Google Fonts is an overwhelmingly popular way for businesses of all sizes to express themselves through free, cutting-edge and professional fonts. With its expansive library of nearly 900 fonts, Google Fonts allows ecommerce store owners — and everybody else — to find the fonts that perfectly reflect their brand. There’s also some contentious debate about which Google fonts are the best, and you can explore the Font Analytics website to view the current crowd favorites (perennial favorites include Roboto, Open Sans, and Lato).
But I’m interested in the underdogs. So today, I’m going to pull from the bottom 100 fonts and choose my favorites. Keep in mind that I’m not a designer, so I’m basing these choices off of gut reactions and not typeface expertise. Nonetheless, allow me to make a case for the following five underrated Google Fonts:
What’s wrong with this one?! There’s nothing wrong with this one. Gidugu is a professional and understated sans serif with a touch of individuality, making it perfect for H1s and other headers. Plus, it pairs easily with reigning champions like Roboto. I don’t understand how this one got down here. It’s just fine. You’re doing just fine, Gidugu.
Trochut is described as a “funny geometric typeface,” which...I don’t know what that means, but I do appreciate the font’s throwback to old magazine typefaces. I’m also really digging how full-of-flair the serifs are. They are distinctive and intentional, not milquetoast and indecisive. Truchut wears horn-rimmed glasses and a sweater vest, and it looks great.
I’ll admit that I find the kerning (a cool way to say “spacing”) of this font unsettling. It’s a little stretched-out for my tastes, but other than that, I really enjoy the dusty-library-book, almost gothic feel of this font. I’d also like to give a tip of the hat to the font’s “About” section, because the other fonts’ “About” sections haven’t felt very enthusiastic. This one really tries. What words come to mind when you look at this font? Is it “dark and meaty serifs and a bouncing and healthy look?” Me neither, but I love that.
You might think that a font named “Gorditas,” with its bold, thick lines and rebelliously in-your-face serifs, is meant to express something large, foreboding and strange, like a giant. But look at those i’s! Are those…? Those are hearts! How did hearts get there?! Well, Judging Judy, they got there because Gorditas defies stereotypes. This Paul Bunyon-like font has strong opinions about the Golden Girls and dots its i’s the way a teenage girl in a 90’s sitcom would, and that’s okay. We should never be afraid to be exactly who we are.
Sure, Bigelow Rules is the sort of font that ends up on tote bags above a cutesy illustration of a witch. But it’s so much more than that! It could also be the font of: spiders, vampires, ghouls of every sort, horror movies, Halloween specials, and aliens. It’s one of the most versatile Halloween fonts I’ve ever seen: it’s weird, cute, and creepy all at once, kind of like a Tim Burton movie. You have eight days to make use of Bigelow Rules before it’s time to board it up for the year like a Spirit Halloween Superstore, so take advantage of it while you can.
Happy typefacing! And always remember, when you’re looking at Google Fonts and sorting by popularity, scroll down. All the way down. You just might find some diamonds in the rough.
What's your favorite font? Share it in the comments!