Typography

10 Top Fonts for 2023 – Free Fonts included

The new year is here and what better way to start it than with 10 top font for 2023? I celebrated this together with the 100th Font Friday in a live stream, watch the replay on YouTube. Or just read about to my recommendations below.

What’s up in 2023?

It is not just about cool and stylish typefaces, it’s always about if a typeface works for a given situation. If it is appropriate on an emotional and functional level. This is why I often talk about for what kind of text a typeface works.

NaN Holo by NaN, West by Font Werk, Belarius by TypeTogether, Stadio Now by Zeta Fonts, Pausa by Fabio Haag Type, Basteleur by Axel Keussel, Hepta Slab by Mike LaGattuta, Gelasio by Eben Sorkin, Sligoil Micro by Ariel Martín Pérez, Familien Grotesk by Familien STHLM AB
Ten Top Typefaces for 2023, paid (left column) and free (right column)

In 2023, we still ride the wave of sober and restrained Neo-Grotesque typefaces, like Inter, Roboto or SF Pro. To shake that up a little, I offer some alternatives. As a counterbalance, we see more striking, playful organic display fonts or confident slab serifs. But classic serif text typefaces with a contemporary touch as well. As always, I’m alternating between free and paid fonts. This is not a ranking, I tried to make it a diverse mix.

1. NaN Holo

Looking for something like Roboto but with more personality? Try NaN Holo by NaN, an interesting and flexible typeface that comes with plenty of options for UI and app design. The variable font makes it super versatile too! Read the full feature of NaN Holo, or watch my video review.

2. Basteleur (free font)

An eccentric serif display typeface, that blends the softness of Cooper Black, with the mystic of Tarot cards. The organic free font Basteleur by Axel Keussel comes in two weights and some alternate characters. Read my full review of it or watch the video comment.

Basteleur by Axel Keussel. Some akward shapes Tender Moonlight
A littel text with stylistic alternates.
Even working for a tiny bit of copy.

3. West

The geometric typeface West by fontwerk is distinct, attention grabbing, and unusual, but still calm and stylish in its own way. I recommend it for larger sizes, while it also comes with some lovely icons for way finding. Read my review of West, or watch that part from the live stream.

4. Hepta Slab (free font)

The free font Hepta Slab by Mike LaGuttuta is a surprisingly unknown Google Font, that shows confidence with a retro vibe. Ideal for bold statements, in all caps, headings or titles. Read the Font Friday review here, or watch me completely mispronounce the name of the designer here on YouTube 😅.

Hepta Slab
by Mike LaGattuta
How can this cool typeface
NOT BE OVERUSED?
Your design has to have character.
So don't bring go to Hell-vetica to a freakin' slab serif fight!

5. Belarius

I love the vast design space of Belarius by TypeTogether. A striking type family with a vintage vibe, that can shift seamlessly from sans to slab serif, coming with a couple of free fonts. Read the review, or watch that part of the stream.

Belarius
by TypeTogether
Sans is more restrained
This typeface can seamlessly go from sans to serif Serif looks stable & confident
But the cooles style is POSTER

6. Gelasio (free font)

Since the classic web safe fallback fonts don’t work anymore in many mobile browsers, alternatives are important. Gelasio by Eben Sorkin is a brilliant alternative to classic Georgia with more weights and number styles, while being metrics compatible. See how this text typeface performs in the review or in that part of live stream.

Gelasio
by Eben Sorkin
A wonderful alternative to Georgia. Truly a text typeface made for smaller sizes, and with more weights, styles & features.

7. Stadio Now

The very playful Stadio Now by Zeta Fonts is an extended revival of a reverse contrast typeface, with a vintage vibe, going from calm, to playful, confident, and weird. It performs well in a little body text and as a variable font it’s so neat, as I show in the Font Friday review or on YouTube here.

Stadio Now
by Zeta Fonts
Quanto è sottie
3, Neverese, ?!
Also suited for a little body text while always playing with reverse contrast.

8. Sligoil Micro (free font)

The playful free monospace typeface Sligoil Micro by Ariel Martín Pérez comes with large ink traps, and optional cursive shapes, that resets the sober expectations for that genre. Find out more about it in the article or video review.

Sligoil Micro by Ariel Martín Pérez Sligoil shows what your monospace text could look like. More contrasting and opinionated, almost dancing. With some neat ink traps, and unique letters.

Do you dare breaking out?

9. Pausa

The classic serif typeface Pausa by Fabio Haag Type is one of the most beautiful text typefaces I recently came across. With gorgeous small caps, and lively italics, it also comes with contextual swashes to spice up your noble design. Read the review of Pausa or watch my comment on YouTube.

Pausa
by Fabio Haag Type
Conveying a traditional mood, and aimed towards body text. The wider, horizontal design gives it a contemporary note as well.
Italic works for large text

10. Familjen Grotesk (free font)

I’m closing with another Grotesk by the Swedish design agency Familjen STHLM AB that feels quite different to the first one. Familjen Grotesk is playing with opposites by mixing a formal construction with lively details. Read my article about it or watch my video feature here.

Familjen Grotesk
by Familien STHLM AB
Compact and restrained on the first impression, with appealing details
Like the cut off terminals and ink traps. It's a mix of formal & approachable.

What do you think about these typefaces for 2023? Tell me in the comment below what’s your favorite!

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