To explore your options, the best place to start is learning about Font Categories. They are a way of grouping and classifying fonts. Canva has 4 main font classifications- serifs, sans serifs, decorative style and scripts. Each of these has several subcategories which gives you more flexibility to make your blog more impactful. Script type, for instance, have Formal, Casual, Calligraphic, Blackletter and Lombardic styles.
To simplify this article, we will use these 4 categories:
- Serif (the ones with little tails): Traditional and classic
- Sans Serif (plain without tails): casual and modern
- Handwriting: Casual and friendly
- Brush Script: Fun and artsy
Once you have decided what font category works best for your project (or brand), it’s time to choose which font combo you want to use. The lists below will give you an idea and the best place to start.
What fonts work best & where?
Headings: These should be clean and bold
In the web world, headings are written in code – for instance <h1>Heading Here<h1> is the main heading. For Google love you should only use the H1 tag once in a page or post.
Abril Fatface | Aileron Heavy | Amaranth | Cooper Hewitt Heavy | Hammersmith One | League Gothic | Lillita One | Open Sans Extra Bold | Oswald | Raleway Heavy
Subheadings: These compliment the main heading but can be used in the main headings, too.
When the Google God goes through your page, he/she can tell the most important information to the least important information through heading tags.
<h2>heading two </h2>
<h3>heading three </h3>
<h4>heading three </h4>
<h5>heading three </h5>
<h6>heading three </h6>
Aileron Thin | Aleo Light | Cantora One | Cooper Hewitt Thin | Coustard | Glegoo | Granaina | Julius Sans One | Kollektif | League Spartan | Merriweather | Montserrat | Quando | Quicksand | Raleway | Sanchez | Vidaloka
Body Texts: Where legibility is super important. The most legible and readable size is 12-14px.
Traditionally, Serif fonts are used in printed works while Sans Serif are used digitally because they are easier to read on a screen.
Aileron Regular | Alike | Antic | Arimo | Bodoni FLF | Droid Serif | Gidole | Lato | Lora | Roboto | Vollkorn
Script: For highlights or short headlines and usually contains 1-2 words.
Allura | Brusher | Clicker Script | Courgette | Euphoria Script | Grand Hotel | Great Vibes | Kaushan Script | Mr Dafoe | Niconne | Oloe Script | Parisienne | Pinyon Script | Satisfy | Yellowtail
Where-ever Fonts: The name says it all.
These are safe to use anywhere and everywhere. So worry no more!
Helveticish | Libre Baskerville | Open Sans | PT Sans/Serif
Great font pairings mean great design. Some fonts look good together while others are deadly enemies. Pairing the right fonts makes or breaks your design. This can be tricky, though – one serif font may work great with this heading and not the other.
You want your font choices to have a good contrast, too. For instance, pairing Aileron Thin as your heading and Open Sans Light for your body text is not a good idea because they are both light and rounded.
Font pairings also depend on your brand and your message – what works beautifully in a kiddies shop will not work for a hipster bar.
Here are some font combinations for your next Canva designs:
Aleo Light, Alike, Arvo, Bodoni FLF, Droid Serif, IM Fell, Libre Baskerville, Lora, Merriweather, Playfair Display, PT Serif, Quattrocento, Sanchez, Vollkorn
Aileron Thin, Arimo, Bodoni FLF, Cooper Hewitt, Economica, Forum, Gidole, Helveticish, Lato, Luthier, Montserrat Light, Nunito Light, Old Standard, Open Sans Light, PT Sans, Raleway, Rosario
Cooper Hewitt Heavy
Alike, Antic, Archivo Narrow, Arimo, Droid Serif, Economica, Gidole, Kollektif, Lato, Lora, Montserrat Light, Nunito Light, Open Sans Light, PT Serif, Quattrocento, Raleway, Source Serif Pro, Tenor Sans
Aileron Thin, Antic, Economica, Gidole, Lato, Montserrat Hairline, Nunito Light, Open Sans, PT Sans, Raleway
Alike, Arvo, Droid Serif, Granaina, Libre Baskerville, Old Standard, PT Serif, Quattrocento, Vollkorn
Aileron Thin or Regular, Archivo Narrow, Arimo, Arvo, Cooper Hewitt, Economica, Exo, Gidole, Kollektif, Luthier, Montserrat Light, Nunito Light, Open Sans Light, PT Sans, Roboto, Signika
Open Sans Extra Bold
Aileron Regular, Aleo, Antic, Archivo Narrow, Arialle, Arvo, Bodoni FLF, Cooper Hewitt, Droid Serif, Economica, Gidole, Helveticish, Lato, Luthier, Montserrat Light, Nunito Light, Open Sans, PT Serif, Quattrocento, Raleway, Roboto Condensed, Source Serif Pro
Aileron Thin, Aleo Light, Alike, Cooper Hewitt, Forum, Gidole, Helveticish, Montserrat Light, Old Standard, Open Sans, PT Serif, Quattrocento, Source Sans Pro
Aileron Thin, Aleo Light, Antic, Archivo Narrow, Arvo, Cooper Hewitt, Droid Serif, Gidole, Kollektif, Lato, Lustria, Montserrat Light, Nunito Light, Open Sans Light, PT Serif, Quattrocento, Raleway, Sanchez, Source Serif Pro, Vollkorn
Use at your peril
Some of the Canva fonts have not got a mention in this post. They have been left out because fall into one of two categories: use sparingly, and only for certain situations; OR do not use, ever. (yes, I said never, ever, ever!) They are listed here because they are are illegible, overused, or just plain ugly.
Following are the fonts I advise you steer well clear of for general copy.
Allerta Stencil | Black Ops One | Cabin Sketch | Cody Star | Creepster | Emily’s Candy | Hitchcut | Londrina | UnifrakturMaguntia | VT323
Script, or handwriting fonts
Architect’s Daughter | Berkshire Swash | Chewy | Coming Soon | Crafty Girls | Dr. Sugiyama | Gochi Hand | Knewave | Lobster | Over the Rainbow | Princess Sofia | Schoolbell | Shadows into Light | Sniglet | Special Elite | Sunday | Vampiro One | Miscellaneous | Anonymous Pro
Any of the “Small Caps” fonts
Crushed | Germania One | Glass Antiqua | Graduate | Limelight | Megrim | Pirou | Ribeye | Rye | Sifonn Outline | Special Elite | Sunday
One way to level up the design of your graphics is to use the proper fonts at the proper time, but remember:
- Always maintain legibility. If no one can read your stuff, you have just wasted your time designing.
- Don’t follow trends too heavily when choosing a font for your logo. Believe me, your precious logo will date.
- If you have a style guide, stick to it. If not, then you can create one in Canva. Choose appropriate fonts that reflect your brand personality.
Keep this list within reach as you continue with your business designs. You can also download and print our handy ebook and keep a copy on your desktop for ready reference.