Selecting the right font(s) for use in print can be a bit challenging. Fonts in this category have to be concise, smooth, and be able to hold its own ground without the additional help of other fonts. Although there are a few interchangeable fonts that can be used for web and print, the list we’ve compiled below should help you get a head start on what fonts are the most effective in print.

Many times the choice that seems obvious for designers is serif fonts, due in part to the fact that they work well in the form of a headline or body content. Though with the following fonts you’ll see that we have digressed from filling up this list with serif fonts. Instead, we hand-picked a variety of well-known and a few obscure fonts that we believe do a good job of conveying readability when used for print.

Are we missing any? Let us know in your comment!

Excelsior

Perpetua

Akzidenz Grotesk

Geo Sans Light

Avenir

Stempel Schneidler

Rockwell

Helvetica

Times New Roman

Adelle

Geometric Slabserif

Clarendon Light OT

Memphis

Coolvetica LT

Giza Five Five

Interstate Light

Frutiger Roman

Got a question about this article? – Ask it here!

  • http://www.insidethewebb.com/ Inside the Webb

    Great collection of fonts man! Design Reviver has some awesome posts, keep up this great work

  • http://www.psdfan.com Tom Ross

    This is one of the best font roundups I’ve ever seen. I’ve always loved Rockwell and Museo, but some of the alternatives here are stunning!

  • Andy-Mac

    You almost totally lost my respect at Trajan; I half expected to see Comic Sans after that. There are only a couple of fonts worth exploring for print design in here (i.e. Museo, perhaps even Memphis or Rockwell), but how dare you include Times New Roman; it has it’s place, but not on this list. And the fact that you even found a font called Coolvetica is appalling. Next time, maybe consult some print designers or typographers; you would see a totally different world if you did.

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  • http://www.sgdoeschwitz.de BigM75

    great fonts, i use a same of it

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  • http://www.crearecommunications.co.uk Mike

    I’d love to use a wider variety of fonts in my designs but as I’m designing for web I tend to stick to the safe few accept for when I’m embedding the text in an image file.

  • http://x-equals.com/blog/ Brandon Oelling

    Without Akzidenz Grotesk the world would be a lifeless inhabitable place ;-)

    |B
    {x=}

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  • Guilherme

    damn… that lost its too bad. times new roman?? wtf!!!

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  • http://www.creativeaces.com Joann Sondy

    Have to agree with Andy-Mac on this one. About 1/4 of the fonts you listed would be considered worthy by a seasoned print designer.

  • http://www.madewira.com Madewira

    Don’t forget DIN typefaces. They are awesome too.

  • Nadine

    This is an interesting post, however, it is important to point out that different typefaces are appropriate for different uses, a good display typeface might not make a good text face. Maybe it would be helpful to indicate recommended uses for each typeface…?

    I personally like Trajan, and think it can work quite nicely for a variety of projects at display sizes but certainly not at text sizes. Among the typefaces listed, Avenir, Helvetica and Perpetua are definitely quality fonts that have stood the test of time. However, I am not sure I would have combined them with some of the other entries. There are a number of free quality fonts (Museo is one of them), but they do tend to be few and far between and I wouldn’t put all of them on par with the work of Adrian Frutiger or even Erik Spiekermann.

    I had no idea there was a typeface called Coolvetica, that’s funny! :) It kind of looks like a combination of Helvetica and Chalet…

    Having said all of that, typefaces, like other aspects of design, are largely a subjective matter and it would be difficult to reach a consensus on what would makes a quality font and what doesn’t. For instance many people think Helvetica is as close to font perfection as we will come while some very well established designers hate it with a passion.

    Anyway, great blog, always fun to read! :)

  • OllieJ Design

    I agree with Andy-Mac completely. Coolvetica, Times New Roman, Trajan should not be on this list. Even Museo is wearing thin because everyone’s using it because some other designer used it.

    Also, if you’re going to post typefaces that “should” be used, please provide reasons for doing so.

  • http://www.xpress-media.co.uk Web Design Barnsley

    I use Avenair alot and find it very effective idd. I see so many websites using 40000 different fonts within one page, looks messy and a total nono imo.

    I do agree with Ollie on this though, a few reason wouldnt go a miss if poss.

  • jasper mamanta

    trajan is the best…..
    but all of them are cool!

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  • eric h.

    Props for including Akzidenz Grotesk which always seems to be living in the shadow of Helvetica. But you forgot two classics that Univers and Lubalin Graph. There are a few fonts on this list that would never make my cut, but to each their own.

  • Andrew

    Because fonts are SERIOUS BUSINESS.

  • http://ilovecopperplategothicbold.com Copperplate Love

    Nice try on the list, but you forgot number .9, Copperplate Gothic Bold. How could this not be on the list, it truly is the greatest font in the world!

  • http://brissajordan.com/ Brissa Jordan

    Im just starting out, so this is a great guide to go by. QuickSand is catching my eye.

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  • Appalled

    HOW DARE YOU include Times New Roman.

    …oh and you forgot Futura (best font of all times) and Gill Sans (the other best font of all times).

    Other than that ^^
    I really enjoyed it.

  • GiantSwing

    I admire your effort of putting a list of something so resourceful for designers, but there are a few points that I would like to make.

    1. This list lacks variety. I know if we don’t count decorative fonts, it’d pretty much break down to Serif, Sans Serif, and Slab Serif. But hey! there are way more variety in those 3 than you would think.
    2. Most of the fonts shown here are NOT something I consider the best of its kind. In my opinion anyway.
    3. Times New Roman may belong to many lists, but not this one. I think many designers would agree with me on this.
    4. Coolvetica. Really? I’d rather put it in my “Fonts You Should Stay Away From” list. Wait a second… I already did!
    5. The title “30 Best Fonts Designer Should Use For Print” is VERY STRONG. It’s “Ten Commandments strong”. Therefore, you’re going to need WAY MORE RESEARCH to come up with something to do it justice. As of now, I see few great fonts, a lot of OK fonts, and some “OMG!-How-Dare-You-Put-That-Font-On-This-List” fonts.

    Just my two cents anyway.

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  • http://www.elliscreative.com.au DesigningDan

    Have always been a huge fan of the Gill Sans light font – looks amazing in print!

  • jasper mamanta

    andy mac is right. times new roman was in every pc. you don’t need it on the list.

  • http://www.htx.ro Kay Fall

    Great font collection!

  • Sammie

    Oh, I think they’re nice, the ones that aren’t particularly common, I hadn’t seen before, thanks for the post. I will look into Museo and Trajan, they look neat.

  • linsly

    ???
    thanks

  • Arial

    I hate times roman!!!

  • http://www.gap-design.net Greg

    I agree with about half of your list but you’re really off base with a few.

    Tallys: It’s not good for large print and often looks a little bit jagged when used for large blocks of text.

    Trajan: Trajan is an amazing font that is entirely over-used. The movie business has made this font too recognizable to use.

    Geo-Sans: Again, a nice font but many designers use it inappropriately.

    Rockwell: Frankly, I just hate this font. It’s ugly and I have never seen it used appropriately.

    Helvetica: Helvetica is an annoying go-to font for designers. It’s a nice font and it deserves to be on this list but it is certainly not the Jesus of the font world.

    Times Roman: I.. what the… is this a joke? It has to be, because when anybody uses this font it simply screams, “I don’t know how to change the default font in Microsoft Word”. It’s generic, over-used, and unattractive.

    Other than that, most of the fonts that you posted look a lot a like. I mean, really. Chunk five, RePublic, Memphis, Glypha, and Rockwell are basically the same font with varying levels of boldness.

    There are a few good fonts on the list but the fact that you put Times Roman on a list of the best fonts for designers tells me that you either have no taste or that you are very new to design.

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  • fj shield

    I am really glad I came across this page! and I think the feedback is absolutely hilarious but valued opinions noteworthy for my studies as i am a new designer.

    thanks.

  • Stark

    I can’t help but notice that a few of these also appear on lists of “the worst fonts for designers to use” lists if you search online.

    :)

  • jeffster888

    I think Georgia could be a suitable replacement for times…

  • http://www.freshcreativeco.com Rachel

    I agree that as a designer, there are several fonts on this list that I would stay away from. But I like the look of Sling and QuickSand. They’re a little specific, but I’d use them if I had the right opportunity.

  • http://www.y8xgames.com david

    very nice fonts, thank you

  • Daryl Hyman

    I very much appreciate that these typefaces are all compiled here so I can write my discussions to my university. Thank you so much.

  • http://www.fabcloset.com Tibi Dress

    this was a really quality article. In theory I’d like to write like this also – taking time and real effort to make a interesting article… but what can I say… I procrastinate a lot and never seem to get it done

  • http://www.spinthebottle.ru/ STB

    Nice collection! Rockwell is special one.

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    Its really a good writeup, would be interested to read such more informative draft from you ahead, can be a wonderful help to the new readers like me.

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    This page has mind well impact and impressed me to share my experience and gain with you all.

  • Nicole

    Good list of fonts.

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    This page has impressed me to share my experience and gain with you all.Its really a good.

  • Fontman

    FUTURA. How could you forget Futura?

  • http://www.buffalowebdesign.co.uk Buffalo Web Design

    I’m quite a big fan of Impact so surprised not see that one up there?

  • http://www.mobwiki.com/ Mobwiki

    Very good research…Rockwell is my fav..

  • http://www.yahire.com Ben Leslie

    My friend told me about this site and I think he deserves a beer :)

  • http://www.hotstardesign.com Hotstar web design

    Those fonts are ok but there are more out there that look cool – I like the cool vivica though ill download it and use it on my project.

  • http://www.appealingprint.com.au Printing

    Thank you for the 30 Big Font Design. Have a good list for the font.

  • Hombre

    My choice : Gill Sans (Gill Sans light is amazing), Akzidenz Grotesk, Optima, Gotham, Garamond, Century Gothic, Georgia, Perpetua, Clarendon and Futura

  • http://www.facebook.com/squashculls Casey Marie Raasumaa Rollins

    But there’s no comic sans on this list!!!

    • Brandon Marshall

      Nobody likes comic sans for a reason :c

  • http://www.facebook.com/Ghada.Abul.Fadl Ghada HurGhada

    thank you so much they are really nice fonts

  • CulturalFloyd

    All you Times Roman haters really haven’t a clue about typography have you. Sure it’s not the ‘coolest’ font out there and yes, it is unfortunate enough to be a default on Micro$oft machines. But. This classic font has been beautifully crafted by far more skilled and experienced designers than you; in an age when sharp pencils had more value than sharp comments!

  • http://anarm.net/ Anarm

    Nice fonts! Times New Roman is my fav..

  • Mak Alam

    No font is bad, its the designer who makes a font look good or bad.