What is Serif and Sans Serif? and what is the difference between them?

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In my college days, when I used to work on designs; fonts were mere text to me. limited to Arial, Helvetica and Times Roman. Later when I got the job and started working on real things that is when I understood the importance and power of typography. Here are the two most important things that I learned

  • What we call fonts are not fonts. They are typefaces. For example, Arial is not a font. It?s a typeface and when you define its size and weight (bold, italic, etc.) it becomes a font.
  • These typefaces have two categories. Serif and Sans Serif.

If you?re a designer or want to be one, you have to know about Serif and Sans Serif. It is really very important.

What is the difference between Serif and Sans Serif?

There are many categories of typefaces but we encounter these two the most. Identifying the difference between them is very simple.

This is a logo of my blog in Serif and Sans Serif font.

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See the difference? Serif fonts have that extra stroke or decorative design on the end of letters.Whereas Sans-Serif doesn?t have any such design or stroke. See the image below.

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Serif stands for stroke or line and Sans means ?without?. So Sans Serif font means font without strokes or lines. Simple, isn?t it?

More about Serif and Sans Serif

Serif typefaces are used in books, newspapers, and most magazines. Because it increases readability and reading speed. Serif is a traditional/old typeface. some people say that they are more readable due to their serifs. It helps eyes moving from one letter to another. However, I always found it untrue. There are many examples where you will find it hard to read paragraphs because of a serif typeface.

Sans-Serif is called a modern typeface. Unlike Serif, they are more popular on computer screens. For example for websites, blogs, software, etc.


Which one is better is actually depends on one?s choice or particular project and it?s requirements. You can use Serif fonts for logo design or creating a banner or you can use Sans Serif fonts for designing magazines and newspapers. It?s totally up to you.

I really hope you like the article? My first one on medium. Want to read more interesting stuff then do visit my blog https://basicdas.com

Till then enjoy and keep learning!!


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