Top 10 Fonts you SHOULD be using!

I’ve done a lot of talking about fonts on this blog, because I believe that fonts can make such a huge difference in your message, and how it comes across.

However, I’ve yet to really do much of a list of showing how the average person can improve their messages quickly. So this is going to be a list of my top 10 fonts that every person should start using, where they should be using them, and how to get them.

10. Bree Serif

We’re going to start with 10 instead of 1, so you have to work your way through.

Bree Serif is a really great font to use as a section header, when you want something that looks more friendly. It’s got really great readability in bold, which is the weight that I think you generally want to be using this font in.

Bree Serif is free on google fonts.

You should use it for:

  • Tops of Categories
  • Page Headers

As a warning though, as I just said, this font looks nice, but also looks really humane and friendly. This isn’t great for getting a super serious message across!

Here’s a mock pdf document, with Bree Serif being used as the category head.

9. Lora / Poly

Lora and Poly are super similar fonts, and are both good fonts for academic papers. For me personally, I use Lora as the font for most of my papers I write in college. It’s clean, readable, and has great line spacing. Poly is very similar, just a little more narrow.

Both Lora and Ploy are free on google fonts!

You should use it for:

  • Papers
  • Letters
  • Proposals

Here’s a document I’ve shown in other blog posts to demonstrate what Lora looks like.

paper-example

Lora has really clear and legible italics and bold, which can put it ahead of other fonts that struggle a little bit with that (I’m looking at you, Utopia).

8. Calendas Plus

Calendas is another free font, which is specialized to have a lot more ligatures than regular fonts. The ligatures are really pretty, that’s for sure. However, it doesn’t rank higher, because I feel like it’s a font that doesn’t entirely know it’s place. It advertises as a body font, but has a lot of features that are more suited to headings and titles.

Calendas Plus is not on google, however it’s free for downloading and installing to use in Word.

You should use it for:

  • Author’s Notes (In APA)
  • Neat, smaller titles & Logos

Here’s Calendas’ site, where they should some of the great headline designs you can make with it’s unique ligatures. Scroll right and left to see all the options.

7. Eksell Display

This is a font made by a Swedish font foundry, and is unlike most other serif fonts I’ve ever seen. The unique sharpness makes it an unforgettable display font. Great when really light sans serifs are used as the body text (raleway, futura PT).

This font, unfortunately, isn’t free. If you are into web design, however, it can make your website really stand out with the right usage. You can get it through this link.

You should use it for:

  • Web Design Headlines
  • Single Page Headlines

Here’s an awesome website, where all the headlines are done with Eksell.

6. Bodoni

Bodoni is a great display font, which is similar to Bree Serif. However, as opposed to it’s more friendly, upbeat counterpart, Bodoni is more serious and sharp.

Bodoni Regular is free to download, but not all weights are free.

You should use it for:

  • Category Headers
  • Headlines, occasionally

This is both the place to download it, as well as a place to test it out yourself by putting in some text.

5. Spinwerad

This is a great font for logos. The incredibly high contrast means that it is really not great at all for body text, or really for more than one or two words. However, it’s sharp, professional, and looks like it wants attention.

Spinwerad is not on google. However, it is still free.

You should use it for:

  • Logos
  • One Word Web Category Heads

Here’s both the place to download it, and type in some text of your own to try it out!

I also use this as the logo for the student newspaper, The Buzz. Here’s an example of it being used.

screen-shot-2016-10-07-at-1-27-35-pm

Even two words is pushing it for this high contrast font.

4. Utopia

This is another font which is really great for body text. It doesn’t look academic, but it has really tight line spacing. I use this font as the body font for the newspaper, which is really right where it fits in. It looks a little out of place when it’s subjected to general academic double spacing, and really shines when the leading is short.

It is not on google, but it is free for download.

You should use it for:

  • Letters
  • Newspapers
  • Feature Articles

Here’s an example of where I use it in the paper. It’s the main body text font.

utopia

3. Feojia

This might honestly be my personal favorite on this list. This is one of the most beautiful, playful, but professional fonts that I know of. Made by the Klim Type Foundry, this font is able to mix so many different feels into it almost seamlessly.

Unfortunately, Feojia is not free. You can purchase it through the foundry’s website.

You should use it for:

  • Newspaper Headlines
  • Category Headlines
  • Titles to Papers
  • Body text, if necessary

Here’s the official Feijoa Specimen  provided by the foundry.

2. Playfair Display

This font makes number 2 because it is probably the best serif headline font that I know of. Bodoni can be a bit sharp, Spinwerad is too high contrast, Feojia is very low contrast.. but Playfair Display absolutely has it all. It’s sharp, professional, but not too sharp or too high contrast. This is what I use for headlines in the newspaper, and I use it almost always as my headlines and titles.

Luckily, Playfair Display is free for download.

You should use it for:

  • Headlines
  • Titles
  • Category Heads
  • Quotations within Papers & Articles
  • Italics headlines

The image I already put in here that demonstrated Utopia also demonstrates Playfair Display as the headline font. However, here’s a site that uses Playfair Display as their serif category headers.

1.) Minion

If you are ever writing anything, whether it is now in college, or later for a newspaper, a professional proposal for your business, or a letter to the president, this is the font you use. There is no other font which is as universally professional and usable as Minion. This is the end-all-be-all of body text fonts for professional use.

This is free with Creative Cloud, or any professional Adobe Product. However, without Adobe, it is somewhat expensive, because of it’s prestige.

You should use it for:

  • Professional Papers
  • Professional Proposals
  • Professional letters
  • Resumes

Minion can be seen almost anywhere, as it is very popular. Here’s one site where it used as the body font.

 

Hopefully this list was interesting and helpful!

Happy Designing!

Daniel M.

 

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4 thoughts on “Top 10 Fonts you SHOULD be using!

  1. Daniel, I really like the idea of your blog! It is very creative and interesting! I completely agree with you on the fact that fonts can control how the message comes across and how it can make a huge difference. I love how you put real life examples into the blog so the reader can see what the different fonts look like and how they make a difference. I also really liked how you gave the reader ideas of when to use the specific font. I think your blog is going to help a lot of people, including myself. Great job, I really enjoyed reading it!

    Liked by 1 person

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  3. Daniel! This is so cool! I have never thought about any other font style besides Times New Roman! I love how you have done research and tried different ones to make an item look better and stand out more! I really enjoyed reading it and expanding my font horizons. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

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