20 fonts every graphic designer should own

16. Kondolar

Kondolar font

This top font works hard as a legible text face

Unexpected flourishes on certain characters give Cadson Demak's appealing slab serif font something of a dual personality. This top font works hard as a legible text face, but used large enough, the sweeping descenders on the 'K', 'Q' and 'R' provide just the level of detail it needs to feel special enough to carry a headline.

17. Black Slabbath

Black Sabbath font

If you use Black Sabbath, use it big!

Besides Cumulus & Foam, this is Stefan Kjartansson's other major claim to fame – the headline-stealing, self-proclaimed "heaviest typeface in the world", with slivers of white space in between ultra-chunky geometric letterforms. Suffice to say, this one doesn't function at any size below monster – but then if you use it, you'll want it to roar.

18. Enclave

Enclave font

Enclave boasts thick, chunky slab serifs

Designed by Terminal Design's James Montalbano with the goal of being unique but still highly legible, Enclave boasts thick, chunky slab serifs that are nonetheless softened and subtly rounded to take some of the harsh edge off, and warmth, and stop it looking too much like a typewriter font. It's another top font that works equally well large or as a text face.

19. Sentinel

Sentinel font

Sentinel was seen in President Obama's 2012 campaign messaging

Based on Clarendon – one of the first and arguably most defining examples of a slab serif typeface, released in 1845 – Hoefler & Frere-Jones' "slab serif that works" overcomes many of the shortcomings of a traditional slab font by integrating a broad range of weights, and carefully-designed italics, to ensure true versatility without compromising on style. This top font was seen in President Obama's 2012 campaign messaging.

20. Rockwell

Rockwell font

Rockwell demonstrates what strong, thick, edgy serif fonts can do

One of the best-known examples of the slab serif genre, Rockwell demonstrates what strong, thick, edgy serifs, bold shapes and opposing curves can do to add clout and impact to a typeface. This top font is effective in capitals for a statement headline piece, but also features beautiful lower case forms for more versatile uses.

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