What is the difference between both sans serif and serif fonts? What message does each font try to deliver? Several design experts tell us what they think about the difference between the two, and you may want to check it out for your design insights.
Looking for the right fonts for your designs? Don’t worry. You have abundant choices! Times New Roman, Helvetica, Georgia Bold, or even Comic Sans? You name it! Nevertheless, before deciding which font is right for your brand and designs, you have to comprehend the categories first. While there is a large variety of typefaces (font categories) out there—such as graphic and script, serif and sans serif are the most important ones.
Therefore, let’s find out what differentiates between serif and sans serif fonts. Also, you have to know what message each typeface tries to convey.
The Difference between Serif & Sans Serif Fonts
Firstly, we should bring out the difference between serif typeface and its counterpart. As their names imply, the most particular difference between the two is either the absence or presence of serifs in the characters.
Physically, serif fonts are decorated with lines appearing like “feet” or “tails.” The lines are usually attached to the beginning or the end of the stem of a letter, creating small vertical and horizontal planes within a syllable or word. Meanwhile, sans serifs don’t have decorative lines. These fonts are built with simple, neat lines with similar widths.
The most popular fonts under serif typeface include Garamond, Times New Roman, Georgia, Baskerville, and Courier New. On the other hand, some of the most widely used sans serifs are Calibri, Arial, Futura, Proxima Nova, and Helvetica.
What Each Typeface Says about Your Brand
Many design experts would suggest that different fields of companies will have different branding. An established company will surely want to deliver a very different message through its brand compared to a startup company. This is why there are countless types of fonts for you to choose from.
This is what a serif font says regarding your brand
If you want to put a traditional look and impression on your designs, you totally have to go the serif way. Serif fonts are popularly used in newspapers, books, and magazines. That is why the fonts always remind us of more formal and ancient themes.
Since serif typeface was created in the 18th century, it will be a wonderful choice for any brands that demand to be valued as established, trustworthy, and reliable business. Consumers are attracted to the traditional yet elegant ambiance as the brand implies loyalty, credibility, and heritage.
Companies like law and financial firms, insurance as well as editorial companies generally use serifs for their brochures, leaflets, company profiles, and so on. Some veteran companies using the vintage-looked typeface include The New York Times, J. P. Morgan, Vogue, Honda, Burberry, Sony, and many more.
So, what does a sans serif imply regarding your brand?
While serifs embrace traditional displays, sans serifs are all about modernization instead. With their simple and minimal shapes—especially because they were discovered post-date the serifs, your designs will look more casual, friendly, youthful, yet sophisticated. The sharp and clean lines on the characters of a serif are considered to convey a brand message that is an approachable and edgy business.
Those traits identify sans serif fonts as a popular option among a lot of tech and startup companies who demand to impress people with a sense of being advanced in technology yet more humanistic. Companies who want to express themselves with creative branding designs also tend to use sans serif typeface. You can find this on massive brands such as Facebook, HubSpot, Adidas, LinkedIn, Citi, Airbnb, and many more.
Last but not least, choose wisely the fonts you want to use for your brand. Just stick between 1-3 different fonts. Otherwise, your designs will start to look like a mess. Next, grab the fonts that come in multiple styles and weights—like light, semibold, bold, and so on. That way will make the font you use more versatile and convey variable messages on the entire design.
Thus, to conclude everything, the main difference between serif fonts and their counterparts, sans serifs, is the traditional versus modern feel. Serifs tend to look more traditional than sans serifs. If you want to put modern and minimalist sense to your design, use the latter. Nonetheless, there are actually no rules in using the fonts. You may as well do it otherwise, depending on how you use them in your designs.