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The best 30 Google Fonts for your website

September 14, 2020
15 best Google Fonts for your website

Google Fonts is an amazing free resource. Find out about how it works and see our 30 best Google Fonts for your website.

There’s no question that web fonts are a hot topic. It seems like, after decades of insistence, the world is finally coming to see things the way designers do: typography matters, and it’s important to get it right.

If you’re part of a large organization, you can probably afford to create your own typefaces – it seems like everyone who’s anyone has their own font these days. But if you’re starting out, resources like Google Fonts are an ideal way to establish your brand, deliver your copy and even speed up your website.

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Why are fonts so important?

When you’re designing a website, it can be easy to settle for the default fonts and focus on other, seemingly more important decisions. However, not only would this be a mistake: you’d be missing out on the power of fonts and the benefits they can bring to your site. Here are some examples of how choosing the right fonts can benefit your website.

Fonts help with branding

Choosing the right font for your website can make a huge difference for your branding. From the logo to the numbers, right down to the microcopy, your font choices establish a sort of non-verbal communication with your reader. Because of the way our eyes respond unconsciously to visual cues (we wrote more about this when we talked about storytelling and UX), your website’s fonts can impact your reader’s immediate impression of your brand.

15 best Google Fonts for your website - Justinmind

Getting the fonts right will result in successfully communicating your brand’s values and intentions. Choose the wrong fonts and you risk a jarring disconnect between what you say about your brand, and what your brand says about itself. Imagine a luxury jewelry company using Courier for its logo, for goodness sake! Or a hip new photo sharing service using Lobster for all its web copy. You see what we mean.

Consider what you want to communicate with your brand – is it luxury and trustworthy, chunky and honest, or fresh and cool? – and choose fonts which help to communicate that message.

Fonts are vital for UX

Typography is one of the most critical aspects of UX design. Choosing the wrong font for your copy or navigation can make the text illegible and your website unusable.

Our colleague Steven put together this list of questions you should ask yourself when picking the best font for your website:

  • How many weights does the font have?
  • Is readability good owing to the x-height?
  • Does this font scale well on multiple devices?
  • Is it accessible?
  • What is its contrast ratio?

If your chosen font has a decent range of weights, meets accessibility, x-height and contrast ratio standards and can be read easily on any device, it’s probably a safe bet. Remember: just because you, a knowledgeable and very attractive designer, prefer a font, doesn’t mean that it’s the right choice for your website. Once you’ve decided on a font, it’s always worth carrying out some user testing to see how readers respond to your font choices.

factors in typhography in choosing best google font

Display fonts, grotesques and slabs - typography terminology explained

All technical fields have their share of jargon and typography, to put it lightly, is no different. Here’s a run-down of the most important terms you might find when researching fonts, and what they mean.

The biggest divide in the fonts world is between serif fonts and sans-serif fonts.

  • Serif fonts are so called because their letters feature serifs, small lines or strokes attached to the end of the main part of the letter. Serifs have their origin in Roman stone carving, and are believed to be linked to the way that words were painted onto stone before they were carved. Serif typefaces are sometimes called ‘roman’ because of this. Garamond and Times New Roman are two classic serif fonts.
    Types of serif include: old-style, transitional, modern and slab.
  • Sans-serif fonts are, unsurprisingly, fonts which don’t use serifs. These fonts typically appear more minimalist and modern, and they’re based on late 19th and early 20th century signage and advertising typefaces. In contrast to Serif fonts, sans-serif fonts are sometimes called ‘gothic’. Helvetica is probably the most famous of the sans-serif fonts.
    Types of sans-serif font include grotesque, neo-grotesque, geometric and humanist.

You may well read that a certain Google Font is aimed to be used for display or for text, but what’s the difference between the two categories?

  • Text fonts are designed for use in the main text of a website or app, and need to be highly-legible, even at small sizes. Text fonts are typically clean, have wider spacing, and are less chunky than display fonts, meaning they work better in small sizes.
  • Display fonts, on the other hand, are predominantly designed to look stylish and original in titles, adding personality and punch, with slightly reduced legibility which would make them less ideal for use in body text.

Advantages of using Google Fonts on your website

Google Fonts is a collection of 915 fonts, all available to use for free on your website. All you have to do is include a call to the fonts you want to use in your HTML and you’re good to go.

Here are some cool advantages of using Google Fonts on your website:

  • Improve your website’s appearance for free
    Google Fonts gives you access to nearly a thousand (mostly) great-looking fonts for free, giving you the freedom to choose between a whole range of professional-quality typefaces. Just a few years ago, the equivalent selection could have cost you thousands of dollars.
  • Boost consistency across platforms
    Thanks to the fact that the vast majority of current web browsers support Google Fonts, including Google Chrome, Apple Safari, Mozilla Firefox, Opera and Internet Explorer.
  • Speed up your site – and the internet
    Using Google Fonts on your website can make your site look great – and boost its performance. Check out this video from Google which explains how.

30 best Google Fonts for your website

1. Lato

Warsaw-based designer, Łukasz Dziedzic, created Lato to work transparently in body text and also to stand out individually when used in larger-sized titles. This sans serif typeface family is simultaneously familiar and different – most especially in the way some of the font’s details are rounded off.

lato as awesome google font

2. Abhaya Libre

This Google font is classically elegant with its rounded shapes and soft edges. Abhaya Libre makes for a great dramatic header font, maintaining great readability in large bodies. With that said, this may not be the best option for long paragraphs in small bodies, which may be tiring for the eye after a while.

abhaya libre as wonderful free font for ux

3. Merriweather

Eben Sorkin’s Merriweather is designed for optimal readability on screens. Merriweather’s large x-height boosts the font’s legibility, making it suitable for use in long texts as well as for headlines and titles. Merriweather currently has 8 styles: Light, Regular, Bold, Black, Light Italic, Italic, Bold Italic, Black Italic.

Merriweather - 15 best Google Fonts for your website - Justinmind

4. Alegreya

This Google font is very versatile, going back the old days of printed press in terms of shapes. Not surprisingly, this typeface offers good readability for long texts in large or small bodies. We love that Google offers so many styles for Alegreya, making this a many-faced font – from Regular 400 all the way to 800 black bold styles.

alegreya as free google font for ui design

5. Montserrat

Founded out of a Kickstarter project in 2011, Montserrat aims to “rescue the beauty of urban typography that emerged in the first half of the twentieth century”. This attractive sans serif font family was created by Julieta Ulanovsky, and is named after the Montserrat neighborhood in Buenos Aires where she lives.

Montserrat - 15 best Google Fonts for your website - Justinmind

Writing about the inspiration behind Montserrat, Ulanovsky said, “To draw the letters, I rely on examples of lettering in the urban space. Each selected example produces its own variants in length, width and height proportions, each adding to the Montserrat family. The old typographies and canopies are irretrievable when they are replaced”. The resulting typeface is a modern classic, an up-to-date version of the elegance of early 20th century typesets.

6. Aleo

This serif typeface makes for a modern experience that respects classic usability standards. Made in close connection with another Google font we know and love, Lato, this font is also well-balanced and modern. With semi-rounded shapes and curves, Aleo is a friendly font that works really well for long texts.

aleo as great google font for ui

7. Muli

Muli is a versatile and minimalist sans-serif font which was designed by the late Vernon Adams. It was originally designed to be used as a display font but thanks to its spacing, it can work well as a text font too. Suitable for web and mobile applications, Muli also sports a single-story lowercase ‘a’, a relative rarity which is more a curiosity than anything else.

Muli - 15 best Google Fonts for your website - Justinmind

8. Arapey

Arapey doesn’t offer too many different styles, but it’s still a wonderful Google font. The typeface has a modern structure, but still enjoys soft lines that makes for a great way to highlight content. Our designers love this font for its italic style, which is quite gentle and adds a certain glamour to any content.

arapey as best free google font

9. Nunito

Another Vernon Adams creation, Nunito is a sans-serif font designed as a display font. With 8 different weights available, it’s a versatile, attractive font which we’d recommend using when you want a smart, stylish sans-serif heading.

Nunito - 15 best Google Fonts for your website - Justinmind

10. Asap Condensed

Asap Condensed comes with 8 styles, including semibold, bold and all their respective italics. It’s a handy Google font due to its standardised character width, making it easy to change styles without having to adjust the text. It’s a good condensed typeface that can make the most of headers and titles.

asap condensed as best google font for design

11. Assistant

This is another very versatile Google font. Assistant is a clean typeface and offers a generous 6 styles, from extra light to bold. The carefully-planned spacing between the letters create a font with great readability. This, combined with the abundant bold styles makes Assistant especially good for larger bodies.

assistant as best google font for web design

12. Open Sans

One of the most popular Google Fonts, Open Sans is an open, free sans-serif font for use in practically any scenario. Remarkably versatile, you’ll see that it combines well as a text font with pretty much all the other fonts in this listing, thanks to a simple, friendly design. Open Sans was created by Steve Matteson and is optimized for print, web and mobile uses.

Open Sans - 15 best Google Fonts for your website - Justinmind

13. Barlow

Barlow was made with the goal to reflect the general style of the state of California. This Google font shares traits and common shapes with the state’s license plates, road signs and trains. Aside from it’s curious visual roots, Barlow brings delicate rounded shapes and offers low contrast. It also has good readability, as well as 9 styles to choose from.

barlow as best google font

14. Oswald

A reworking of the classic early twentieth century ‘Alternate Gothic’ typeface family, Vernon Adams’s Oswald font is designed for digital use on computers and mobile devices. Use it for titles or pull quotes that need to pop in spaces with size constraints.

Oswald - 15 best Google Fonts for your website - Justinmind

15. Bitter

Bitter is a popular Google font, because of its great readability for long texts. Sol Matas, the designer who brings us this wonderful font, says that the inspiration behind this font was a humble and robust pixel. From there, Bitter evolved into a versatile tool with styles that range from extra light 200 all the way to 900 bold.

bitter as classic google font

16. Poppins

Poppins, created by the Indian Type Foundry, is an attractive, geometric sans-serif font for use in text or display contexts. It’s also the first font on our list to support the Devanagari system, which is used in over 150 languages including Hindi and Sanskrit.

Poppins - 15 best Google Fonts for your website - Justinmind

17. Brawler

Originally intended for newspapers and tabloids, Brawler is a classic example of fonts that maintain an old-school style that still pleases crowds today. With its sharp edges and sturdy feel, this is a Google font that can add elegance to any design. It doesn’t come with different styles, but it’s still a wonderful font that can have a real impact on the user. The best part? Brawler offers great readability in small bodies.

brawler as regular google font

18. Roboto

Google’s in-house Roboto is the most downloaded font on the Google Fonts website, and it’s not hard to see why. Clean, stylish and smart while simultaneously professional and friendly, Roboto is the default font for Android and Chrome OS, and is the font of choice in Google’s Material Design system. Roboto is simple and highly readable, for web and mobile uses.

Roboto - 15 best Google Fonts for your website - Justinmind

19. Caladea

Caladea is a modern and friendly Google font. Created from Cambo, Caladea offers 4 different styles to choose from. The font is practical not just in the sense that it has styles to highlight content, but also due to its reliable readability. Caladea works both for big and dramatic titles and small texts that don’t overwhelm readers.

caladea as great google font

20. ROKKITT

For something completely different, look no further than Rokkitt. Designed by Vernon Adams, Rokkitt was inspired by the so-called ‘Egyptian’ geometric slab serif fonts from around the middle of the nineteenth century. It’s clearly intended more for display purposes, but it still works well in text uses.

Rokkitt - 15 best Google Fonts for your website - Justinmind

21. Carme

Carme is a Google font that offers clean visuals, with a dramatic but still readable result. Designed specifically for long paragraphs of text, Carme makes a good option for those looking to offer a lot of written content. The font doesn’t come with any style, but the bold one is soon-to-be released.

carme as awesome google font for web design

22. Rubik

Rubik is a sans serif font designed by Philipp Hubert and Sebastian Fischer at Hubert Fischer, with a Hebrew variant revised and maintained by Meir Sadan. Rubik’s rounded corners lend it a pleasant, friendly feel. It’s perfectly at home in a display or text use.

Rubik - 15 best Google Fonts for your website - Justinmind

23. Encode Sans Semi Condensed

Encode Sans Semi Condensed is a Google font that our designers love for big titles. The font comes with many different styles, going from Thin 100 all the way to Black 900, making it a practical font to have at hand. Encode Sans Semi Condensed is the perfect font for big and dramatic headers and works well for highlighting content.

encode sans seriff condensed as great google font for free

24. Enriqueta

Enriqueta is a Google font that also brings a certain glamour to any page, but it’s special in its own way. This font has bold features that reminded our team of old-times, adding a Rockwell sort of vibe to the page. The best part? Enriqueta is very well-balanced, and even though it has strong visuals, it still delivers great readability – even in very small bodies!

enriqueta as example of great google font for free

25. Source Sans Pro

Designed by Paul D. Hunt, Source Sans Pro is Adobe’s first open source typeface family. It’s a sans-serif typeface which is really intended for use in user interface elements, but which also works well for longer texts, thanks to its width, which is higher than normal.

Source Sans Pro - 15 best Google Fonts for your website - Justinmind

26. Frank Ruhl Libre

Frank Ruhl Libre was made with the intention to be unique – and it certainly achieves that. This is a condensed font that manages to differentiate itself from all the others on this list due to its strong but not overwhelming visuals and interesting proportions. We love the reduced contrast between the thin and broad strokes from letter to letter, making this a good typeface that still delivers a good readability.

frank ruhl libre as free font for typography

27. Spectral

Spectral is a serif typeface commissioned by Google for use in its Docs and Slides web applications. Elegant, modern and beautiful, Spectral is at home in titles and pull quotes, as well as body text. Combine it with a sans serif font like Open Sans for best results.

Spectral - 15 best Google Fonts for your website - Justinmind

28. Work Sans

Designed by Wei Huang, Work Sans is based on grotesques (the inspiration for all sans-serif fonts) from the turn of the twentieth century. Its different weights are designed for different uses – the regular and medium weights are aimed at text uses, while the heavier and lighter weights are optimized for display purposes.

Work Sans - 15 best Google Fonts for your website - Justinmind

29. Gelasio

Gelasio is a wonderful Google font that is all about versatility and practicality. The font comes with 8 styles, ranging from regular 400 all the way to bold 700. Our designers love Gelasio because it offers great readability, both for long paragraphs in small bodies and big and flashy titles or highlighted content.

gelasio as google font for ui design

30. Headland One

Headland One is a great Google font for smaller bodies. The font itself has shapes that are classic while still having eccentric details that give off a unique feeling to readers, especially when used in small size in long paragraphs. Headland One doesn’t come with any different styles to apply, but the font itself is distinctive enough to also be used in headers and titles.

headland one as best google font

Using Google Fonts on your website

Another great thing about using Google Fonts on your website is that even if you’re just getting started with creating your website, they’re really easy to use.

Google provides a simple guide to getting started with Google Fonts for your website.

15 best Google Fonts for your website - Justinmind - HTML snippet

Conclusion

Google Fonts are an incredibly powerful and versatile resource for your website. Giving you access to over 900 fonts, Google Fonts can make your website look better while boosting its performance and improving the overall speed of the internet. Even better, Google makes it easy to get started with Google Fonts on your website.

Integrate Google Fonts into your website now and you won’t look back!

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Rebeca Costa
In-house writer, usability enthusiast and patron of all sleep-deprived designers