When it comes to designing your brand’s look, fonts can play a big role. Rather than make the common mistake of using several different fonts, you’ll want to pick 2 or 3 that work well together and then use them consistently in all areas.
By far and away the best place to look for that perfect set of fonts is Google Fonts.
Google released its font directory in 2010, and since then has built up a collection of 847 completely free fonts that can be used both in print and on the web (which is not easy with many fonts).
But which Google Fonts are the best? Well, below are a few of my favourites.
Serif Google Fonts
Serif fonts are those with a small line attached to the end of a stroke. In my view, these fonts work well as heading fonts. Equally, they can work well in logos.
A great choice for headings and titles. This font is bold yet classy and supposedly takes influence from typeface designer, John Baskerville. Playfair Display comes in 3 weights with matching italics. It also comes with a phenomenal ampersand.
(I used Playfair Display on Lagoa’s logo and website)
Sanchez is one of Google Fonts’ best ‘slab serifs’, which are characterised by thick, squared, block-like serifs. It’s clear, impactful, but also modern and stylish.
Sans serif fonts
Sans serif fonts are, quite simply, fonts without serifs. This makes them particularly popular as body copy fonts, as they’re clear and easy to read. They can also work great as heading fonts too though, especially when a thicker version of the font is used.
Named after the oldest neighbourhood in Buenos Aires where its designer lives, Montserrat is inspired by the old posters and signs that used to adorn the town.
Montserrat has quickly become a fan favourite Google Font, and now boasts an extended family of 9 different weights with italics to match. This makes it a very dynamic font, suitable for bold headings or clear body copy.
Another of Google Fonts’ best sans serif fonts, Raleway is extremely popular around the web (this text is in Raleway!). It’s another diverse font (9 different weights) and is iconic for its overlapping W. I can almost guarantee you’ll start spotting this font everywhere now…
The second most popular font on Google Fonts, Open Sans is a very safe choice. In fact, 20 million websites choose to use this font! It’s designed to have a neutral, friendly appearance that’s easy to read.
If you wanted to choose something a little less mainstream, Poppins is a solid choice. Another one with 9 weights, but a slightly differing style with a use of thinner hairlines on some of the lighter weights.
Another slightly more niche font, Quicksand uses rounded terminals (the end of a stroke) to good effect. Whilst probably best as a heading font, it can still work very well as a body font. The Q is also one of my favourite ever Q’s.
Display fonts are slightly more jazzy. Designed to look cool and flamboyant rather than practical and legible. Google Fonts has one of the best selections of free display fonts too.
Lobster is a classic, and it was an exciting day when it became a freely-available web font. It’s perfect for headings but useless for body copy. It’s party trick is a use of dozens of different letter pairs (or ligatures) that make the words join up perfectly. It even chooses the best pairings as you’re typing.
(I used this font as a heading font on B2B Graphics’ website)
Not too dissimilar to Playfair Display, Abril Fatface is another great choice for a heading font. It’s perfect if you need your brand to have a premium feel as it evokes style and class. It only comes in 1 weight though. Take it or leave it.
A classic typewriter style font, supposedly to mimic the Smith Corona Special Elite Type Number NR6 (catchy) typewriters. Described as “a little bit of inked up grunge and a little old school analogue flavor…”. Typewriter style fonts are a popular choice for trendy café menus, so this would be an ideal choice.
(I used this font on The Strawberry Shop’s website)
Handwriting fonts are exactly what they sound like: fonts that look like handwriting! You should be really careful with handwriting fonts as many don’t work as either heading or body copy fonts. Their readability is often low, but there are a few good ones out there. Some of the best on Google Fonts are…
It looks like someone wrote in permanent marker. S’cool.
Over The Rainbow
This font has an authentic hand-written feel but still remains relatively legible.
Clear and easy to read yet still with a hand-written feel. A good choice if your brand has a homemade or craft element to it. Just don’t use it in too small a size.
The Best Google Fonts
So there’s a dozen of my favourite Google Fonts. Good choices? Got a better one? Let me know: @FLINT_Marketing.