how to use serif fonts example

How to Use Serif Fonts

Now we know the difference between the various font types, it is time to learn their strengths and weaknesses. Starting off with how to use serif fonts.

History of Serif Fonts

Serif fonts are divided into four types as they have been developed over the course of history. Starting with Old Style in the middle ages, to Transitional styles in the mid 1800s, to Didone Modern and Slab Serif used today. Of course all of these font styles are still in use, it just depends on your intention which one you choose.

Old Style

These fonts were created for books and pamphlets, these are easy to read even at small sizes. Old style fonts are useful for larger pieces of body text and can give a historical feeling to a piece.

Old Style Serif fonts include: Minion, Garamond and Palatino.


Transitional fonts bridge the gap between Old Style fonts and more modern typefaces. They are still consistent in their thickness ( a defining feature of Old Style fonts) but their endings are much more rounded. Therefore, they have a much softer look.

Transitional Serif fonts include: BaskervilleGeorgia and Times New Roman.

Didone Modern

Emerging in the late 1800s, Didone Modern fonts are highly stylised and make great use of white space when the kerning is increased. The thickness between various character parts are much  more dramatic, so they provide striking font designs used by the likes of Vogue. 

Didone Modern Serif fonts include: DidotBodoni, and Century Schoolbook.

Slab Serif

Slab Serif fonts are bold and striking, ideal for use in posters or to grab attention. The characters and serifs are heavy, thick and block like. This typeface style is designed for use of posters and to catch the eye. They are best for headers, titles and statements. 

Slab Serif fonts include: Rockwell, Memphis and Courier.

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