Did you know that each font has a unique personality? If that is very hard to believe, compare the masthead of The Wall Street Journal to the logo of Instagram, you will realize that the two are very different. Instagram adopted a casual sans serif script logotype that is friendly too. The New York Times is among the traditional serif fonts and conveys stability and seriousness.
The fonts invoke different images and in all cases, the typeface embraces the mission and mood of the represented company. The typeface forms part of the message.
We cannot underrate the power of fonts. If you choose the right font, no one will notice it but when the message and typeface are disharmonious, everyone will realize that something is wrong.
So, to clear your message, you have to select the best typeface for all your projects. Part of the clarity will come from the readability, but your choice between Serif and Sans Serif free fonts will play a vital part.
How Serif Fonts Differ From Sans Serif Fonts?
By understanding the main differences between the two categories, you will know where to apply each of them. Fortunately, identifying differences between the two is easy.
Serifs are decorative strokes that finish off the ends of letter stems – sometimes known as the letters’ feet. So, a serif font is a type of font that has serifs. On the other hand, sans serifs are fonts without serifs – therefore sans.
The serif fonts are ornamental and they feature serifs that extend while the sans serifs fonts have clean and precise ends. As we have stated, each of the two styles has its unique personality and communicates a different message. That is the main reason you have to understand each of them and ensure that it is in line with what your brand wants to communicate.
Where to Use Serif Fonts?
Professional designers take typography seriously. They know that a good font can change the whole project. You will know that the typography you have used is the right one after it establishes the tone, grabs the attention of your audience and breathes more life into your visions.
Whenever you pick the wrong font, you are unlikely to achieve your goals. The font is likely to kill the design or make it illegible.
When Establishing Authority and History
One of the general trends has seen most logo designers adopt sans-serif fonts. Both Yahoo! and Google and ditched their serifs. So, if the leading companies have ditched it why should you use it for your logos? You do not have to use. However, the Serif font is still good when establishing authority and history.
For example, Time Magazine has used it to publish for almost a century and most people label the magazine as one of the highly dependable and well-researched brands. With such attributes, a serif logo will make sense.
Use it When Trying to Convey Class and Quality
Watchmakers such as Rolex have been producing quality products for a long time and serif font forms an important part of their brand. They use the serif logo to express the quality standard. So, if you want to convey quality and class, the serif logo will work perfectly.
In Print Design
Serif is an easier to read font and that is the main reason why publishers use it. Some newspapers like LA Times and The Washington Post use the font in the headlines, body text and subheadings. That along with the sense of class and quality makes it a popular choice among publishers.
Where to Use Sans Serif?
You can choose thin or very thick, robust or subtle serif strokes. A delicate serif will be challenging to reproduce clearly in some scenarios, particularly when reversing out of dark colours, patterns or photography because they will break up.
Also, they are not a good choice when printing in CMYK because the edges will appear weak and fuzzy. The situations necessitate the use of sans serif typography. Here are the other ways to use sans serif.
Use it in Print Materials that Allow for Liberal Design Approaches
You can use sans serif typefaces in brochures and annual reports. The typeface also works perfectly in magazines and any other print material that allows for the liberal design approach.
Use it for the Short Text Settings
For the short text settings like credits, captions, column headings, graphs and charts, sans serif typography will work best. The simplified letter forms unencumbered by serifs can impede the readability of very small characters.
Use it When Targeting Kids
When choosing a typeface for kids or people who want just to read, sans serifs are preferable. That is because of the simplified letter forms that are easier to recognize. Sans Serif is also a good choice when designing for readers with visual impairments. So, before you decide on the typography to use, research on the audience.