What are the different categories of font style?


All fonts share basic common structures that we humans have accepted as recognizable. Here are three different styles of type and their applications:

  1. Headline fonts: These are more expressive due to symbolism, though they often have limited use. They give the reader a quick overview of the content and stimulate curiosity.
  2. Historic styles: These can also be expressive of many things, invoking a certain period in time or simply displaying elegance.
  3. Text fonts: Serif and sans serif fonts are designed for readability. Because they are so well-developed in terms of function, a single type style can be used successfully for many different applications. Ease is more important than style when using text fonts, but there are more than enough easy-to-read fonts that each have unique, though perhaps subtle personalities.

—Jim Sadler

Bonus read: Trouble with Text? A word on smart selection