Basics of typography: Understanding typefaces and It’s classifications

Basic of Typography - typefaces and It’s classifications

A typeface is a set of letters, numbers, and symbols with a common design style. This design style, or “core design,” defines the fundamental characteristics of the typeface. Each typeface can include multiple fonts, which can be adjusted in size, weight (light, regular, italic, bold, etc.), or style while maintaining the same basic design.

Typefaces have been used since the invention of the printing press and are now widely available in digital word-processing programs. Designers or font foundries can also create them for specific purposes or applications.

Classifications of Typefaces

Here is the list of the main styles of typefaces.

  1. Serif

  2. Sans-serif

  3. Slab serif

  4. Script

  5. Monospaced

  6. Decorative

  7. Blackletters

Serif (with serifs):

A serif typeface is characterized by small lines, or “serifs,” at the end of each letter stroke. This can help to make texts appear more luxurious and elegant, making them suitable for large text sizes in print materials and web page headings. 

These typefaces are commonly used for body text in print media, such as books and newspapers, and are renowned for their traditional and classic appearance.

serif fonts - typography - MakePixelPerfect
Uses of Serif Fonts

Serif fonts are often utilized in design to give a classic and elegant look and can also effectively create a minimalist or luxurious look and feel.

Examples of Best Serif Fonts are:

Sans-serif (without serif):

Sans-serif typefaces lack the small lines, or “serifs,” that are present in serif fonts and are frequently employed in headlines and display text. These typefaces typically have a sleek, modern, and minimalist appearance.

Sans Serif - Typography - MakePixelPerfect
Uses of Sans serif Fonts

Sans-serif fonts are often used in design because they are modern, clean, and simple. This typeface style is sometimes ideal for headlines, logos, and other design elements where clarity and readability are important.

Examples of Best Sans Serif Fonts are:

Slab Serif - Typography - MakePixelPerfect

Slab serif (Thick bold, like serifs)

Thick and bold serifs characterize Slab Serif fonts at each stroke’s end. Unlike other serif fonts, the serifs in Slab Serif fonts are straight and do not have curves. This gives the font a more boxy and solid appearance. Despite its distinct look, the Slab Serif font remains legible and can be used for both small and large text sizes.

Script (calligraphic):

Script typefaces are designed to give the appearance of calligraphy or handwriting. Script fonts usually appear as joining letters means each letter is joining the letter next to it and the previous letter.

Script - Typography - MakePixelPerfect
Uses of Script fonts

These typefaces are frequently used for other decorative and formal communication, such as invitations and greeting cards.

Examples of best scripts font according to our research:

Monospaced (Fixed-width):

Monospaced fonts have specific advantages for formatting content requiring fixed horizontal space, such as coding and technical documents. These fonts maintain uniform character spacing, giving them a streamlined and contemporary appearance.

Due to their consistent character width, they also help maintain alignment and readability in code snippets, tables, and other elements that require precise layouts. Additionally, they can convey a sense of efficiency and precision, which is particularly relevant in technical contexts.

Uses of Monospaced fonts:

Monospaced typefaces are a great option if you’re trying to make a design that appears to have been typewritten out or if you’re working on a website about coding. If you want to display your design as computer programming, providing a sense of the cyber world, or sharing code on your website to help others, using a Monospaced font is a good choice.

Example of best Monospaced fonts

Decorative fonts (Distressed, irregular):

These are made to be used on special occasions or for making things look pretty and fancy. Decorative fonts uniquely blend Serif and Script characteristics, making them stand out in our design. This feature makes decorative fonts eye-catching and versatile, allowing them to be used in various design projects.

Uses of Decorative Fonts:

For a wedding invitation, a book cover, or a logo design, decorative fonts can add elegance and creativity that will surely impress. These fonts can be fun and playful or very fancy and complicated. Sometimes, they have special design features that make them look different from other fonts.

Blackletter: Gothic Script (Old Style)

Blackletter typefaces, also known as Gothic or Old Style English typefaces, are described in the passage. These fonts stand out for their thick black texture, ornamented caps, narrow and angular lowercase letters, and apparent thick-to-thin strokes and serifs. They look very stylized, but they are still simple to understand.

Blackletter typeface - Typography - MakePixelPerfect

Fonts serve as the fundamental elements of typography, defining the appearance, dimensions, and design of each character to form complete typefaces. Despite being the same font, variations can arise based on the context of usage, such as in a pamphlet, novel, or road marker.


Display typefaces, or display styles, are the most common of all typefaces. They’re ideal for large headlines, advertisements, and signage. These fonts are not included in the classification.

Display - Typography - MakePixelPerfect

A display font is designed for short and large-format apps, like billboards, posters, book covers, logos, journals, and website headings. Serif, slab serif, didone, Scripts and Sans serif are just a few of the available font types.

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