21 Exceptional Google Fonts You Probably Haven’t Discovered Yet

Paddi Macdonnell.
September 20, 2021

Google Fonts may be the single most significant contribution Google has made to the evolution of the web — yes, more significant than search, advertising, or analytics.

21 Exceptional Google Fonts You Probably Haven’t Discovered Yet.

Google Fonts gives every business access to a visual voice with which to distinguish itself. Fonts can be downloaded for use in design software and then embedded using best practices for a consistent experience on the web.

If there’s anything wrong with Google Fonts, it’s that its default listings are based on “Trending,” a self-fulfilling criterion that keeps Noto Sans high up the list, destined to be over-used.

But if you spend a little time lower down the listings, you’ll find some exceptional typefaces that are hardly used. Yes, some of them are highly stylized, but there are also usable sans, serifs, and display fonts worthy of your consideration.

All you have to do is scroll; here’s a selection of some of the treasures you’ll find if you do…

Piazzolla

Piazzolla features dramatic and expressive angular shapes when previewed in large sizes, but its real strength is in setting large amounts of body text.

Mulish

If you’re looking for a solid workhorse sans, look no further than Mulish. Halfway between a humanist and geometric sans, there’s even a variable font version.

Ceviche One

Reminiscent of the cool lettering of 60s advertising, Ceviche One is packed with energy, thanks to the dramatic zig-zag formed along its baseline.

Vollkorn

Released by Friedrich Althausen in 2005, Vollkorn is an excellent typeface for body copy, excelling at small sizes. It now boasts a variable font option.

Merienda

Merienda is a delightfully energetic display script. The bold weight feels more confident, but both weights have a dancing rhythm that brings the page alive.

Raleway Dots

Raleway is a hugely popular — and perhaps overused font — but this dotted version is less known. It’s a simple geometric sans that functions as a display face.

Kenia

Kenia is a wonderful, uncategorizable typeface. The stencil forms result in entirely original letter constructions, and the lowercase s is magnificent.

DM Sans

DM Sans is a low-contrast geometric sans-serif that performs wonderfully well at smaller sizes. It only has three weights, but each comes with a matching italic.

Oxygen

Designed by Vernon Adams as part of the KDE project for GNU+Linux, Oxygen is a very readable sans-serif, with a generous x-height and a hint of pen stroke.

Alice

Ksenia Erulevich’s Alice was inspired by Lewis Carrol’s novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. It presents itself as an Edwardian serif with fanciful flourishes.

Carter One

Carter One uses bold strokes, with a medium amount of contrast, to create a sans-style script. It has dozens of beautiful details like the notch on the lowercase o.

Bodoni Moda

Bodoni Moda is a didone-style serif with strong vertical strokes and high-contrast slab-like serifs. It’s the best variable font in this genre that I’ve found.

Ultra

Ultra is a slab-serif that you won’t even consider for body text. Its sculptural shapes are almost American-western. The counter on the lowercase n is charming.

Azeret Mono

Most mono-spaced fonts fail to inspire; practical they can be, charming they are not. But Azeret Mono bucks that trend, its bold weights being particularly fantastic.

Nunito

It’s tough to find a serious sans-serif with rounded terminals, but Nunito is it. There’s also a Nunito Sans with square terminals, but I love the rounded tips.

Bungee Inline

Designed for signage, Bungee is great for display sizes and works well vertically. There are several versions, but my favorite is this classy inline version.

Oi

Oi is unapologetically loud. A slab-serif that swallows its own detail, the counters and ink traps give it a 3D quality, and the curves feel almost nautical.

Expletus Sans

One of the significant trends in typography is the angled clip of adjoining strokes, creating the effect of shadow. This effect is brilliantly achieved in Expletus Sans.

Lustria

It’s comparatively unusual to find a serif face designed to work well at display sizes. At large sizes, Lustria’s rounded terminals evoke ink spread delightfully.

Yatra One

Yatra One is a Devanagari and Latin typeface that uses the Devanagari brush angle for its strokes, giving the Latin text an unusually slanted, stand-out character.

Amiko

Amiko is a highly legible typeface and excellent at tiny font sizes. It’s perfect as a secondary font if your main font is too fancy for elements like legal notices.

Keep Scrolling

It’s always tempting to leap at the first typeface you find that meets your needs, but if you dig a little deeper into Google Fonts, you’ll find a vast range of typefaces that offer both practicality and character.

Paddi MacDonnell

Paddi MacDonnell is a designer and entrepreneur from Northern Ireland, follow her on Twitter.

Read Next

Exciting New Tools for Designers, April 2024

Welcome to our April tools collection. There are no practical jokes here, just practical gadgets, services, and apps to…

14 Top UX Tools for Designers in 2024

User Experience (UX) is one of the most important fields of design, so it should come as no surprise that there are a…

What Negative Effects Does a Bad Website Design Have On My Business?

Consumer expectations for a responsive, immersive, and visually appealing website experience have never been higher. In…

10+ Best Resources & Tools for Web Designers (2024 update)

Is searching for the best web design tools to suit your needs akin to having a recurring bad dream? Does each…

3 Essential Design Trends, April 2024

Ready to jump into some amazing new design ideas for Spring? Our roundup has everything from UX to color trends…

How to Plan Your First Successful Website

Planning a new website can be exciting and — if you’re anything like me — a little daunting. Whether you’re an…

15 Best New Fonts, March 2024

Welcome to March’s edition of our roundup of the best new fonts for designers. This month’s compilation includes…

LimeWire Developer APIs Herald a New Era of AI Integration

Generative AI is a fascinating technology. Far from the design killer some people feared, it is an empowering and…

20 Best New Websites, March 2024

Welcome to our pick of sites for March. This month’s collection tends towards the simple and clean, which goes to show…

Exciting New Tools for Designers, March 2024

The fast-paced world of design never stops turning, and staying ahead of the curve is essential for creatives. As…

Web Tech Trends to Watch in 2024 and Beyond

It hardly seems possible given the radical transformations we’ve seen over the last few decades, but the web design…

6 Best AI Productivity Apps in 2024

There’s no escaping it: if you want to be successful, you need to be productive. The more you work, the more you…