Serif VS Sans

Serif vs. sans serif font. What’s the difference? What kind of message does each send? And what’s the best font choice for your brand?

You’ve got TONS of choices (Source Pro Sans or Playfair Display? Rockwell or Bebas Neue? Or, please no!...Comic Sans?!). Before you can make a choice about which font is the best fit for your brand, and your designs, you need to understand the different categories. There are a number of font categories out there, however, the two main categories you need to understand to make conscious design decisions are Serif and Sans Serif.

What’s the difference you ask?
Let’s take a look at serif vs. sans serif fonts to educate which best fits your needs.
First off: What, exactly, is the difference between serif vs. sans serif fonts?

“As their names suggest, the main difference between these two typefaces is the presence or absence of serifs within the letters,” Natalie Downey, Senior Designer at Duckpin.

“A serif is a decorative line or taper added to the beginning and/or end of a letter’s stem, which creates small horizontal and vertical planes within a word.”

In a nutshell, serif fonts have those decorative lines or tapers (also commonly referred to as “tails” or “feet”) while sans serif fonts don’t—hence the “sans” in their name

“Without tails, sans-serif fonts are made up of simple, clean lines that are the same width throughout,” says Downey.

There you have it, the simplest breakdown you could want and need. For all you type geek (like me) out there here are some of my favorites as examples.




-Freight Pro

-Baskerville (a classic)

-Barteldes Small

Sans Serif

-Nunito font

-Proxima Nova

-Brandon Grotesque