Serifs are the small feet at the end of the strokes on a letter or symbol. Sans is French for “without” and graphic design fonts fall into one or other of these categories (serif or sans serif) depending on whether those feet are present in the design of the lettering. At the simplest level, serifs act as lines that help your eye move from one letter to another.

What is a sans-serif font?

In typography and lettering, a sans-serif typeface is one that does not have extending features known as ‘serifs’ at the end of strokes.

What is the difference between serif and sans serif?

Designers most often use serif fonts to suggest traditional, formal and classical styles. This style of lettering is truly historical and can be seen in historical records through the ages. Popular serif fonts include Bodoni, Georgia and Times New Roman.

Sans serif fonts are usually much simpler because of their stripped-back design. They are often used to produce modern and clean pieces of work and have become prevalent in design work since first creeping in during the 18th century. Some of the most well known sans serif typefaces are Helvetica, Arial, and Geneva.

When do you use serif or sans serif?

Sans serifs easier to read when set small because they usually have a more open face (which is the space in the middle of the letters, think about the white areas in an o or an e). This means these fonts are better for use online or electronic displays where the resolution of the lettering is lower. Serif fonts, meanwhile, need a higher resolution to get in all those little details. This means most websites will display the majority of the text in sans serif and titles in serif typefaces.

How to choose a font

Sans serifs fonts are usually used in an informal look, while serifs are for more formal and traditional presentations. This means the content and feel of your design work will help you decide which type of font to use. Generally though, there are no rules. If you need help, we can offer a wide range of help and support you in making these types of design decisions and producing a great product to be proud of

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