Tips for Choosing the Perfect Font for Your Design

Fonts have the amazing ability to transform a design with just one click. Shutterstock Editor features an abundance of beautiful fonts from Google’s font library so you can always find the exact font you’re looking for. Each of Editor’s font choices brings a little something different to a design project, so knowing a few basics will help you make the perfect choice for any project created in our image editor.
Serif, Sans Serif, Calligraphy, Handwriting, and More
There are several font groupings that help organize your options. Several broad categories exist, and these are the most-frequently used:

  • Serif fonts – These typefaces feature small tails and flourishes at the very tips of the lines making up each letter. For instance, a serif letter T will have small hooks or delicate lines at the ends of the crossbar and at the base of the vertical line. These little hooks and tails are called serifs. Any font that features them is included in this category.

  • Sans-serif fonts – This includes any font that does not have serifs – sans means “without.” Arial and Calibri are two widely-used sans serif fonts. They do not have the little flourishes at the end of the lines making up each letter. Sans-serif fonts tend to look cleaner, less cluttered as a result, and so they are used in many applications where legibility is a high concern. They also look a bit more modern.

  • Calligraphy fonts – These elegant typefaces mimic the look of formal hand lettering. Gothic black letter and graceful italics are two main varieties of calligraphy.

  • Handwriting fonts – While calligraphy is usually very elegant and poised, handwriting fonts imitate a more informal, casual style of writing. This can include everything from clearly-written comic book fonts to scribbled fonts mimicking a rapid signature.

  • Decorative – Some fonts do not produce any letters or characters at all. Instead they display tiny flourishes, dots, icons, or pictures. Wingdings is a frequently-used decorative font.

Font choice is an important part of creating any design that includes text. The Editor graphic design tool makes it easy to compare font options. Simply use the drop-down menu above the canvas to see the available fonts. Click on different typefaces and see them immediately applied to the text you entered on the canvas.
Choosing a Font That Helps Your Image
As you click through the different font choices in Editor you may wonder which is going to best support the design you’re working on. In many ways, the choice of font is going to be influenced by the background image itself. A photograph with lots of detail will make fine details like serifs hard to see unless the text is placed on a part of the image where little variation is present. Simple images with just a few dominant colors and shapes may look too plain with a sans-serif font, while a serif font might add interest and visual texture to the design. Calligraphy fonts look best against a plain, simple background such as a light gradient. Handwriting fonts can be used in many places but because they tend to feature thin lines, choose a part of the picture where the font’s color will strongly contrasts with the background.
Editor offers many design-ready fonts that can be placed onto any of Shutterstock’s beautiful images. Browse for illustrations, photographs, and more in our enormous library and begin designing something new today.

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