No matter if you’re a serif specialist or a typographic trainee, we hope that here in Design Basics you’ll find something to capture your imagination; whether it’s simply another striking serif to add to your arsenal, or perhaps the missing piece in your project’s puzzle. Below you’ll discover our modern hitlist; our curation of some of the best contemporary serifs out there right now. Go get stuck in!
With Eiko’s inspiration having been found in the work of renowned Japanese artist Eiko Ishioka, its elegance, awe and balance comes as no surprise. Rich with character, stylistic sets and stacked support – including Including Kana, Hiragana, Katakana & educational Kanji Support – to boot, Eiko really is the whole package.
Flourishing, functional and fierce, Margot Lévêque’s striking revival of Turlot Foundry’s Elzévir Anglais is not only a practical marvel, but manages to strike the perfect balance between refined technicality and unadulterated elegance. A modern classic, for sure.
Editorial by name, editorial by nature; whether on paper or screen, this polished and precise serif is at home in any and all contexts. From its chunkiest style to the lightest of weights, its versatility is only matched by its sophistication.
With staked serifs inspired by the migratory patterns of birds, Migra is quite a star(ling), matching the natural beauty of avian murmuration through the variability of its format. Much like its feathery influence, Migra comes in all shapes and sizes, comfortably sitting within edgy or elegant contexts.
Sartorial and the seventies don’t often go together, but in the case of Baryton they certainly do. Based on Photo-Lettering Inc.’s classic (at the time newly phototypesetting-optimised) Century Bartuska, this curvaceous serif is made for both the massive and the miniscule. Optimised for wherever it can boast its playful letterforms.
As if carved from its namesake, Woodland’s comforting curves not only feel friendly and familiar, but also embody the strength of subtlety. It harmonises character and consistency throughout its comprehensive range of weights.
Pulling on the best from the classic and the contemporary, this meticulously crafted serif is a modern workhorse, finding itself at home within both the most avant-garde or economic design spaces. Bursting with character to complement its champion functionality, GT Alpina certainly delivers a lethal combination of form and function.
Welcome to a new world, a Neue World of widths aplenty. Inspired by the variable editorial typesetting of vintage newspapers – whereby headlines were manually-squeezed to fit into frame – this serif offers a world of opportunity. Opportunity to express with the flourishing forms of Neue World’s dazzling letterforms and, fundamentally, the opportunity to truly make a statement.
Super compact, all-caps, and fit for purpose, this editorial-inspired wonderful comes from the mind of Matt Willey, and was finessed with the support of Diana Oveze. With 100% of their typeface proceeds going to Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support, it’s safe to say Timmons NY is as good as it looks. Check out our interview with Samara here!
If you’ve read this and thought, “that was useful, I wish they’d do the same thing but with San Serifs”, well you’re in luck! Check out our top ten contemporary Sans Serifs here!