw!

  66. You rendered Univers with the font Trade Gothic. The actual Univers is closer to Helvetica, but with a more harmonic letter design.

  67. hi, just thought i’d pass along that i found all the fonts listed on the top-30 countdown above for free on: http://www.fontyukle.com/en/

    not sure how they get away with offering them free, but they do and the fonts seem to be authentic (i.e. not some crummy auto-trace knock-off of the original font).

  68. What type faces in your collection are free? I had them all until my computer “whiz” whizzed them out. Whatever you can spare, would be greatly appreciated. Thanx. Dick Commer

    • Hello Dick,
      Only the typefaces that are included with software (such as your Operating System) are going to be free and they will still have a license. The rest are available for purchase online.

  69. Thank you very much, I wasn’t familiar with some of these.
    Also I must say, you’re very patient with the complete strangers that spend their time making crass comments on the internet 😛

  70. Just what I’ve been looking for! Thanks for this great list of fonts. I’m always looking for new sites to find free fonts and I will have to bookmark this because I will come back to visit each site.

  71. WOW this is a great collection of 30 excellent fonts, many of which I never would have thought of! Very

    much appreciated.

  72. Wow, I can’t believe some of the comments on here. As designers one of the fundamental part of design is typography, yet most of the comments are people complaining, about the cost, the similarity and what’s not on the list.

    Beautiful selection Jacob, love all the fonts listed.

    And to the complainers, not everything in life is free. sometimes to get the nice things in life you have to sacrifice one thing for another.

  73. Some of these fonts are pretty much the same. I really don’t think that all designers MUST own these. There are some great ones though that everyone should have.
    I have used some of these fonts on my sites: E-9 Ecig and Real Ecig and Dragonfly Ecigs and Endless Vapor

  74. I agreet that these are good solid texts that can be used effectively in a wide variety of media. I wish, however, that there were some more ‘interesting’ or ‘fun’ ones on this list. Many of them look extremely similar. You should do a blog post of your favorite creative ones or perhaps some type faces that you created on your own.

  75. I can’t believe the absolute rudeness of some of the comments on here! If these people think they are as good as they are .. they obviously shouldn’t need to come to the site, let alond post comments like that. Talk about egos! Well done on the initiative to put this site together, Jacob. I’ve been enjoying it.

  76. Please Give more…i am a web designer, we need new fonts… we used above 30 fonts our projects..thank you very much…..

  77. I agree with a lot of these, but not Lucida and Courier. Really, Courier? We’re getting to a point where monospaced typefaces aren’t exactly “needed” or appealing, as we control our letterforms and typesetting a lot more acutely on a computer. If we need to aim for a typewriter look, then I say American Typewriter should be on this list instead.

    Sabon and Stempel are solid, fantastic choices though, especially for those who want a change from Caslon and/or Garamond (which may be said to be overused, as well, though still timeless, like Helvetica). 🙂

    • @Mayene de Leon and anyone else who thinks American Typewriter is a good typewriter font, you’re wrong, but you’re probably too young to be familiar with typewriters. Almost every mechanical or electric typewriter ever made created fully monospaced text. The American Typewriter font is not properly monospaced. By my estimate about 75% of fonts found on the web with “typewriter” in their names share this glaring defect.

      To check, compare the width of EVERY character in the font, including especially those that would be very wide or very narrow in a normal proportional font — uppercase W and M, lowercase i and l, space and all punctuation. If you put “wide” characters on one line and “narrow” characters on the line below, do the same number of characters always come out to the same line length, or do you find that somewhere along the way, characters on one line are no longer aligned with characters on the other?

      Another common failing of “typewriter” fonts: Most real typewriters had no numeral “1” [one] character. Typists would use a lowercase “l” [ell] (or sometimes capital “I” [eye]) instead. If you’re intending to reproduce real typewritten text, the font should have a “1” glyph which is the same as the “l” glyph (or you should make that substitution), unless you’re replicating the output of a high-end typewriter such as an IBM Selectric II, which did have a separate “1” character.

  78. Jacob, I was a little surprised that your commenters did not pick up one error: your Lucida sample is not set in Lucida, but in Excelsior. Not that I mind: I am not a huge fan of some of the Lucida subfamilies.
    On your choices themselves, this collection is not a bad mixture. These families are good workhorses.
    Favourites for me would be Jean-François Porchez’s Sabon Next (published by Linotype), Plantin and Century Old Style. For egyptians, Century Expanded remains one of my favourites.
    Sans serifs: we have an internal Swiss typeface which we tend to use instead of Helvetica, but since it’s not publicly available we can’t realistically count it.

  79. These are certainly bread and butter fonts a designer should have in the top drawer.

  80. Nice collection dude, although some fonts (in my opinion) are a bit outdated (regarding web content and “modern” logo design) and wont find their way into web2.0 anymore. But nevertheless thanks for givin a good comprehension. Good work!

  81. Font choice is pretty personal I would hazard a guess, I have had clints that love comic sans despite the lack of love for it on the webs. Design is more than just font and color. Satisfying the client is important

  82. Great list. I got most of them! Just wanted to know which font pair(s) would work well with FF Dax? or FF Din?

  83. I have used many of them before, but some of them are new or may i didn’t explore them like this as you did. Nice font selection..!

  84. Couldn’t disagree much more with this list… while you nailed some of them, they were common sense ones. Personally I feel that the styles of these fonts are incredibly repetitive and none provide much ‘life’ to any project. If someone had to survive as a designer using JUST these fonts for the rest of their career, they would fail. Looking through some of your designs of logos and such, I see that most of your font based work doesn’t even use modified versions of these fonts. Maybe your headline should include an omission for designers who focus on logo/identity design?

  85. I really liked that last font, it is really simplistic but it responds well to color and to other design elements. But hey stimulating list overall – thanks for the share.

  86. It’s funny hearing someone like Wisefool9 say they can do without monospaced fonts. Clearly he doesn’t understand what monospaced fonts are for.

    It’s a typical comment from someone that doesn’t know that they don’t know an awful lot of things. Since they are so ignorant of their own ignorance they assume everyone else has the exact same needs as them.

  87. A pretty typical selection, if you don’t have the majority of these, you can’t really be that decent a designer…

  88. Thank you very much for the info – will take note of some of the opinions here. I have always preferred arial – never messes up in most people browsers – other fonts tend to

  89. What a selection you have provided! Some classic fonts in there like Garamond, Minion and Trajan but I have to admit that there are some here that I had never heard of before. Thanks for featuring

  90. Great article! I usually use the following font:
    – Meta
    – Gill sans
    – Franklin Gothic


  91. Good post. I like how you’ve illustrated each font – it makes it easy to see the differences between the fonts.

  92. This is superb stuff! I always love to try new and latest fonts and it sees that i have found a bunch of new cool collection.

  93. I’m not sure if it was mentioned, but isn’t Century Gothic just Microsoft’s version of Futura? I know a lot of people mentioned liking Century Gothic and wondered why it didn’t make the list.

  94. Perfect, as an designer I am always looking for new fonts. This is superb stuff! I always love to try new and latest fonts and it sees that i have found a bunch of new cool collection. Thanks for sharing!

  95. Nice post, I’m very particular when using fonts, really depends on the design subject, good selection though.

  96. Perfect resource, we have multiple designers that we showed this, and they are really keen to see more of this.

  97. Thanks for the list. One of my favorite fonts for writing web content is the “Lucida Grande” font type. I like to use a 14px font-size when using it to make the information easy to read. I’ll try some of your font suggestion to see what it looks like.

  98. Nice post, good selection, it has to be any Sans-serif font all the way for me, looks much more proffesional in my opinion.

  99. Ha! The typeface so revered they made a movie about it shouldn’t be on the list?
    Care to give a reason?

  100. Good job on the font selection, I’m going to be sure to use these on my website. I think it will help draw the attention of my site visitors. Thanks

  101. I really liked that last font, it is really simplistic but it responds well to color and to other design elements. But hey stimulating list overall – thanks for the share.

  102. What a great post. I’m usually not a fan of any sarif font but I’m feelin’ Bembo and could really see some uses. Avenir is so clean and crisp, I love it.


  103. Many thanks for sharing, we are already using some of them, but a few are unknown and truly maginificent.

  104. I really love a lot of these. It’s time for all designers to embrace the unique characteristics of the many font varieties. This list is made up from what you think are popular fonts. Thanks.

  105. as someone who’s been thrust into web design but doesn’t know a thing about graphics, I loved this list! Please make another one for web-friendly design, especially for small size fonts and info-graphics. Pretty please! Thank you

  106. Decent list, I personally prefer the look of century gothic then future, but futura has a much larger family and can be used for more.

    Trajan is used too much but its much better then the alternative, papyrus.
    Its solidly made still.

    I disagree with the comment about courier new, although maybe not an essential and it is disliked by many, when used right it can be quite effective.

    A lot of nay-sayers in here, mind you there is also a lot of designers out there that dont know a thing about fonts.

    Sure you could use a fancy over complicated font from dafont.com, but a nice, clean, simple font that has been developed with time and knowledge, if used correctly, will be much more effective.

  107. Quote: «Andrew, I got the list from a book.»

    Nice work. I wonder what’s the origin.

    I don’t know if i’m the first one to mention this, but your sample for univers is not a univers. I assume it’s a Monotype News Gothic. May be you could change that on occasion.

    There is a list of the «best 100 fonts» that i have to mention here, because it’s a wonderful inspiration. (Though its in german)


    I am writing an essay about writing and typography. So may be someone is interested in having a look at my fonts and give me some feedback.

    Anyway thanks

  108. If this is from a book, you really ought to give them credit. Especially since you can’t seem to defend their choices for them (because this is likely from an outdated classroom typography book).

    I know this blog post is from 2008, but still. Pretty shitty to not give credit.

  109. I like your style of writing. You break it down nicely. Keep these informative posts coming! They are a great resource for us logo designers.

  110. I was thrown into a graphic design position in my company with little experience and no training. This list has been a key element in my daily growth as a designer. Thank you so much and I love your logo!

  111. Thanks for the list. I’ve been using the Sabon font on a number of the web properties I’ve been working on lately.

  112. This details is very useful, I really experienced, I would like get more details about this, because is very amazing, thanks for sharing!

  113. I had to scroll about 50 pages to write a comment~~~~!! Anyways…..Some of the fonts look extremely similiar…………and most people wont even know the different between a type face for printing…web design….or even bill boards……………….but nice post

  114. Good design is all in the fonts, and a designers use of fonts instantly tells you if they are actually qualified and trained or just a wanna=-be. These comments do the same!!

  115. I’ve always stuck with simple but effective Serif fonts… Anything over the top can look a little cheap if overused!

  116. Holy. Fucking. Crap. What a pretentious post.

    Seriously, COURIER a must-have for a fixed-width font? You clearly have no idea what’s been going on in the fixed-width font departement in the last, oh, 30 years. There’s a whole lot better out there. (and I’m not talking about American Typewriter)

    Trajan a must have?

    If you say things like this, I’m not going to take you seriously.

  117. Thanks for this… Quite hard to find decent Serif fonts nowadays! Always have to sift through quite a bit of impractical stuff first!

  118. Great list. Nice to have one’s own choices supported from time to time.

    For a magazine I design I use ITC stone serif – which is great, but I have been wanting to try something else. Bembo is beautiful for body text, but somehow seems too formal for a magazine. Might actually go with Caslon I think…it has a certain quirkyness that’s reminiscent of Cooper. I’ve also become a huge fan of Bodoni’s italics – use it all the time for pullquotes, but for body text at about 8pt, I find the thick/thin lines a bit tricky to read.

    As for sans fonts…it’s amazing…I always try to stay away from Helvetica, trying everything from Interstate to Akzidenz and Din, but again and again and again I keep coming back to it…I guess it really is just too damn perfect – However I exclusively currently use Helvetica condensed (light, bold and ultra light)…always been a fan of condensed fonts.

    Also – I have to agree with Fellcity about Comic Sans…I do hate the font, but have actually used it once or twice in print – it WAS used ironically and in jest, but it’s still there for all to see. Any font can be beautiful in the correct context, which is what makes typography and design so exciting and so frustrating because there are so many options and you never know when to stop looking and trying…the perfect font could always be the very next one you try. I suppose that’ why we do stick to ones we know and love – and I agree mostly with this list – although I’m still to find a need for Courier ever.

  119. What a sweet collection. I’ve been looking for some good fonts because I’ve got a sick project coming up next semister and I can’t wait to get started. This collection actually gave me quite a few ideas. Thanks!

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  124. Nice share. One of my favorite fonts is Helvetica Neue. I would appreciate it very much if some one can share that font here for free. Thanks . 🙂

  125. My favorite fonts are din and century gothic for san serif, and bodoni for serif. Thanks for the share, but it is better if download link is included 🙁

  126. Can’t agree more… except for VAG Rounded. I’d replace that with Helvetica rounded. More balanced and clean. Personally I love Gotham which works 7/10 times for me.

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  130. Excellent article, these fonts are really important for every web designer, and the way you explain is really clear and easy to understand for everyone. According to my opinion fonts really matter when we talks about logo designing.

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  134. I’m very flattered that you have included my design, Lucida, in your list! Thank you! One problem: the font that you show in the image is not Lucida.

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