Types of Font Styles

By DanielC ; Updated September 15, 2017
There are hundreds of font styles and sub-categories.

Font styles describe a collection of different fonts which have a similar style or that are designed by a similar process. There are hundreds of font styles and sub-categories that have been created over the centuries which have been gradually adapted due to changing production and printing techniques.

Roman

Serif and sans serif are two of the most common types of font styles. Serif fonts have a variety of lettering designs but are commonly used to print large amounts of text due to their easily readable qualities. Serif fonts are characterized by their additional strokes at the end of individual letters. An example of a serif font is Times Roman. Sans serif fonts are without these additional strokes and bolder and plainer by nature. An example of a sans serif font is Helvetica. Script font styles mimic handwriting styles. An example of a script font is Zapfino. Ornamental font styles are used for decorative purposes.

Blackletter

Blackletter font styles, also known as Gothic style, replicate late medieval calligraphy at the time of the invention of the printing press. This style has taken on a slightly adapted form as a result of the work of modern designers. An example of a Blackletter font is Rotunda.

Gaelic

Taken from the Irish language, Gaelic fonts are characterized by angular shapes and rounded capital letters. This font style mimics the style of traditional Gaelic alphabet lettering and has distinctive cultural value.

Monospaced

Monospaced font styles describe lettering that each symbol takes up the same amount of space. Normally, letters in the alphabet such as "i" and "l" take up less space that letters such as "m" and "w." This is named as a proportional font. Monospacing creates neater columns, making work such as tables and computer coding easier to read. Most typewriters used monospaced text.

Symbol

Symbol is a modern font style which has been created for more informal purposes. This style replaces letters and characters with symbols. An example of a symbol font is Wingdings.