Top 10 Fonts for Graphic Designers

Search “the importance of font in graphic design” and you will get a long list of articles each explaining this. To help you get started, here is a list of the most common and useful fonts that graphic designers use with the reasons why.


#1. Helvetica


Without a doubt, Helvetica is the most heavily used font by professionals in graphic design. Although some praise the font, many believe that it is spaced too tightly.


Do remember though, As Vivien pleads in her article, “Understand that you can’t always rely on Helvetica to illustrate and deliver your every message. Helvetica is not perfect for everyone and every occasion.”


#2. Trajan


Trajan finds its way into many Hollywood movie posters and anything remotely to do with religion, law, marriage, class or the past. You can check out the flickr pool for more uses of Trajan.


A bit of history on the font Trajan, Trajan is an old style serif typeface designed in 1989 by Carol Twombly for Adobe. The design is based on Roman square capitals, as used for the inscription at the base of Trajan’s Column from which the typeface takes its name.


#3. Garamond


 Although there are many versions of Garamond, currently the most used version is the Adobe Garamond released in 1989. Garamond is a great font for magazines, textbooks, websites and long bodies of text and was recently named the second best font (after Helvetica) by a German publication.


#4. Futura


Futura is a font that comes up often in large displays, logos, corporate typefaces and in books where small text is needed. It is based on geometric shapes (near-perfect circles, triangles and squares) which became representative of the Bauhaus design style of 19191933. Futura has an appearance of efficiency and forwardness. Some people do hate the font though.


#5. Bodoni


Bodoni is a great font for headlines, decorative text and logos. Bodoni has a narrow underlying structure with flat, unbracketed serifs. The face has extreme contrasts between thick and thin strokes, and an overall geometric construction which makes it a very aesthetic looking font.


#6. Bickham Script Pro


Used mainly for formal occasions, Bickham Script Pro is a font which does the job well. Cameron Moll even recommended it in his article “Typefaces no one will get fired for using.” The ‘not-so-trained’ designer usually vouches for Vivaldi instead which is one of America’s most hated fonts. Another great alternative would be Sloop.


#7. Frutiger


The Frutiger font family is neither strictly geometric nor humanistic in construction; its forms are designed so that each individual character is quickly and easily recognised. Such distinctness makes it good for signage and display work and it is often used in Web 2.0 Logos.


The full family has a warmth and subtlety that have, in recent years, made it popular for the smaller scale of body text in magazines and booklets.


#8. Caslon


As the lone serif typeface on this list, Caslon feels a little out of place. There are many other classic serifs that everyone loves, such as Garamond and Minion, but for some reason, it is Caslon that keeps making an appearance over and over again on Typewolf. I honestly can’t tell you why. Maybe designers are following When in doubt, use Caslon a little too religiously.


#9. Gotham


Released in 2000 by Hoefler and Frere-Jones, this clean, modern sans serif typeface has become possibly the most popular font for designers over the last 13 years. It is rumoured to be Obama’s favourite typeface but I’m not sure whether this is just an urban myth. It was, however, used by the Obama campaign during the 2008 election. Originally commissioned by GQ magazine, it is very much an American font in that its design was inspired by the lettering found on the architecture of New York City


#10. Rockwell


Rockwell is an instantly recognisable slab serif font where the serifs are similar in weight to the horizontal strokes of the letters. Designed by the Monotype foundry’s in-house design department in 1934, its distinctiveness originates from its geometric form. Although primarily used as a display font, it is the type of font that adds personality to any piece of design. Most typefaces need to be respected and work with your design. However, Rockwell is robust enough for you to do things to it. It has such a great sculptural form but somehow retains its quality



Alberto Cabezas

Born in Caracas Venezuela, Visual communicator and graphic designer, I always give the most with passion and creativity! My abilities range from corporate identity, video post-production and web design. Illustrator. I have been a painter since I was a child and always had passion for the arts. I have worked as designer and Creative Leader for important companies like, Cubix, Latinamerica, 360 Strat and a variety of clients like Nestea, Reckitt Benckiser, PDVSA La Estancia, Ron Carupano, B&B Burguers and Beers, Multiphone, Solollama and others. I am currently freelancing as a Creative Leader and Designer for ReFUEL4 for Venezuela and Latin America.