First of all, let’s start with the definition of sans-serif fonts. If you are already working in the field, you may already know the differences between serif and sans-serif fonts, but a quick read is a reminder of those. This is how Wikipedia defines sans-serif fonts:
In typography, a sans-serif, sans serif, gothic, san serif or simply sanstypeface is one that does not have the small projecting features called “serifs” at the end of strokes. The term comes from the French word sans, meaning “without” and “serif” from the Dutch word schreef meaning “line”. Sans-serif fonts tend to have less line width variation than serif fonts.
Sans-serif fonts have become more and more popular as years passed. Especially since computers and smartphones have arrived, sans-serif fonts being used more than serif fonts because of the lack of the “small projecting features called serifs” present on serif fonts, which, on a small scale, like on smartphones, they may be lost or appear to big. Sans-serif fonts usually have a modern touch, while some serif fonts give a more vintage feel to designs.
The most popular and most used sans-serif of all time is, by far, Helvetica, created and released in 1957 by Max Miedinger, with an input from Eduard Hoffmann. This font has been used in any type of design you may thing, from logos (Cassina S.p.A.) to signage (Washington Metro) or operating systems, Apple using the font for iOS starting with 2015.
But the Helvetica typeface is a premium font, and what we are doing here is listing a couple of free sans-serif fonts that you can use in your designs, without having to buy it. The following fonts can be used in anything from logos, posters, business cards, brochures or any projects you may have. This is the first part of the collection of free sans-serif fonts, picked from fontsquirrel.com.
Free Sans-Serif Fonts
This font was designed by Anja Meiners and the available weights you can download for free are: Regular and Italic.
The designer’s definition for this font is:
ABeeZee is a children’s learning font. Open, friendly and simple, the definite shapes support the process of learning to read and write. The italic carefully reminds young readers of fluent writing movements and inspires them to create their own unique handwriting.
This font was designed by Dalton Maag Ltd and it’s available to download for free in the following weights: Light, Light Italic, Regular, Italic, Bold, Bold Italic and Display, which is a bold font with a combination between uppercase and lowercase letters.
This font was designed by Gesine Todt and it’s available to download for free in the following weights: Regular, Italic, Bold, Bold Italic.
This font was designed by Exljbris and it’s available to download for free in Regular weight. You can buy Bold, Italic and Small Caps weights from fontspring.
The designer describes the font like this:
Anivers is robust and rigid, forgiving, flexible and elegant … and also suitable for a broad use: from a stationery to a poster headline. From an intro in a magazine to a base for a logo.
This font was designed by Ascender Fonts and it’s available for free download in the following weights: Regular, Italic, Bold and Bold Italic.
A short description of the font, written by the creators of the font:
Arimo was designed by Steve Matteson as an innovative, refreshing sans serif design that is metrically compatible with Arial. Arimo offers improved on-screen readability characteristics and the pan-European WGL character set and solves the needs of developers looking for width-compatible fonts to address document portability across platforms.
This font was designed by Omnibus Type and it’s available to download for free in the following weights: Light, Light Italic, Regular, Italic, Bold, Bold Italic, Black and Black Italic.
The creators of this font describe it like:
Chivo is a grotesque typeface. The strength of Chivo makes it ideal for highlights and headlines. Chivo Regular’s elegance is ideal for combining with Chivo Black’s strength and for continuous reading settings.
This font was designed by Intel and it’s available for free download in the following weights: Thin, Light, Regular, Italic, Medium, Medium Italic, Bold and Bold Italic.
Font’s description according to its creators:
Clear Sans is a versatile OpenType font for screen, print, and Web. We designed Clear Sans with on-screen legibility and glanceability in mind. It strikes a balance between contemporary, professional, and stylish expression and thoroughly functional purpose. It has a sophisticated and elegant personality at all sizes, and its thoughtful design becomes even more evident at the thin weight.
Clear Sans has minimized, unambiguous characters and slightly narrow proportions, making it ideal for UI design. Its strong, recognizable forms avoid distracting ambiguity, making Clear Sans comfortable for reading short UI labels and long passages in both screen and print.
Clear Sans supports a wide range of languages using Latin, Cyrillic, and Greek scripts. The font family includes Medium, Regular, Thin, and Light weights with upright, italic, and bold styles.
This font was designed by Carrois Type Design / Ralph du Carrois and it’s available to download for free in the following weights: Thin, Light, Regular, Medium and Bold.
This font was designed by Type Innovations and it’s available for free download in the following weights: Regular and Italic.
This font was designed by Cooper Hewitt and it’s available to download for free in the following formats: Thin, Thin Italic, Light, Light Italic, Book, Book Italic, Medium, Medium Italic, Semibold, Semibold Italic, Bold, Bold Italic, Heavy and Heavy Italic.
Font description, written by the creators of it:
Cooper Hewitt, is a contemporary sans serif, with characters composed of modified-geometric curves and arches. Initially commissioned by Pentagram to evolve his Polaris Condensed typeface, Chester Jenkins created a new digital form to support the newly transformed museum.
Another font designed by Exljbris, and it’s available to download for free in the following weights: Light, Book, Medium, Bold and Black.
This font was designed by Vicente Lamónaca and it’s available to download for free in the following weights: Regular, Italic, Bold and Bold Italic.
This font was designed by Objets Dart and it’s available for free download in the following weights: Regular, Italic and Bold.
This is a short list of some of the free sans-serif fonts that you can use on your designs. SHARE and ENJOY!