26+ Cool Serif Fonts: Best Free Downloads in 2017

Serif List by: Rade   ·  Updated:

What are Serif Fonts?

When looking at text, characters with a serif (/ˈsɛrɪf/) have additional line adornment glued to the end of a stroke in a character. Fonts with these tiny lines is called a serif typeface (or serifed font), while the ones without serifs are sans serif (sans means "without" in French language).

One cool note: If you would ask an old-style typographer about these two opposing typographic styles, they would probably refer to sans-serif fonts as "Grotesque" and serif typefaces as "Roman".

Serifs and Font Legibility

Though idea behind a serif may seem nothing short of decorative, however, serif fonts have become the more legible font option for lengthy text in a majority of circumstances. People naturally are more comfortable reading a serif font as the serifs aid the ability to keep the eye focused on a particular line of text. Serif typefaces are commonly seen in books and newspapers.

Serif typefaces are a clean and sophisticated typography option for styling your textual content. They are generally the preference for most adults and professionals. The more traditional design has been present in writing for many years, in fact, the serif style was one of the oldest forms in typography. Since the beginnings of typography, serifs has benefitted the horizontal reading structure of our language. Because of how long serif style has been present, the style seems familiar and comfortable with the style, so is still a great choice to use in 2017 and beyond.

When to Use a Serif Font?

Professional documents, collegiate essays, academic journals, news sources, and other informative sources most often utilize serif fonts. The garnishments attached to the lettering tend to enhance the speed at which text can be read and demonstrates a greater tone of seriousness or sophistication. Generally speaking, serif typefaces are used for formal documents and are common and easiest for the reader in print form.

Serif families have highly distinctive lettering, which is the reason for its use in text. In most cases, readers spend longer trying to identify a typeface without serifs, concluding that they add the distinctiveness to the message the author tries to convey. The goal of a font is to not distract the reader from the message, but to allow readers the ability to read the text without needing to think about the font in which it is written. Legibility and reader comfort is a major necessity in writing.

Do Serifs Go Well With Sans-Serifs?

There are different “weights” for serifs that determine their appearance. Among a few, there are square, slab, and hairline serifs (as may be assumed, the square and slab serifs are denser than the hairline). There are more serif options available known as wedge, unbracketed, and bracketed serif. There are also combinations of both serif and sans-serif font styles available, which can be suitable in concept and modern design. The intensity of the structural details of the serif font style can vary depending on the needs and desires of the writer.

Below are a list of hand-picked serif typefaces that we recommend using in 2017 to empower your creative work. Most of the featured typefaces are free to use in commercial projects, but you should always confirm that in the typeface license.

Summary: Serif Typography Definition

Essentially, the serif is the structural detailing tacked onto the ends and edges of a letter. They add definition and clarity to a character, making the letter more distinctive than it would be without a serif. This is especially true when looking at the letters uppercase I ("i") and lowercase L ("l"). Serif fonts are the dominant font style for printed text, formal documents, and other informative text options. The serif has been around since writing began, and has been the dominant style ever since.

The Best Serif Fonts List for 2017

If you’re in a hurry and can’t cover the whole list of hand-picked Serif typefaces we've prepared for you, here's a list of our top 5 picks:

Best Free Serif fonts in 2017
FONT DESIGNER TYPE RATING
Griffos Font Manfred Klein Fonteria TrueType 4.8
Tinos Ascender Fonts TrueType 4.8
Caudex Hjort Nidudsson TrueType 4.8
Alegreya Juan Pablo del Peral OpenType 4.8
Linux Libertine Philipp Poll TrueType 4.7



Times New Roman Example

1. Times New Roman Font by Adobe

Times New Roman is a premium font that was created by the industry expert Adobe. It is serious and visually appealing, but retains a friendly tone, and looks especially good when used in print, such as in corporate design, brochures or in restaurant menus. Thinking of using it in commercial client work? No worries, it's allowed.

4.7  ·  857,710  ·  1,776  · 


Merriweather Typeface

2. Merriweather Font by Sorkin Type Co

Idea for the eye-catching Merriweather font came from a one-night's inspiration of who working tirelessly to make this beautiful font a reality. It looks great in both print and on-screen designs. It should be noted that it comes in a truetype file format.

4.7  ·  903,529  ·  1,871  · 


Droid Serif Letters

3. Droid Serif Font by Google Android

A eye-catching and amazing Serif typeface, Droid Serif has been developed by designer and font designer Google Android. It can be used in commercial designs or included in your CSS as a webfont.

4.2  ·  100,462  ·  208  · 


Alegreya Characters

4. Alegreya Font by Juan Pablo del Peral

Idea for the friendly Alegreya typeface came from a one-night's inspiration of who pledging to make this popular typeface a reality. A great choice for restaurant menus, corporate design. This free opentype font can be used online.

4.8  ·  119,248  ·  247  · 


Cardo Serif

5. Cardo Font by David Perry

A serif font with a modern twist, Cardo was designed by graphic designer, font designer and typographer David Perry. Thinking of using it in commercial client work? No worries, it's allowed.

4.2  ·  341,979  ·  708  · 


Serif Crimson Text

6. Crimson Text Font by Sebastian Kosch

Interesting thing about Crimson Text is how it's glyphs create a mix of lines to form a unique shape, so it looks like as if Sebastian Kosch was trying to maintain a synergy within it's lines while developing ligatures for this font. This free Serif comes in a truetype format.

4.3  ·  336,839  ·  697  · 


Vollkorn Download

7. Vollkorn Font by FRiTZe

Vollkorn's type designer should be proud of this serif typeface he developed, as it is really elegant and beautiful. We find it is assertive, web safe and solid. Feel free to use it in commercial projects, or as a webfont via CSS.

4.6  ·  158,607  ·  328  · 


Linux Libertine free

8. Linux Libertine Font by Philipp Poll

Described as 'the next classic within the Serif group', Linux Libertine is a serious font that is designed by Philipp Poll. Feel free to use it in commercial projects, or as a webfont via CSS.

4.7  ·  211,413  ·  438  · 


Serif typography Eb Garamond

9. Eb Garamond Font by Georg Duffner

A amazing and friendly Serif typeface, Eb Garamond is designed by digital professional and digital professional Georg Duffner. If you're into Serif fonts, you should definitely check it out.

4.4  ·  152,819  ·  316  · 


Contra Font

10. Contra Font by Apostrophic Labs

Contra is another free typeface from a well known designer. We find it is easy to read, web safe and visually appealing. This free Serif comes in a truetype format.

4.5  ·  284,598  ·  589  · 


Tinos Example

11. Tinos Font by Ascender Fonts

A talented artist is the incredible digital professional behind the Tinos font. It looks great in both print and on-screen designs. Ascender fonts placed a 'free' price tag on this truetype typeface.

4.8  ·  338,275  ·  700  · 


Caudex Typeface

12. Caudex Font by Hjort Nidudsson

Caudex is another free typeface from a well known designer. We find it's aesthetically appealing and bold, but has a friendly feel, and looks especially good when used in print, such as in brochures, product labels or in brochures. It should be noted that it comes in a truetype file format.

4.8  ·  385,150  ·  797  · 


Enriqueta Letters

13. Enriqueta Font by FontFuror

A amazing and refreshing Serif font, Enriqueta was built by type designer and digital professional FontFuror. It can be used in commercial designs or included in your CSS as a webfont.

4.6  ·  220,218  ·  456  · 


Gentium Basic Characters

14. Gentium Basic Font by SIL International

A serif typeface with a modern twist, Gentium Basic was built by font developer, graphic designer and creative professional SIL International. If you're into Serif fonts, you should definitely check it out.

4.3  ·  103,109  ·  213  · 


Liberation Serif Serif

15. Liberation Serif Font by Red Hat

This is one of the most charming font, and has been built a well known designer. A great choice for greeting cards, letterheads. This free Serif comes in a truetype format.

4.5  ·  147,287  ·  305  · 


Serif Bergamo

16. Bergamo Font by FontSite Inc.

This is one of the most breathtaking typeface, and was developed a well known designer. Versatile ligatures makes it perfect for newspapers, posters, business cards and product labels. Feel free to use it in commercial projects, or as a webfont via CSS.

4.3  ·  249,851  ·  517  · 


Cleopatra Download

17. Cleopatra Font

Cleopatra's font developer should be proud of this serif typeface he built, as it is really astonishing and incredible. This serif font is a great use in product packaging and landing pages. placed a 'free' price tag on this truetype typeface.

4.5  ·  216,391  ·  448  · 


Latin Modern Roman free

18. Latin Modern Roman Font by GUST e-foundry

Developed by GUST e-foundry, Latin Modern Roman typeface was developed for one thing: to create the best font for use in mobile apps and blogs. While mobile usage is surpassing desktop in all parts of the world, you should definitely check out Latin Modern Roman. You can use it for both personal and commercial projects.

4.2  ·  187,734  ·  389  · 


Serif typography Mido

19. Mido Font by Eva Grinder

Mido has been designed by Eva Grinder and, based on the community, 'is trying to create a free alternative to the established fonts from the Serif fonts category'. If you're into Serif fonts, you should definitely check it out.

4.3  ·  146,087  ·  302  · 


New Athena Unicode Font

20. New Athena Unicode Font by American Philological Association

A beautiful and refreshing Serif typeface, New Athena Unicode is created by digital professional and font developer American Philological Association. If you're into Serif fonts, you should definitely check it out.

4.4  ·  287,385  ·  595  · 


Dustismo Roman Example

21. Dustismo Roman Font by Cheapskate Fonts

Created by Cheapskate Fonts, Dustismo Roman typeface is created who tried one thing: to develop the best font for use in mobile apps and infographics. While mobile usage is surpassing desktop in all parts of the world, you should definitely check out Dustismo Roman. If you're into Serif fonts, you should definitely check it out.

4.0  ·  315,515  ·  653  · 


Medio Typeface

22. Medio Font by Dot Colon

Medio is a free typeface from a well known designer. A great choice for business cards, logos. This free opentype font can be used online.

4.5  ·  221,222  ·  458  · 


Quattrocento Roman Letters

23. Quattrocento Roman Font by Pablo Impallari

A talented artist is the established designer behind the Quattrocento Roman font. This serif typeface is a great use in magazines and infographics. It's free and comes in a opentype format.

4.3  ·  339,105  ·  702  · 


Poly Characters

24. Poly Font by Jose Nicolas Silva Schwarzenberg

Announced as 'the next classic in the Serif style', Poly is a visually appealing font that is designed by Jose Nicolas Silva Schwarzenberg. Poly is available as a free download and can be used privately and commercially.

4.0  ·  233,696  ·  484  · 


Communist Serif

25. Communist Font by Shamrock

Created by Shamrock, Communist font is developed and have pledged: to design the best typeface for use in mobile apps and e-mail marketing assets. While mobile usage is surpassing desktop in all parts of the world, you should definitely check out Communist. If you're into Serif fonts, you should definitely check it out.

4.6  ·  356,135  ·  737  · 


Serif Griffos Font

26. Griffos Font Font by Manfred Klein Fonteria

A amazing and incredible Serif typeface, Griffos Font was built by creative professional and font developer Manfred Klein Fonteria. It comes in a free file that is suitable for a wide array of applications.

4.8  ·  309,769  ·  641  · 


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