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Sans serif fonts

As the name suggests, these typefaces have no serifs. Although sans serif fonts are often more associated with display, many, like humanist sans, for example, are suitable for extended reading too. Sans serifs also come in a very broad range of styles or sub-categories, including geometric, grotesque, humanist, rounded sans and more.

Sans Serif Fonts for Human-centered Branding

Neo-grotesque fonts with swashes!

Questions about sans serif fonts

What are sans serif fonts used for?
The short answer is that sans serif fonts are used for almost everything. Geometric Sans Serif typefaces are popular for branding and logos. See Fonts for Human-centered Branding, for some good examples. Many people think of sans serif fonts only for display purposes, but sans serifs, including Geometric Sans, Neo-Grotesque, and Humanist Sans, are great for UI and reading on screen too as web-fonts.

Can I use sans serifs for text?
Yes! But your choice of sans serif will depend on whether the text is long or short or in print or on screen. San serif typefaces with lots of quirky or ornamental details are great for display purposes, but lack the necessary clarity and legibility required for extended body text.

How to pair sans serifs with serif fonts?
That really depends on what you want to achieve. The first and most important rule is that there are no hard and fast rules. Trust your eye. However, if you're looking for general principles, here are three options:
1. Pair sans serif and serif fonts with similar x-heights or from the same superfamily (e.g. Proxima Nova and Proxima Sera); 2. Choose sans serifs with a similar skeleton or structure, like a humanist sans with an old style serif); 3. Extreme contrast — pair a geometric sans like Grato Classic or Postea with a classic style serif like Span or Brill.

Sans serif, san serif, sansserif, or sanserif?
The term “sans-serif” was coined in 1830, and is from the French meaning ‘without serifs.’ “San serif” is a misspelling, but both “sans serif” and “sans-serif” are fine — with the former spelling most common. And if you’re in a hurry, then “sans” is fine too.