Posted Nov 9, 2022

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Design & Inspiration

5 Different Font Types & How To Use Them In Graphic Design [A Definitive Guide]

Design & Inspiration

Design & Inspiration

5 Different Font Types & How To Use Them In Graphic Design [A Definitive Guide]

What is typography?

Typography is the artistic technique of arranging letters and sentences in a way that improves clarity and readability. It involves analyzing the meaning and messaging of the text in order to display it in a way that resonates with the message.


Fonts style is perhaps the most important element of typography. It certainly plays a big role in graphic design. In the modern world, typography is mostly associated with digital and printed media.

When designing an ad, a banner, announcement, social media post, leaflet or any other informative visual involving text, choosing the right font is important. While it is not necessary for you to know every font out there, being familiar with the top 5 font types always helps. So let's get started!

1. Serif

Characteristics: Decorative tails and strokes/ Extensions at the end of character terminals

Key function: Used in printed material

Examples: Times New Roman, Garramond, Baskerville, Georgia, Playfair

Dating back to the 15th century, Serif type fonts are the oldest in the world and can be found in ancient Roman engravings. The word "Serif" refers to the characteristic finish to the letters that appear as feet or stands. Due to their readability, these fonts are widely used in formal and lengthy texts such as books, newspapers, journals and academic papers.

Though we won't go into detail about them, it is useful to know that there are four sub-classes of Serif fonts, namely Old style serif, Transitional serif, Didone serif and Slab serif fonts.

serif font

2. Sans serif

Characteristics: Clean lines/ No ending flourishes

Key function: Screen-based text

Examples: Helvetica, Proxima Nova, Calibri, Futura, Arial

As the name indicates, Sans serif fonts do not end with the characteristic "feet" found in Serif fonts. The absence of thin, unstructured flourishes means that these fonts fit best on displays and are therefore suitable for blogs, applications, and on-screen assets.

They are popular in the commercial sector and are sometimes known as ‘big tech’ fonts. Because of their clean, formal and minimalist look, they are especially useful in the design of banners, logos, and digital displays. One of the most prominent Sans serifs in the world, Gotham, is used in the iconic Hope poster featuring Barack Obama.

sans sarif font

3. Script

Characteristics: Mimics traditional cursive writing or calligraphy

Key functions: Multiple uses

Examples: Broadley, Monarda, Raksana, Hope Sans, Palmer Lake

These elegant, ornate fonts have been designed to imitate handwritten scripts. Due to their decorative feature, Script fonts are not suitable for many uses. For example, they cannot be used in advertisements since some people may find it difficult to read. However, they can be used for creative purposes such as wedding invitations, liqueur bottle labels and beauty products.

script font

4. Monospace

Characteristics: Each letter occupies the same horizontal space

Key function: Coding

Examples: Courier, Lucida Console, Menlo, Monaco, Inconsolata

Monospace fonts are also known as fixed-pitch, fixed-width, or non-proportional fonts. Due to their uniform spacing, Monospace fonts are commonly used in coding or computer programming, digital baking transactions, ASCII Art, OCR and typing numerals.

Monospace fonts were originally created for typewriters and other printing devices. Courier is the most popular font in this group and is the Slab serif created by Howard Kettler for IBM typewriters.  

monospace font

5. Display

Characteristics: Big, bold fonts

Key functions: Statement headlines and signs

Examples: Johnston, Transport, Highway Gothic, Clearview

As the name suggests, Display fonts are used to make statements and display small sections of attention-grabbing text. These fonts are specifically designed for to appear on sign boards, advertisements, billboards and titles instead of body text.

Display fonts can be used in both formal and informal visual designs. They come in many different varieties like inclines, script, ultra-light, ultra-bold, distressed and hand-drawn.

While most Display fonts have been designed to be large and legible, their uses are constantly being revised to induce emotive responses.

display font

Using fonts within Glorify

The most common issue most people face regarding fonts is whether they are freely available or not. While the more common ones are free, there are others that need to be bought. The simplest solution is to use third party apps like Glorify.

Glorify is an easy-to-use design tool that provides an entire library of fonts that can be used for free. However, with such a wide variety of choices, you may find it challenging to decide which font suits your design best. There are certain fonts that work well for E Commerce designs while others work great for banners and advertisements.

Glorify makes your job a whole lot easier by providing thousands of niche-based templates that have been pre-designed by professionals. These templates are created with ideal fonts that suit the theme, layout and visuals. These templates are 100% customizable, so you can always change the font or experiment with others to find what best suits your brand.

If you're going through the branding process of your company, you can centre all your brand assets in one place using Glorify's Brand Kits. This includes color palettes, logo designs and variations, fonts, icons and other elements.

Finishing thoughts

With the need to bring more diversity and uniqueness into the design space, new fonts are constantly being created. However, just because they exist, that doesn't mean these fonts can be used anywhere and everywhere. You have to be aware of the suitability and characteristic of each one.

If you need a little help in this area, using third party apps such as Glorify is the right choice. You can observe the templates designed by professional designers, make use of these templates or create your own.

If you are ready to experiment with the different font types freely available in Glorify, get started today!


1. What are the 4 major font types?

The four major classifications of typefaces are Serif, Sans Serif, Script and Display.

2. What are the different styles of fonts?

While there are hundreds of different font styles, there are four main categories which are Serif, Sans Serif, Script and Display.

3. What is a fancy text generator?

A fancy text generator such as LingoJam is an impressive font changer that quickly transforms plain text into a stylish font. Such tools are used mainly on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram where only a very few font variations are available in-app.

4. What are geometric fonts?

These are fonts that are constructed using basic geometric shapes such as circles, triangles and straight lines. Geometric fonts can be used in web or mobile design projects, especially for headers in printed work. These fonts are can be traced back to Bauhaus, the German school of art.

5. What are the top 10 most popular fonts?

Though the popularity of fonts changes with the trends in the design space, the most favored fonts are Helvetica, Calibri, Futura, Garramond, Times New Roman, Arial, Cambria, Verdana , Rockwell and Franklin Gothic.

6. What are the 3 common font formats?

The 3 most common font formats are bitmapped, stroke and outlined.

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