FAQs

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Fonts

What is serif and sans serif font?

Typeface

A design for a set of characters. Popular typefaces include Times Roman, Helvetica, and Courier. The typeface represents one aspect of a font. The font also includes such characteristics as size, weight, italics, and so on.

There are two general categories of typefaces: serif and sans serif. Sans serif typefaces are composed of simple lines, whereas serif typefaces use small decorative marks to embellish characters and make them easier to read. Helvetica is a sans serif type and Times Roman is a serif type.

Serif

A small decorative line added as embellishment to the basic form of a character. Typefaces are often described as being serif or sans serif (without serifs). The most common serif typeface is Times Roman. A common sans serif typeface is Helvetica.

SerifandSansSerif

Sans Serif

Pronounced SAN-SERR-if. A category of typefaces that do not use serifs, small lines at the ends of characters. Popular sans serif fonts include Helvetica, Avant Garde, Arial, and Geneva. Serif fonts include Times Roman, Courier, New Century Schoolbook, and Palatino.

According to most studies, sans serif fonts are more difficult to read. For this reason, they are used most often for short text components such as headlines or captions.

Examples

  • Serif:
    • Latin fonts: Times New Roman, Bodoni, Garamond, Minion Web, ITC Stone Serif, MS Georgia, Bitstream Cyberbit
    • Greek fonts: Bitstream Cyberbit
    • Cyrillic fonts: Adobe Minion Cyrillic, Excelcior Cyrillic Upright, Monotype Albion 70, Bitstream Cyberbit, ER Bukinst
    • Hebrew fonts: New Peninim, Raanana, Bitstream Cyberbit
    • Japanese fonts: Ryumin Light-KL, Kyokasho ICA, Futo Min A101
    • Arabic fonts: Bitstream Cyberbit
  • Sans Serif
    • Latin fonts: MS Trebuchet, ITC Avant Garde Gothic, MS Arial, MS Verdana, Univers, Futura, ITC Stone Sans, Gill Sans, Akzidenz Grotesk, Helvetica
    • Greek fonts: Attika, Typiko New Era, MS Tahoma, Monotype Gill Sans 571, Helvetica Greek
    • Cyrillic fonts: Helvetica Cyrillic, ER Univers, Lucida Sans Unicode, Bastion
    • Hebrew fonts: Arial Hebrew, MS Tahoma
    • Japanese fonts: Shin Go, Heisei Kaku Gothic W5
    • Arabic fonts: MS Tahoma

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