20 best fonts for websites in 2021

Profile picture of Suzanne Scacca




Illustrations by {name}

Typography is an important player in web design. This selection of free and paid fonts is web-safe, legible and beautiful.

11 min read

A web browser with the curvy Voyage font by VJ Type

Stay informed on all things design.

Thanks for submitting!

Shaping Design is created on Editor X, the advanced web design platform for professionals. Create your next project on Editor X. 

Get our latest stories delivered straight to your inbox →

We look to web design and marketing specialists to clue us into major trends are to come. Retro typefaces. Chunky, bold lettering. Variable fonts. There’s always something new going on with typography.

Regardless of the typography trends floating around, there’s one thing for certain: Web designers need a set of fonts they can rely on year after year, website after website.

Thankfully, we don’t have to settle for traditional fonts like Arial and Times New Roman in order to provide a user-friendly interface. While keeping in mind key web typography rules, there are some incredible typefaces that are sophisticated, creative, and unique, without sacrificing reading quality.

We’ve compiled a list of the 20 best fonts for websites. You’ll find a mix of free and paid fonts here, along with some of the best web-safe fonts for an optimum user experience. We'll also take a look at what web-safe fonts are and why it’s an important factor to take into account when choosing the right fonts for your web design.

20 best fonts for websites

  1. Abril Fatface

  2. Adieu

  3. Andika

  4. Arvo

  5. Canela

  6. Centra No. 1

  7. Hatton

  8. Lato

  9. Linotype Didot

  10. Lora

  11. Open Sans

  12. Opposit

  13. Optima

  14. Prophet

  15. Proxima Nova

  16. Proxima Soft

  17. Recoleta

  18. Roboto

  19. Romana

  20. Voyage

What are web-safe fonts?

When choosing a font for your website, the goal is generally to use fonts that are:

  • Legible,

  • Accessible,

  • Attractive,

  • Relevant,

  • And lightweight.

There’s another trait you should be mindful of and that’s cross-browser compatibility.

As the number of devices and browsers consumers use to access the web grows, we’re at risk of presenting an inconsistent or incomplete “face” to website visitors. That’s because when a font isn’t pre-installed on a browser or operating system, visitors are likely to be shown a backup or default font.

However, web-safe fonts are (usually) universally accepted. As such, the majority of your visitors will see the fonts you intended them to, ensuring that your web design looks as planned across various browsers and devices.

While web-safe font options usually include the likes of Courier, Helvetica, and Georgia, there are more exciting and adventurous ones to work with. You’ll find some of them here among the best fonts for websites.

The 20 best fonts for websites (free and paid)

1. Abril Fatface

Type of font: Serif

Free/premium: Free

Foundry or designer: Veronika Burian and José Scaglione of TypeTogether

Abril Fatface, one of the best fonts for websites

Background: Abril Fatface is a free font that’s part of a much larger, premium font family called Abril.

The font family as a whole was a reimagining of classic newsface for modern-day readers. This particular font, however, is a standout from its family members because of its heavier (“fat”) characters. That’s because Abril Fontface was inspired by the title text used on advertising posters in