The best Adobe fonts offer a quick way to find the perfect type for your designs. While developing technologies such as Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign, the company has made its creative software more attractive by adding digital fonts to the package. In fact, build up its expertise and contacts in typography early in the desktop publishing revolution nearly 30 years ago was one of the smartest moves Adobe has ever made.
It's also seen to the digitisation of numerous classic typefaces – some of which are up to 400 years old – facilitating the use of tried and tested hot metal looks on our computer, tablet and smartphone screens. Today, Adobe makes its collection of over 2,400 font families available to anyone who subscribes to its Creative Cloud suite, or its individual applications. So if you’re paying your subs, you're effectively getting free fonts with the software, licensed for use in logos, print collateral, merchandise, packaging, books, PDFs, internal videos, websites, social campaigns and more.
As for which are the best Adobe fonts, that’s always going to be somewhat subjective, and of course, it’s often a case of ‘what’s the best font for this brief?’ However, with the selection below, we aim to spark your imagination, highlighting some innovative newcomers to Adobe Fonts, alongside one or two typographic classics that you shouldn’t be without.
Note that Adobe does put some limitations on its fonts licences, but for most design jobs Adobe Fonts will get you on your way.
10 of the best Adobe fonts
01. Operetta by Synthview
The Renaissance-inspired elegance of Didot and Bodoni has been refreshed for modern applications by the French foundry Synthview via the Operetta font family. Coming in eight weights – from Extralight through to Black – it has gorgeously smooth curves and razor-thin serifs.
Synthview’s Jan Tonellato has sculpted some beautiful swashes for it, there are five optical sizes and for those who love character detail, the lowercase A is marvellously unique. The contrast is so massive at Ultrabold and Black weights, you may never need Mastodon if you opt for Operetta.
02. Viktor Script by OH no Type Company
The OH no Type Company is a relatively new foundry mainly specialising in pretty wild display typefaces, playing with reversed contrast, variable widths and so forth. However, its Viktor Script is breath of fresh air when it comes to type with handwritten appeal.
All too often, script fonts get carried away with swooshes and flourishes just like actors trying to bring personality to their roles by adding ham. Viktor Script, on the other hand, is a purposeful script font ideal for succinct messaging with a personal feel, while not overdoing it. Bravo, Oh no. Bravo.
03. Adobe Caslon by Carol Twombly and William Caslon
This timeless classic is a favourite in the world of publishing, bringing an authoritative and cultured look and feel to the page. It’s highly legible at all weights and sizes, which is why it can be used for everything from front cover display type through to body copy.
The six Caslon fonts within Adobe Caslon were redrawn in 1990 by Carol Twombly, who modernised it based on samples dating back to around 1725, created by the English gunsmith and typographer William Caslon. He, in turn, was inspired by printers on the Continent, in particular the Dutch. We think Caslon is essential in everybody’s font collection.
04. Alegreya by Juan Pablo del Paral
Within Adobe Fonts there are plenty of typefaces designed for on-screen applications, suitable for everything from UX design to body copy on websites. Often you’ll want a sans serif in these situations, but Alegreya is a font family with robust yet classy serifs that defies convention.
When you’re tired of your Miller or Georgia, this is a screen-friendly and impactful choice. It may surprise you to find an open-source Google Font within Adobe Fonts, but it’s there alongside all the others, with the same licensing conditions. Alegreya was created by Argentinian designer Juan Pablo del Paral of Huerta Tipográfica.
05. Lo-Res by Zuzana Licko
It’s nearly 40 years since the advent of home computers so using a pixel-based typeface seems almost primaeval these days. Lo-Res was created by Emigre's Zuzana Licko back in 1985, with an update in 2001. It smooths over the coarse sterility of early bitmap fonts, making them seem soft, approachable and perhaps a bit more fun than they really were.
In all, the Lo-Res family includes 25 fonts, and if a project comes up where you can use them, you’ll find they’re a lot of fun. Why not throw in an 8-bit palette while you’re at it? Emigre has shared a 1990 video it created that deconstructs pixel fonts – it’s worth checking out.
06. Merriweather by Eben Sorkin
This versatile serif feels modern without labouring the point. Its Light Regular weight is perfect for body copy in magazines or company reports, the italic versions have a gentle elegance to them and UltraBold Regular forms a serious header font for current affairs publications.
When text standards like Times and Garamond are leaving you feeling uninspired, whip up a typographic storm with Merriweather. Like Alegreya, Merriweather is also a Google Font.
07. DIN Condensed by Paratype and Deutsches Institut für Normung
It may seem odd to include something as specific as a condensed sans serif font on a best-of list, but if your job is to create web banners, you’ll know the value of DIN Condensed. It’s superb for fitting copy in confined spaces – more words and the text doesn’t have to feel clipped or abrupt.
Foundry Paratype has digitised DIN and claims that it was influenced by Russian constructivism. That might be the case, but it was designed in Germany in the early 20th century for clear and efficient signage in railway stations and on the roads. Today it’s excellent for directing traffic, so to speak, on the internet.
08. Anonymous Pro by Mark Simonson Studio
Here’s one for the coders. The Anonymous Pro family includes four fixed-width fonts. Although it was designed with code panels in mind it can be used creatively as well.
It looks great on websites and with its smooth, contemporary feel Anonymous makes a good substitute in situations where you might be tempted to use a typewriter font such as Courier – hence it has bold and italic versions.
09. Abolition by Fort Foundry
This condensed serif gets lovelier the more you use it. Like DIN Condensed, it’s great for online banners and so forth and with its corners roughly cut at 45-degrees it feels like it means business.
However, if you don’t want to scare the chickens, use the Soft version of the font which brings a little bit of rounding to those corners making it feel a lot more comfortable in gentler settings without losing impact.
10. Lust by Positype
No best-of fonts list is complete without a stunningly luxurious display typeface and Lust lives up to its name by leaving you wanting more. And there is more, too, because its Script and Stencil versions are equally desirable.
It’s not all about the contrast either – the way the lowercase c and r curl back in on themselves is truly alluring. Lust is ideal for work involving high-end brands wanting to emphasise fashion with a sensual touch.