The Ultimate Guide to Choosing Fonts in Canva

Canva is a great tool for those who don't have professional design software. Many people use it to create social media graphics, blog post graphics, even eBooks and resumes! One thing that can make a big difference in the design of your graphics is the fonts you choose. Lucky for you, Canva has a great list of fonts to choose from.

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing Fonts in Canva // Canva is a great tool for those who don't have professional design software. Many people use it to create social media graphics, blog post graphics, even eBooks and resumes! One thing that can make a big difference in the design of your graphics is the fonts you choose. Lucky for you, Canva has a great list of fonts to choose from.

Before I break down the different fonts that I recommend, it's important to remember that fonts evoke certain feelings. I'm not going in-depth on this subject now, but here's a quick recap: 

  • Serif fonts: classic, traditional
  • Sans-serif: modern, casual
  • Script: feminine, romantic
  • Handwriting: friendly, casual
  • Brush script: artsy, fun

Related: Two Creative Strategies to Help You Stand Out on Social Media

Font Usage

Headings (think clean, bold fonts)

  • Aileron Heavy
  • Amaranth
  • Cooper Hewitt Heavy
  • Hammersmith One
  • League Gothic
  • Lillita One
  • Open Sans Extra Bold
  • Oswald
  • Raleway Heavy

Subheads (varies in nature; can also be used as headings)

  • Aileron Thin
  • Aleo Light (or regular)
  • Cantora One
  • Cooper Hewitt Thin
  • Coustard
  • Glegoo
  • Granaina
  • Julius Sans One
  • Kollektif
  • League Spartan
  • Merriweather
  • Montserrat
  • Quando
  • Quicksand
  • Raleway
  • Sanchez
  • Vidaloka

Body Text (legibility is important, size 12-14; can move up to SH or H)

  • Aileron Regular
  • Alike
  • Antic
  • Arimo
  • Bodoni
  • Droid Serif
  • Gidole
  • Lato
  • Lora
  • Roboto
  • Vollkorn

Script (use for short headlines; 1-2 words)

  • Allura
  • Amatic
  • Courgette
  • Great Vibes
  • Kaushan Script
  • Parisienne

Anywhere fonts (these can be used in any of the above categories)

  • Helveticish
  • Libre Baskerville
  • Open Sans
  • PT Sans/Serif

Combining fonts

It's not just choosing the right fonts, but pairing the right fonts together, that will make or break your design. And, pairing fonts can be tricky -- why does one serif font work with this heading, and not the other? You want your font choices to be contrasting in nature. If you're using Oswald, you don't want to use Archivo Narrow -- both are narrow in nature. It also depends on your brand and your message -- what will work for a toy store will not be the same as a western themed restaurant. 

Here are some strong font combinations for you to use on Canva. 

Aileron Heavy

Aleo Light, Alike, Arvo, Bodoni FLF, Droid Serif, IM Fell, Libre Baskerville, Lora, Merriweather, Playfair Display, PT Serif, Quattrocento, Sanchez, Vollkorn

Amaranth

Aileron Thin, Arimo, Bodoni FLF, Cooper Hewitt, Economica, Forum, Gidole, Helveticish, Lato, Luthier, Montserrat Light, Nunito Light, Old Standard, Open Sans Light, PT Sans, Raleway, Rosario 

Cooper Hewitt Heavy

Alike, Antic, Archivo Narrow, Arimo, Droid Serif, Economica, Gidole, Kollektif, Lato, Lora, Montserrat Light, Nunito Light, Open Sans Light, PT Serif, Quattrocento, Raleway, Source Serif Pro, Tenor Sans 

Hammersmith One

Aileron Thin, Antic, Economica, Gidole, Lato, Montserrat Hairline, Nunito Light, Open Sans, PT Sans, Raleway 

League Gothic

Alike, Arvo, Droid Serif, Granaina, Libre Baskerville, Old Standard, PT Serif, Quattrocento, Vollkorn

Lillita One

Aileron Thin or Regular, Archivo Narrow, Arimo, Arvo, Cooper Hewitt, Economica, Exo, Gidole, Kollektif, Luthier, Montserrat Light, Nunito Light, Open Sans Light, PT Sans, Roboto, Signika

Open Sans Extra Bold

Aileron Regular, Aleo, Antic, Archivo Narrow, Arialle, Arvo, Bodoni FLF, Cooper Hewitt, Droid Serif, Economica, Gidole, Helveticish, Lato, Luthier, Montserrat Light, Nunito Light, Open Sans, PT Serif, Quattrocento, Raleway, Roboto Condensed, Source Serif Pro

Oswald

Aileron Thin, Aleo Light, Alike, Cooper Hewitt, Forum, Gidole, Helveticish, Montserrat Light, Old Standard, Open Sans, PT Serif, Quattrocento, Source Sans Pro

Raleway Heavy

Aileron Thin, Aleo Light, Antic, Archivo Narrow, Arvo, Cooper Hewitt, Droid Serif, Gidole, Kollektif, Lato, Lustria, Montserrat Light, Nunito Light, Open Sans Light, PT Serif, Quattrocento, Raleway, Sanchez, Source Serif Pro, Vollkorn

Fonts to Avoid

You probably noticed there are some fonts on Canva that were not mentioned in this post. The other fonts that have been left out so far fall into two categories: use sparingly, and only for certain situations; and do not use, ever. These fonts are on this list because they are illegible, overused, or just plain ugly. Here are the fonts I would avoid using:

Decorative fonts

  • Allerta Stencil
  • Black Ops One
  • Cabin Sketch
  • Cody Star
  • Creepster
  • Emily's Candy
  • Hitchcut
  • Londrina
  • UnifrakturMaguntia
  • VT323

Script, or handwriting fonts

  • Architect's Daughter
  • Berkshire Swash
  • Chewy
  • Coming Soon
  • Crafty Girls
  • Dr. Sugiyama
  • Gochi Hand
  • Knewave
  • Lobster
  • Mr. Dafoe
  • Niconne
  • Over the Rainbow
  • Princess Sofia
  • Schoolbell
  • Shadows into Light
  • Sniglet
  • Special Elite
  • Sunday
  • Vampiro One
  • Yellowtail

Miscellaneous

  • Anonymous Pro
  • Any of the "Small Caps" fonts
  • Crushed
  • Germania One
  • Glass Antiqua
  • Graduate
  • Limelight
  • Megrim
  • Pirou
  • Ribeye
  • Rye
  • Sifonn Outline
  • Special Elite
  • Sunday

Using the right fonts at the right time is one way to level up the look of your graphics. Just remember:

  • You always want to maintain legibility, because if no one can read your stuff, you've just wasted your time designing.
  • Use brand appropriate fonts. If you have a style guide, adhere to it. If you don't have one, create one. Choose fonts that reflect your brand personality.

Keep this list handy as you continue designing for your business! 

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Using the right fonts at the right time is one way to level up the look of your graphics. Get The Ultimate Guide to Choosing Fonts in Canva to help you feel more confident in your design.

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