What’s the Difference Between Serif and Sans-serif fonts?

In typography, the two most common typeface classifications (font types) are serif and sans-serif. Let’s find out what makes them different.

The word “Serif” refers to a finishing letter stroke in typeface design. “Sans” (French) means without. So sans-serif means without serifs.

Compare the letter stroke style of these two T letters:

T T
  • The T on the left has straight and even-looking strokes. It’s rather plain-looking. That’s a sans-serif font from the Alegreya Sans font-family.
  • The T on the right has the same general shape as the sans-serif, but it has those extra details on the end of its letter strokes. You can say its design is a bit more complex. That’s a serif font from the Alegreya font-family.

Alegreya by Huerta Tipográfica has both a serif and a sans-serif font-family. This is sometimes referred to as a superfamily.