Font Friday

Butler (free font)

The rational, elegant serif typeface Butler set in the heading and pull quote: Butler is elegant and classy with a neat stencil style. “Good typography, first, makes words readable. At its best, it does something more: it helps express the animating spirit of the ideas behind the words.”  — Michael Bierut

Display typeface

by Fabian De Smet

14 styles

7 weights: UltraLight to Black
All in normal and Stencil

License for web & app usage

Free

Best for

  • Headings (display text)
  • Long reading text (body text)
  • User Interfaces (functional text)

Specialty

A lovely, elegant contrasting serif typefaces made for stunning headings with an elegant stencil style that gives it a certain twist.

My thoughts on Butler

Butler is designed by Fabian De Smet and freely available. It is inspired by the elegant, restrained and precise typeface Bodoni. Butler is a bit more modern and less strict, while still having this beautiful contrast, that’s so striking about these kinds of typefaces. It obviously is something that works well for fashion, branding, or poster design. But it should be set at very large sizes. Below a type size of 24 px, Butler seems uneasy, as you can see in the example below.

contrasting & free – Butler is made for very large sizes at least 24 to 30 pixels would be my recommendation 😃 Set Butler as large as possible. Anything below that becomes super noisy, and illegible. Simply painful to read. This is because of the high contrast Butler has. It is a display typeface, not a text typeface. You can experience this painful misuse of type here. This is not classy, it is just awful. 😖 I did it here so you won’t – don’t use butler as a text typeface
Use Butler as large as possible. Don’t even think about setting body text with it.

One thing that made it stand out for me, is the beautiful stencil style. The cutouts are very subtle, and almost seamless. They emphasize the typeface’s strong contrast even more, and almost make it feel like the letter shapes appear out of thin air. Wow, I get very poetic here 😅. As if the regular style would not require larger sizes, Butler Stencil demands it even more. Many thanks to Carsten who pointed me to this gem!

Subtle Breaks the stencil style gives it a nice twist
The stencil style of Butler is the icing on the cake, and emphasizes the strong contrast even more.

What do you think? Is Butler something for an upcoming project? Tell me in the comments below!

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4 Comments

  1. Butler is a remarkably good free offering and I have it already. I just wonder if it risks being too popular, because I seem to see it everywhere just like Playfair Display.

    1. I appreciate that you take this into consideration, since it kinda limits it’s uniqueness. Yes, it seems to be widely popular. However, less than Open Sans 😉.

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