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I’m Jacob Cass, the founder of JUST™ Creative. I’m a multi-disciplinary graphic designer, working with clients all around the world. My specialty is logo & brand identity design. JUST™ Get in touch.

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27 Classic & Elegant Serif Fonts

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Just Design It

“There are now about as many different varieties of letters as there are different kinds of fools.” Eric Gill

Choosing a font for a project isn’t always an easy task but hopefully this list of professional classic and elegant serif fonts will make the task a little easier… or maybe not.

Nimbus Roman No 9

Nimbus Roman

ITC Garamond Light

ITC Garamond Light

Minion

Minion

URW Antiqua

URW Antiqua

Times

Times

Baskerville

Baskerville

Baskerville No. 2

Baskerville No. 2

Mrs Eaves

Mrs Eaves

Cheltenham Old Style No 2

Cheltenham Old Style 2

Cushing Std-Book

Cushing Std Book

Aldine 721

Aldine 721

Plantin Std

Plantin Std

Sabon

Sabon

Arno Pro

Arno Pro

Palatino

Palatino

Centaur MTStd

Centaur

Bookman Light

Bookman Light

Perpetua Std

Perpetua

New Century Schoolbook Roman

New Century Schoolbook

Berthold Baskerville Book Regular

Berthold Baskerville

Scala Pro-Regular

Scala Pro

Garamond Premier

Garamond Premier

Bembo

Bembo

Times New Roman MTStd

Times New Roman

Adobe Caslon

Adobe Caslon

Bodoni

Bodoni

Goudy 38

Goudy 38

More Typography & Font Resources:

Have you got a favourite classic serif typeface that was missed in this list? Let us know in the comments below.


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34 JUST™ Creative Comments

  • saravana kumar Reply

    I consider TRAJAN PRO as the best & the most classical of them all and it should have been in the list.

  • Ebi Atawodi Reply

    I particularly love Minion and I fell in love with Sabon having worked on some print from Booz&co. I don’t know about ITC Garamond…my all time favourite in the list will be Baskerville. It’s great for large type!

  • Ben Hughes Reply

    Oh! What a nice list. Also another good one that I refer to often if Plantagenet (referred to on my local machine as Plantagenet Cherokee)

    Here’s more info on that one:
    http://www.tiro.com/Plantagenet/plantagenet_index3.html

  • Elizabeth Reply

    I usually never use serif fonts, I’m not used to them because I don’t like serif. But when choosing a type of font, i include them and then discard them lol.

  • Roy Reply

    I like to add ‘Rotis Serif’ to the above list.

  • Jin Reply

    I’d add Hoefler Text to the list.

  • Douglas Bonneville Reply

    I think my favorite “rediscovered” classic font is New Century Schoolbook. I used it on a printable PDF of top fonts recently. Seeing it in a “teacherly” context, there was no question why it’s called “Schoolbook”. For some reason, it has the patience and upbeat temperament of a saintly 7th grade teacher, but does double-duty as a college prof…

    It didn’t make my “Top 19 Fonts” post, but it was in the top 40, and my fondness for it has only grown. I love when something old becomes unexpectedly new again.

    And you know, I never, ever, ever get sick of the lower-case “a” in Garamond. I think that has to be my favorite letter in any typeface. It’s a work of art :)

    This is great list Jacob.

  • Mahima Pushkarna Reply

    Arnhem, esp for body copy when well typeset. The primary typeface used in the book Modern Typography by Robin Kinross. Read about it here;
    http://www.davidtorno.com/MacTex_Uploads/Button001.jpg
    preview it here:
    http://www.fontshop.com/search/?q=arnhem+normal

  • BMCD Reply

    Very resourceful. Especially nice that you laid out examples and links. I find that using serif fonts in formal designs is very effective. When I say formal I mean things like press releases and websites or print marketing for formal businesses like accounting firms, law offices, and high profile businesses.

  • Jacob Cass Reply

    Thank you for your patience in waiting for my response, it’s been a busy week. Thank you to all those that have suggested more great serif fonts!

    Saravana,
    Thank you, Trajan is certainly a lovely typeface even if it is overused.

    Ebi,
    ITC Garamond is one of those ones that you either love or hate. In fact there was an essay on this topic that is worth reading. I hate ITC Garmond.

    Douglas,
    I recently used New Century Schoolbook in a logo of mine (MEGS) which is actually for a University program. Seemed like the perfect fit.

    I forgot about your top 19 fonts list, I have added the link to your comment now.

  • Douglas Bonneville Reply

    Jacob: thanks for the tweet and link! You are the Oprah Winfrey of Graphic Design. :) Now I just need to complete my semi-biographical auto-biography.

    Funny about the MEGs logo and it’s application in a University setting, with my comment about the college prof! How funny. I have another post in the works about “font personalities”, which might be like a Rorschach test for type-lovers :). It’s fascinating how fonts are chosen for their perceived persona, even to the average office worker setting a memo to print:

    “I want this to be funny and light hearted” = Comic Sans

    “I really need to grab their attention” = Impact

    “We’re having a picnic!” = Brush Script

    “I’m *very* professional” = Copperplate

    Or how ’bout…

    “I’m sophisticated” = any typeface, but all lower case

    :)

  • Minneapolis Web Design Guy Reply

    It might be because I’m easily influence by big ads and things like Macs, but I just have a really hard time getting into Serif fonts. I know this is something that I need to fix, but I just don’t like the way they look for most projects. Guess I just haven’t found the right client to fit them to.

    • Sam Anthony Reply

      I completely agree. I am always swayed by how clean sans serif fonts look on the web. However, the next time I need to get over myself and go with a serif font, this will be my resource! Thank you!

  • Rory Reply

    Nice selection Jacob, I love a serif very tasty. Shame in this day and age we can’t use more fonts in our web design…DAMN THOSE LIMITED WEB FRIENDLY FONTS!! Baskerville, kerned, oh so good! Just read your ‘How To Choose A Font’ blog to nicely written bro….take it easy.

  • Erik Reply

    Great list and you’ve got my favorite in it, Caslon, it such a great font, old but wise as I always say.

  • WebDesign Reply

    I’ve reviewed all the fonts that you have mentioned but I personally love Helvetica. Is there anyone who is passionate of using “Helvetica”?

  • Douglas Bonneville Reply

    Looks like Brian Hoff got the jump on the “single letter” post idea – he focused on “g” in bunch. Great looking, interesting post:

    http://www.thedesigncubicle.com/2009/10/same-ol-g-think-again-a-visual-study-of-the-lowercase-g/

    Now I have to finish up my “a” post…

    Graphics are a big deal on posts like these. I’m going back and revamping a few font posts with enhanced graphics like PDFs.

    For instance, here is a link to my personal top 10 fonts list, but updated with a nicely laid out PDF to go with, and HUGE preview graphics. Now you can zoom in, etc…

    http://bonfx.com/top-10-fonts-for-graphic-designers-with-pdf-chart/

    I’ll get around to revamping my other font-related posts like this…much more fun…

  • Web Design Company Sheffield Reply

    Where is Trajan Pro, its web-safe and renders on most OS’s – unlike many of the fonts you have listed, However thats no longer a problem with the likes of Cufon and Sifr etc.
    nice list though! thanks

  • Chris J. Reply

    First use of Palatino – added on my fave fonts!

  • Tenisha Reply

    Where is Trajan Pro, its web-safe and renders on most OS’s – unlike many of the fonts you have listed, However thats no longer a problem with the likes of Cufon and Sifr etc.

  • Faustina Reply

    Where is Trajan Pro, its web-safe and renders on most OS’s – unlike many of the fonts you have listed, However thats no longer a problem with the likes of Cufon and Sifr etc.

  • Romaine Reply

    I consider TRAJAN PRO as the best & the most classical of them all and it should have been in the list.

  • Sook Reply

    I particularly love Minion and I fell in love with Sabon having worked on some print from Booz&co. I don’t know about ITC Garamond…my all time favourite in the list will be Baskerville. It’s great for large type!


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