On a personal and professional level, I find Google Fonts to be a valuable and useful resource for finding the best fonts and font pairings for my projects. This post covers my top five favorite serif font families provided by Google Fonts. These picks are based on readability, design, styles, and versatility.
Alegreya, designed by Huerta Tipográfica, is a serif font family that serves as a readable interface, providing great performance with the use of smooth, elegant, and harmonious characters. Its ease of reading makes it very tactical for many web projects.
“Alegreya is a typeface originally intended for literature. Among its crowning characteristics, it conveys a dynamic and varied rhythm which facilitates the reading of long texts. Also, it provides freshness to the page while referring to the calligraphic letter, not as a literal interpretation, but rather in a contemporary typographic language.”
– About section from Google Fonts
This font family contains three weights (Regular, Bold, and Black), with an italic variant for each, giving a total of six different styles. A small caps sister family, Alegreya SC, is also available from Google Fonts.
Merriweather is a high-standing serif type designed by Sorkin Type that was made for pleasant and effortless reading. Visible characteristics of Merriweather include a large x-height, slightly condensed letterforms, mild diagonal stress, sturdy serifs, and open forms.
This font family is constantly and consistently being updated, as told by the designer, to provide wider support across various platforms. In fact, as of January 2016, Merriweather supports the Cyrillic language set, as well as its base language, Latin.
Merriweather contains four weights (Light, Regular, Bold, and Black), with an italic variant for each, giving a total of eight different styles.
The serif variant of the popular web font and Android UI font, Roboto, contains an open, but also geometric form for easy reading and versatile use. This font was introduced with the launch of Google Keep, a note-taking service, used as the interface font. This font works nicely as a header font, as well as a paragraph. It can be used by itself, or with other variants of Roboto with equal effectiveness.
Roboto Slab supports Latin, Greek, and Cyrillic languages and contains four weight styles (Thin, Light, Regular, and Bold).
Lora, principally designed by Cyreal, offers one of the most readable experiences in any serif font, especially when used in paragraph form. Lora is decorated with brush curves and outstanding serifs, giving elegance while keeping simplicity. Its versatility is wide, often being paired with some of the most popular Google Font families, including Open Sans, Roboto, Lato, Montserrat, and Raleway.
“The overall typographic voice of Lora perfectly conveys the mood of a modern-day story, or an art essay. Technically Lora is optimized for screen appearance, and works equally well in print.”
– About section from Google Fonts
Lora supports Latin and Cyrillic languages. It contains two weights (Regular and Bold), with an italic variant for each, giving a total of four different styles.
Cormorant, designed by Christian Thalmann of Catharsis Fonts, is the ultimate Google serif font family, taking heavy inspiration from the styles of legendary French type designer Claude Garamond. Its elegance was entirely achieved from scratch, as stated by Thalmann, with no font used as a true starting point or direct reference for its design.
What makes this font family so exquisite is that it contains six different variants, giving an incredible amount of variety to use for any given project.
Including all of the weights and italic styles, the entire Cormorant collection has a total of forty-five different styles! Cormorant also supports Latin, Cyrillic, and Vietnamese languages.
Thanks for reading!