Fonts are incredibly versatile and can be full of underlying expression. Certain fonts can symbolise specific attributes, which is why some industries favour certain styles. For example, designer fashion brands often opt for sophisticated fonts, with thinner, more elegant strokes, conjuring a chic, high quality image. These font choices are designed to attract their target audience of affluent, fashion-focused consumers.
Serif vs Sans Serif
Serifs are the small lines or strokes at the edges of individual letters, that are found in serif fonts. Sans serif fonts don’t include these flourishes, making for a sleeker, more modern look than their serif counterparts. Although it is something so small, the inclusion or exclusion of these little components can make all the difference to the overall look of a font.
Serif fonts are said to be more traditional and portray reliability and integrity, which is why they are commonly seen in broadsheet newspaper headers, as they have done for centuries.
On the other hand, sans serif text is modern and blocky, making more of a statement with its contemporary style. There's an abundance of variations within these categories, making it difficult to narrow them down. Both are subjective and have their pros and cons.
As with most things, opinions vary from person to person, but there are common themes within target audiences. In terms of serif and sans serif, younger people tend to prefer sans serif due to being exposed to the less fussy style of font in school text books and most modern advertising – it is what they are more accustomed to. Trends change through the decades, though, so if we see a major shift back towards serif fonts, generational preferences are also likely to change.