6 safe fonts that look great on anything.

Stuck at the first stage of your design and unable to choose a suitable font.  Here are 6 "no brainer" fonts to get your design moving!

When faced with a blank document/logo choosing a font can prove quite challenging, particularly if you’re not entirely sure what direction you would like to take your design.  Do you want it to look fun? Do you want to appear serious? Is the content of your publication particularly boring and perhaps you want it to look interesting? It’s very easy to fall into a trap where you choose a font that is totally inappropriate but at first glance, got your attention. However, you should always go for the “Less is more” option, if unsure.  And here are 6 safe fonts that make it very hard to ruin any design.


1. Helvetica

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If you’re a designer, I know what you are thinking…

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However, to give credit where it is due,  Helvetica is overused because it was designed to be neutral. This is why it works for so many different things, whether it be a large corporation or simple subway instructions.  It can be serious, without being pretentious or intimidating. Your brand instantly looks “global” if it is in Helvetica with tight kerning (a fancy name for the space between the letters). It also comes in a variety of weights and variants which makes it really flexible for different uses across all media.  Although you can’t really go wrong with Helvetica the worst you could be called is unoriginal.  However,  when you look at some of the huge brands around the world who use it, perhaps you could live with that label. Here are a few examples of Helvetica at it’s best.

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American Apparel - Helvetica Bold


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Subway - Helvetica Neue Black Condensed

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Caterpillar - Helvetica Condensed Bold

And of course paying homage to Helvetica would not be fair without mentioning its use in the branding for one of our own clients...

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Owl and Pussycat Cafe - Helvetica Bold and Helvetica Light



2. Garamond

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Garamond just cannot look bad. It is one of the most used serif fonts because of this and offers readability while also appearing elegant. Although many serif fonts can sometimes look quite old, Garamond offers a contemporary but classy aesthetic. In fact,  Apple used ITC Garamond as their corporate font from 1983 to 2001.  Garamond is used in many brands who want to appear high end and high quality. If you are a heritage brand, Garamond is a safe place to start in the design process. 

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Abercrombie and Fitch - Adobe Garamond Bold

It has also featured in several film posters...

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One Day film poster - Garamond Regular


3. Gill Sans

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Gill sans is probably best known for its use on famous headings such as the Penguin book covers as well as the Keep Calm and Carry On posters. Known for its clean and understated appearance it has been used frequently by the BBC’s headlines.  Like Helvetica, it comes in many different weights and can easily change to suit the occasion. It can appear semi-serious without looking intimidating when in light or regular weight but can appear friendly and warm in black weight.

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BBC News - Gill Sans Regular

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Rolls Royce - Gill Sans Roman

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Penguin Books - Gill Sans Bold and Gill Sans Light


4. Baskerville

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Like Garamond, Baskerville is elegant. Although it’s a little finer in its detail, Baskerville looks both serious and interesting. While fonts such as Garamond and Helvetica are more common in branding, one good example of Baskerville is its use in contemporary fashion brand, Kate Spade.

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Kate Spade - Baskerville

Like Garamond, Baskerville is also quite popular on film posters...

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JFK movie poster - ITC New Baskerville


5. Gotham

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Even if you are not particularly good at setting type, Gotham is a very difficult font to mess up. When applied terribly, with little or no kerning/tracking it still looks ok.  When set correctly, it can look amazing. It is effortlessly clean, classy and most importantly, timeless.  Another thing that Gotham has over other typefaces (another word for fonts, if you want to sound pretentious) is its flexibility. Gotham translates well from digital to print. So if you have headings on a website in Gotham, they look equally great on paper.

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Wimbledon - Gotham Medium

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Moonlight film poster - Gotham Light

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Obama "Hope" poster - Gotham bold

6. Montserrat 

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Montserrat is a free font which is a safe “go to”  if you want something clean and modern with a little more personality than Helvetica and a little less formal than Futura.  It also comes in a variety of great weights and variants.  

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Poster Design  - Montserrat


Of course at Animate Studios we have access to many more popular fonts however these typefaces are often used as building blocks in developing our brands from the beginning.  If you would like to enquire about a brand, an animated logo or explainer video call us today on 028 9507 2030 . Or you can fill out a contact form here and we will get back to you asap!