It may be difficult to believe that some of the best serif fonts are optimized for the web given the fact that their poor reputation for being difficult to read at small sizes has led many web designers to phase them out in site designs, but serif fonts are still quite popular.
This list contains 45 free serif fonts, all of which are well designed though some are optimized for print. Let’s get to it!
Droid Serif is a font family designed by Ascender Corporation and commissioned by Google for use on the Android mobile operating system.
Alegreya was designed by Juan Pablo del Peral and was originally designed as a literature font, but its completed 12-style font family gives it a contemporary appeal.
Andada is a hybrid serif font designed by Carolina Giovagnoli of Huerta Tipográfica. Its main style is serif, but a few of the other styles in the family use slab-serif elements.
Merriweather was designed by Sorkin Type Co. It was designed specifically for use on digital screens with little to no attention paid to how this font would look in print.
Latin Modern Roman is a contemporary take on a traditional-looking serif font designed by GUST e-foundry. It comes in 12 different styles.
Vollkorn is a classic-looking serif font designed by FRiTZe. It comes in eight styles with different font weights to give each style a unique look.
Cardo Regular is a traditional-looking serif font designed by David Perry. It comes with nearly 4,000 glyphs and includes two additional styles.
Gentium Basic is an elegant take on serif fonts. It was designed by SIL International as part of a much larger font project called Gentium Plus.
Afta Serif is a unique serif font that uses the style’s traditional elements and combines it with a modern flare. It was designed by Oriol Esparraguera.
Otama e.p. is a playful serif font designed by Tim Donaldson. It’s a simple font that comes in a single style and a couple hundred glyphs.
Artifika is an elegant serif font designed by Cyreal. It features elegantly rounded edges and comes in a single style with a couple hundred glyphs.
Devroye is a non-standard serif font designed by Apostrophic Labs. It comes in four different styles, each one a little more unique than the previous one.
Quattrocento Roman is a soft serif font designed by Impallari Type. It comes in a single style with only a couple hundred glyphs.
Noto Serif is a traditional-looking serif font designed by Google. The font has a traditional look but was optimized for a web. Its purpose to eliminate certain characters computers were once unable to display.
Garogier is a thin yet traditionally-designed serif font by Rogier van Dalen. It comes in a single style and just over 400 glyphs.
Source Serif Pro is a transitional serif font designed by Adobe. It was created to complement the Source Sans font. It comes in six styles.
Liberation Serif was designed by Red Hat. It was designed to be metrically compatible with such fonts as Arial, Times New Roman and Courier New.
Znikomit is a thin, lightweight serif font by GLUK fonts. It comes in a single style with over 1,100 glyphs.
Heuristica is a transitional serif font by Andrej Panov. It comes in four basic styles that include over 1,000 glyphs each.
Caudex is a “Unicode TrueType font created with FontForge.” It was designed by Hjort Nidudsson and comes in four basic styles.
Sorts Mill Goudy is classic serif font designed by Barry Schwartz. It’s a revival of Goudy Oldstyle and Italic, so it’s only available in two basic styles.
Neuton is a “clean, dark, somewhat Dutch-inspired serif font” designed by Brian Zick. It comes in seven different styles to give you a variety of different ways to use the same font.
Gandhi Serif is a classic serif font by Librerias Gandhi S.A. de C.V. It comes in four typical styles, each of which have a few hundred glyphs.
Contra is a classic-looking serif font with a slight twist, the twist mainly being the sharp ends of nearly every letter. It was designed by Apostrophic Labs and comes in two styles.
Fjord is a serif font designed by Viktoriya Grabowska. It was originally designed with printed books in mind before the designer took digital designs into consideration, though it still performs best at sizes larger than 12px.
Tinos is a serif font designed by prominent font designer Steve Matteson for Ascender Fonts. It was designed to be a refreshing take on serif fonts and is metrically compatible with Times New Roman.
Judson is another typical-looking serif font. This one was designed by Daniel Johnson who designed it for African literacy that use Latin characters.
Tryst is a contemporary, transitional serif font designed by Philatype. It has a classic design at first glance but features contemporary and transitional undertones upon closer inspection.
ChanticleerRoman is an elegant serif font designed by Nick’s Fonts. It comes in a single style that includes 400 glyphs.
GriffosFont is another elegant serif font. This one was designed by Manfred Klein Fonteria. It comes in two styles, both of which feature a couple hundred glyphs.
Kameron is a rounded, slightly slab-serif font by Vernon Adams. The designer drew inspiration from classic slab-serif and Egyptian fonts of the 20th century.
TeX Gyre Bonum, designed by GUST e-foundry, is inspired by the URW Bookman L font family that came with Ghostscript. It comes in four styles, each of which feature nearly 1,250 glyphs.
Ovo is a medium-contrast serif font designed by Sorkin Type Co. It was inspired by the capital lettering of a 1930s lettering guide. It comes in a single style and just under 300 glyphs.
Mate is a simple yet sharp serif font designed by Eduardo Tunni. It was designed for text but also looks great in larger font sizes, making it an excellent choice for a display font.
Radley is a serif font designed by Vernon Adam that works great as a webfont. It was originally designed for use with wood-carved titling work before it was re-designed for the web and smaller screen sizes.
Prociono is a “roman serif font with blackletter elements” designed by Barry Schwartz. It comes in one style and over 300 glyphs.
Habibi is a high-contrast serif font designed by Sorkin Type Co. It draws inspiration from fonts of the 15th and 16th centuries but takes a modern spin on them.
Latinia font is a unique serif font designed by Manfred Klein Fonteria. It comes in two styles, both of which feature over 200 glyphs.
Inknut Antiqua is a unique serif font designed by Claus Eggers Sørensen. It’s meant to be used in traditional literature and comes in seven different styles.
Rosarivo is an elegant serif font by Pablo Ugerman. It was designed to be used in letterpress printing and works well in editorial design. It comes in two different styles.
Permian Serif is an elegant serif font by Permian Typeface. It comes in three basic styles, each of which feature over 900 glyphs.
Trykker is a high-contrast serif font by Sorkin Type Co. It was inspired by the elegant fonts used in the 16th century. It comes in a single style that features over 400 glyphs.
Junicode is a Medieval serif font designed by Peter S. Baker. The font comes in eight different styles, making it useful for more than just medieval-style purposes.
Kelvinch is an elegant serif font designed by Paul Miller. It works best when used in long texts but comes in enough styles, four to be exact, to be used for a number of different purposes.
Hopefully you found a few new serif fonts to use in your projects, but we have plenty more font lists for you to check out if you’re not satisfied:
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