A great font can carry a website design almost completely on its own. This is even more true with Sans-Serif fonts, usually compared to Arial and Helvetica, the go-to Sans-Serif fonts on Windows and Mac, respectively. The problem is sifting through all the poorly crafted fonts out there on the Internet. We’ve done the footwork for you on this and compiled the following collection of five sleek, web-ready, free and awesome Sans-Serif fonts for use in your web and print designs.
1) Nevis. This font is one of my favorites mostly because it’s really the only good substitute for Gotham Bold that I have found out there. Gotham looks great but is SUPER EXPENSIVE. Nevis, when used with CAPS LOCK makes a fantastic substitute for Gotham. Both of these fonts are great for headings, logos and company names. Beware though, the lowercase characters of Nevis are pretty weak and look a bit campy.
Uppercase all the way on this one. Free Download of Nevis available here.
2) Roboto. Simply put, Roboto is awesome. It comes in 5 different weights, each of which offers both Regular and Italic options. Roboto is also made by Google and offered as an open source font, and really anything Google makes is pretty excellent. Roboto also comes in a “Bold Condensed” weight which is great for headings that are robust but non-threatening.
Free Download of Roboto (all weights) available here.
3) Open Sans. Another Google open source font that is pretty great to have in your font arsenal. Aside from being a good example of some techie wordplay (“Open Sans” being a pun on “Open Source”), Open Sans is great for all design applications. It also comes in 5 different weights with Regular and Italic options for each weight, rendering a total of 10 styles. Open Sans is great especially for it’s Light weight, which is both an excellent unimposing header font as well as a great Sans-Serif paragraph font that offers a different feel than Arial and Helvetica. Open Sans also comes in a Condensed format with a handful of styles to choose from.
Get Open Sans in all weights for free right here.
4) Cabin. Another great Sans-Serif font. Cabin comes in a handful of weights as well although their differences are not as pronounced. Cabin is a cool font because of the curly tails that characters such as the lowercase “A” and “L” have. This is useful not only as a design aesthetic but also when rendering unique identifier strings where differentiation between the number “1” and the lowercase “L” is particularly important for verification reasons.
Get Cabin for free here.
5) Code Light. This font is definitely a less conventional Sans-Serif but comes in handy nonetheless. It’s uppercase and lowercase modes both render uppercase characters which is nice for headings. It’s ultra-light weight gives headings and titles a sort of progressive and sleek “Miami Vice” type of feel. Code comes in a different weight as well–Code Bold.
Download Code Light for free here.