21 fonts every graphic designer should own

07. Linotype Didot

Fonts: Didot

Didot is great for adding a classic, timeless elegance to your work (Image credit: LinoType on MyFonts)

This Bodoni alternative was also developed in the late 18th century, and the mutual influence between the two contemporaries is apparent. Both share characteristic sharp, seductive serifs and harsh angles. But with more space allowed for its counterweight, Didot feels like a slimmer version of Bodoni. This top serif font is great for adding a classic, timeless elegance to your work.

08. Warnock

Fonts: Warnock

Warnock is one of the most powerful fonts on the market due to its wide variety of glyphs (Image credit: Adobe on Fonts)

Named after co-founder of Adobe, John Warnock, this font was created for the invitations to Warnock's 60th birthday party at the request of his son, Chris. The Warnock font family includes four weights that are available for each of the four ranges. The optical ranges are caption, text, subhead and display and are available in two styles roman and italic. A classic that has been named as one of the most beautiful fonts for professional design, and continues to be up there with the best.

09. Trajan

Fonts: Trajan

This font is a particular favourite in Hollywood (Image credit: Adobe on Fonts)

The Trajan font was first released by Adobe in 1989 and is based on Roman typography. Because of this, its sweeping curves and understated elegance are only available in uppercase. The design was based on research carried out by a Roman Catholic Priest, Edward Caitch. He deduced that the serifs contained in Roman typography must have been painted rather than chiseled, the first examples of this technique. With a number of modern characters designed to fit the style, this font has everything you need to create a sense of importance.

10. Mrs Eaves

Fonts: Mrs Eaves

You may recognise Mrs Eaves from its use in the WordPress logotype (Image credit: Zuzana Licko on MyFonts)

While its unconventional name may raise a few eyebrows, Emigre's versatile serif, designed by Zuzana Licko in 1996, is a subtle modern interpretation of the work of legendary 18th century type pioneer John Baskerville, and named after Sarah Eaves, the housekeeper who would become his wife. You may recognise it from its use in the WordPress logotype.

11. Bembo

Fonts: Bembo

Bembo was reborn under the Monotype label in 1929 (Image credit: Monotype on MyFonts)

A 20th century revival of an old-style serif originally cut by Francesco Griffo in the late 15th century, Bembo was reborn under the Monotype label in 1929. Widely considered a great typeface for setting book copy, this top font is generally best used to express traditional, formal beauty, and is particularly notable for its stylish italic ampersand.

12. Modern No 20

Fonts: Modern No 20

Modern No 20 is perfect for adding class to your designs (Image credit: Bitstream on MyFonts)

Designed by Stephenson Blake, this modern serif is excellent typographical shorthand for quality and refinement. Designed by Edward Benguiat for Bitstream, it's perfect for adding class to titles the world over. There's no better testimonial than the fact that it's been employed for world-renowned design agency Pentagram's logotype.

13. Rooney

Fonts: Rooney

Rooney typeface has a friendly feel, without ever being too cheap and cheerful (Image credit: Jan Fromm on MyFonts)

One of a growing number of modern fonts earmarked as particularly effective for use on screen – particularly for apps and websites – Jan Fromm's Rooney typeface has a friendly feel, without ever being too cheap and cheerful. The subtle rounded serifs and terminals of this top font add personality and impact when used large, as well as having a softening effect when set in smaller sizes. It's available in six weights.

Next page: Sans serif fonts

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Nick Carson

Nick is a content strategist and copywriter. He has worked with world-class agencies including Superunion, Wolff Olins and Vault49 on brand storytelling, tone of voice and verbal strategy for global brands such as Virgin, Pepsi and TikTok. Nick launched the Brand Impact Awards in 2013 while editor of Computer Arts, and remains chair of judges. He's written for Creative Bloq on design and branding matters since the site's launch.