15 best fonts for website design, applications and printing

Operating system fonts
The most popular fonts in digital – in applications and website interfaces – were developed for specific operating systems: for example, Roboto, IBM Plex and Ubuntu. Let's look at each of them.

1. Roboto

A minimalist sans-serif font created by Christian Robertson in the early 2010s for the Android operating system. Familiar to most users since school essays, it is easy to read on screens of various formats - from laptops to smartphones. Ideal for headings, signatures and long texts.

License: Apache version 2.0 - free distribution for commercial and personal purposes; when used in a product, you must indicate the developer.
The Roboto font is used by more than 540 million websites around the world.
2. IBM Plex

A neutral sans serif font with thoughtful details and excellent readability for both web and print. Designed by Mike Ebbink.

License: Open Font License - free distribution for personal and commercial purposes.
3. Ubuntu

The sans-serif font is designed to emphasize the individuality of the operating system of the same name. Created by Dalton Maag over 10 years ago. Easy to read regardless of screen size. The Ubuntu family includes different languages.

License: Ubuntu Font License - free distribution for commercial and personal purposes.
Ubuntu is a universal font that does not distract the user from the content of the landing page.

Typesetting fonts
Neutral fonts that are used for typing large texts. Typefaces do not have distinct features: they differ slightly from each other in proportions, width and height of letters. The differences are noticeable only to professional designers who work a lot with typography.

The main purpose of typefaces is not to distract the reader’s attention from the content. If the user is not distracted by the font while reading, it means it was chosen well.

4. Helvetica

A timeless classic that looks and reads equally well on posters and smartphone screens, and is often used to create logos. Created by Max Miedinger and Eduard Hoffman.

License: closed, paid.
Helvetica was created over 60 years ago and is still actively used around the world.
5. Montserrat

When creating this font, Argentine designer Juliet Ulanovskaya was inspired by the typography of signs, posters and signs of the Montserrat district in the historical part of Buenos Aires. The result is a simple geometric sans serif that is suitable for use in digital, web design and official documents.

License: SIL Open Font License - free distribution for commercial and personal purposes.

Polish designer Lukasz Dziedzic created a font that is quite transparent when used in body text, and in large formats displays original features. The classic proportions of the letters emphasize their harmony and elegance, while the semicircular details convey a feeling of warmth - “Lato” means “Summer” in Polish.

License: Open Font License - free distribution for commercial and personal purposes.
7. Futura

Classic geometric grotesque, developed by German designer Paul Renner in 1927, drawing on the Bauhaus tradition. The main thing about this font is its simplicity and almost unlimited functionality. Easy to read and actively used in digital and printing. The Cyrillic version of the font was used in the logo of the 1980 Moscow Olympics.

License: closed, paid.

8. Raleigh

Originally designed by Matt McInerney, later refined by other designers. A distinctive feature of this universal sans serif is the thinness of the lines and geometric design, as well as memorable details, for example, the crosshairs in the letter W. It is often used in digital: logos, headers, landing pages.

License: Open Font License - free distribution for commercial and personal purposes.
Previously, it was believed that it was better to use serif fonts for printing: the eye catches on them, and what is written is perceived better. The tradition came from Ancient Rome, when letters were knocked out in stone using a hammer and chisel: this is how the serif was created by itself. On older screens, serifs created ripples due to flickering and the text was perceived worse. There was an opinion that it is better to use sans-serif fonts in digital, but with the advent of high-quality screens, this idea lost its relevance.

What is more important now is not the absence of serifs, but the correct size and contrast, which help to better perceive the text. There is no ban on the use of serif fonts in digital, but they are not often found in interfaces.

Serif fonts can be found on websites of a certain subject: theaters, exhibitions, beauty, fashion, luxury stores - elegant and contrasting serif fonts convey the atmosphere well.

9.Playfair display

Dutch designer Klaus Eggers Sorensen was inspired by the style of the Enlightenment. The font is distinguished by subtle decorative strokes and internal lightness of style. It is often used for headings, but functionally it can also be used for large bodies of text.

License: Open Font License - free distribution for commercial and personal purposes.
10. Cormorant

Christian Thalmann was inspired by the heritage of the Garamond typeface, which in turn was based on 16th-century French typography. Cormorant is characterized by sharp serifs, smooth curves and bright accents - just what it needs to attract the attention of aesthetic lovers.

License: Open Font License - free distribution for commercial and personal purposes.
11. Merriweather

The font from the American company Sorkin Type is distinguished by slightly compressed letterforms, light diagonal tension and strict serifs. All together gives a feeling of elegance and warmth.

License: Open Font License - free distribution for commercial and personal purposes.
Display fonts
They are used to highlight important information, headings and small inserts - characters that are typed large and in small quantities. It is difficult to read them in a large set. High-quality, beautiful and free display fonts have a distinct character, help convey the mood of the project and quickly become popular.

12. Ambidexter

The font is based on italics with two irregular axes of inclination. High contrast and an unusual combination of sharp corners and smooth curves make Ambidexter an interesting option for short large formats: headlines, posters, quotes.

License: Open Font License - free distribution for personal and commercial purposes.
13. Le Murmure

The charismatic and modern font was created by French designer Jeremy Landes, and its Cyrillization was created by Alexander Slobzheninov. The elongated letters “ZH”, “I”, “Ш” and “Ш” look especially interesting - a poster or headline on a landing page will definitely stand out. The uniqueness of the style makes this font easily recognizable even among non-professionals. Five years ago, the font received an award at the Modern Cyrillic 2019 competition.

License: SIL Open Font License, free distribution for personal and commercial purposes.
14. Druzhok

Student font made by Vlada Oleinik. Looks great in headlines, posters, packaging and short texts. Can be used for identity. Not all details are perfectly designed according to the rules, and this adds variability to the font.

License: Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported - Free for commercial and personal use with attribution.
15. Neue Machina

A carefully crafted font with rounded corners and geometric features, inspired by robotic aesthetics. Suitable for digital projects that involve visualization of the future and innovative technologies. The font set includes more than 500 characters.

License: free for personal use, for commercial use you will need to purchase a paid version.

It is better to check the resources used in the project, including fonts, to avoid semantic inconsistencies. For example, it would be strange to use a font inspired by street protests in official government communications.
If you don't want to buy a paid font, you can use free alternatives, for example from the Google Fonts collection. They are easy to download and can even be used in commercial projects. The free font can also be modified to create something original. If it is difficult to choose a ready-made font for a specific idea, for example for a logo, it is easier to draw it yourself.
Made on