Classic serif fonts give print projects timeless beauty and clarity

  1. These Serif Fonts are a Designer Favorite
  2. The note
  3. Baskerville
  4. Bodonia
  5. Caslon
  6. century
  7. Garamond
  8. Goudy
  9. palatino
  10. Sabon
  11. stylus
  12. once

These Serif Fonts are a Designer Favorite

If you want your collection of fonts to include the most legible and legible, proven text fonts, you can’t go wrong with this selection of classic serif fonts.

Classic serif fonts are just the tip of the serif iceberg and represent a universal and reliable standard. The classics on this list include many of the old-style serifs, as well as some temporary and modern serifs.

Each font family has many varieties and variations; some are more suitable than others for body text. When you search for font sites online, you’ll find variations on these standard serif fonts, often featuring eponymous sans-serif, open or chiseled styles, and other related faces.

The note

Not every version is suitable for body text, headlines, captions, and web pages. However, members of the same family are meant to work together. This list is presented in alphabetical order; no font is considered better than another.


The classic 1750s Baskerville and New Baskerville serifs, with their many variations, work well for both text and display. Baskerville is a temporary serif style.


Bodoni is a classic text face inspired by the work of Giambattista Bodoni. Some versions of Bodoni fonts may be too heavy or contain too much contrast in thick and thin strokes for body text, but they work well as a display type. Bodoni is a modern writing style.


Benjamin Franklin chose Caslon for the first edition of the United States Declaration of Independence. Fonts based on William Caslon’s fonts are easy-to-read choices for text.


The most famous of the Century family is the New Century Schoolbook. All Faces of the Century are considered easy-to-read serif fonts, suitable not only for children’s books, but also for magazines and other publications.


Fonts named Garamond are not always based on Claude Garamond designs. However, these serif fonts have certain characteristics of timeless beauty and legibility. Garamond is an old style serif font.


This popular Frederic W. Gowdy serif font has evolved over the years to include many weights and variations. Goudy Old Style is a very popular font.


Palatino, a common serif font for both body text and display type, was designed by Herman Zapf. Some of its widespread use may be due to its inclusion — along with Helvetica and Times — in Mac OS. Palatino is an old-fashioned serif font.


Designed in the 1960s by Jan Tschichold, the Sabon serif font is based on Garamond types. Those who designed the font indicated that it should be suitable for all printing purposes – and it is. Sabon is an old serif font.


A relatively young design from the late 80s, the entire Stone family, with its coordinated serif, sans-serif, and informal families, lends itself well to mixing and matching styles. The serif version is classified as a transitional style, along with the older serif fonts that first appeared in the 17th century.


Maybe overused at times, but it’s a good basic serif font nonetheless. Times, Times New Roman and other variations of this serif font, originally designed for use in newspapers, are easy to read and read as body text.

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