The Best Free Sans Serif Fonts

Adam Cluley
March 8 2022

In the 'Information Age', there is perhaps one typographic style that rules them all: the sans serif. With an overwhelming boom in digital content in the last two decades, there has been a corresponding rise in the popularity of the sans serif, predominantly due to it's readability on-screen.

Serif fonts have been the traditional go-to for hundreds of years, and with good reason - their readability on paper is considered exceptional. This is why most novels and newspapers use such a style. When we take a look at digital content however, we see that the design choice is largely sans serif. Whether viewing on a PC monitor, or your grandma's low-res flip phone - you can always clearly read the content because there's no fine detail that could be lost in the fuzzy world of pixels.

With more content consumed on screens than ever, it's crucial to get yourself a font that looks good on every device. Here's our selection of free sans fonts from across the web.

Cocogoose Classic

This one does at it says - it's a classic. The first typeface to be produced in Zetafonts' Coco series, Cocogoose was designed in 2012 by Cosimo Lorenzo Pancini. Originally a display typeface, it has now spawned over 52 variants supporting over 1000 glyphs. Cocogoose Classic is a 2019 update, in which the designers have developed the lower case characters and extended the available features.

It's geometric proportions are complimented by the subtle rounded corners. It's a very individual gothic font, an instant favourite for display text or logo use. With a low x-height, the contrast between upper and lower case is an eye catcher. A special mention goes to the double-storey lower case 'g' - those curves!

A trial version of Cocogoose Classic is available in two weights from dafont.com. But if you download the trial direct from Zetafonts (you just need to sign up), you will receive a trial of all 8 weights. The trial versions contain alpha characters and basic punctuation only. You should also consider looking at other members of the Coco font family such as Coco Gothic, and Cocogoose Pro - both of which also have trial downloads available, making this a three in one deal. Don't say we never look after you!

Chivo

Here's a great all-rounder if ever you need one. Chivo is a neo-grotesque typeface, with 7 weights and accompanying italic sets to boot. For headlines, logos, or banners, the heaviest Black weight has great clarity. For longer text applications the Regular weight performs well, it can easily be utilised in long paragraphs.

A higher x-height and very subtle weight contrast combine to offer a very sensible font, appropriate in a broad array of applications.

Chivo - or 'goat' in Spanish - is a font family produced by Omnibus-Type. You can download all 14 fonts in the family, in various file types, directly from their website or via Google fonts.

Biko

Lively style with a hint of Scandinavian edge? You got it! Biko is a lively looking font from London-based designer and artist Marco Ugolini.

Some of the characters have a seemingly low gravity, pushing the cross bars and lobes higher. This really lifts the spirits and brings a fun, edgy vibe to this well-balanced geometric sans.

You can download 3 weights from dafont, with a very restricted version of a Light weight as well. Consider taking a look at Marco's studio site Je Suis Mon Rêve for a taste of good web design, and his other visual arts.

HK Grotesk

HK Grotesk is another excellent example of clean and thoughtful design. The extremely low contrast, and careful geometry makes this typeface very easy on the eyes. The intentional lack of any drama means that it is ready for a broad array of applications too. Great readability, and a wide range of fonts make this font a must-have in your inventory.

Designed by Hanken Design Co., the family comprises 14 fonts containing 450 characters, in a multitude of formats, and is available to use for personal and commercial uses. So whether your'e designing for web, print, yourself, or a client - HK Grotesk has you covered. Download directly from their website by 'purchasing' it for \$0.

Public Sans

A no-nonsense typeface with neutral and legible characters across all sizes, Public Sans is a gift from the US Federal Government. No, really!

Published last year, this font family was developed by the team behind the U.S. Web Design System (USWDS), and serves as a future resource for government agencies to build better websites. The inspiration for it came from another popular open-source sans serif - Libre Franklin - with the team developing a more modern look by slimming bowls and sharpening terminals. In particular, this font has exceptional clarity at micro-sizes, which sets it apart from some of its peers in the open-source field.

Currently Public Sans comprises 9 weights in roman and italic, but could develop further due to the nature of the open-source project. It is being used already on some federal sites like cloud.gov, where it is paired nicely with Georgia. You can download all of the fonts in the family direct from GitHub.

Arciform

For something a lot more playful how about Arciform? This funky little font is full of joy and life, definitely one to deploy when you need to convey a more personal informal message.

Its extreme simplicity is perhaps the biggest draw: the lower case 'i', 'j', 'k' and 'r' are all great examples of a harmonious relationship between geometry and form. The fact that you can leverage such great results from a single weight is testament to it's attentive design. Arciform is identifiable, making it a great option for brand identities; it could contribute to a really memorable website or app experience for example.

As mentioned Arciform is available in one weight only, but adapts exceptionally well to most needs. Created by Matt Ellis in 2016, it is available to download from befont.com.

Did you just download all of these in a mad spree? Or do you have suggestions to add? Let us know in the comments, we love talking to fellow font-heads!