General-purpose fonts for beginners?

I’m a programmer and a beginner in graphic design. When learning design, I found it very hard for me to decide which font to use in my website. In fact, when viewing separately(i.e. not in a side-by-side view), I think most fonts are identical to each other!

I’ve browsed many examples, only to found that their CSS font stacks tend to contain 4 or more fonts, which effectively overwhelms me, and presumably other starters.

So, I’m asking for some recommendations here: is there any any general-purpose font which can be used by design beginners safely? Here, “safe” means “not making a website ridiculously ugly or illegible”.

To make my question more specific, the font I’m looking for should be:

  1. Free to use.
  2. General-purpose. It must be (at least partially) suitable to most projects.
  3. Web safe. Ideally it should have already been installed on most devices.
  4. Novel. Classic fonts, such as (Sans) Serif, are nice, but they are used at so many places that users are starting to get bored with them.


Before giving you a specific font recommendation, I’ll give you some things to look for in a font if you want it to become your go-to font.

  • It should be legible. Look for a font that works well in a variety of sizes and weights, in black over white and iverse.
  • It should come in a variety of styles– look for a family that has several weights, widths, that has italics. This will give you versatility of having contrast for titles or interface elements within the same family. If you find a family that has both sans-serif and serif, so much better
  • It should be fairly neutral This goes against what you talk about in point number 4, but the more “personality”/novelty a font has, the more likely it is that it will not be suitable for some projects

That being said, let me recommend a few families that fit these criteria:

Open Sans
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Hardly original, but it is a great family, with lots of weights, good language support, even a narrow version.

Source Sans Pro
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Amazing typeface, especially for interface design, also has a companion serif font

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Quite sober, but super legible font, with lots of variations and again, a matching serif

Source : Link , Question Author : nalzok , Answer Author : spiral

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