Is the Internet Killing the Serif Typeface?

Is the Internet Killing the Serif Typeface?

Death of Serif | BlueprintWith all the buzz about Google’s recent re-branding initiative, it seems the sans-serif typeface families are gaining popularity among corporate giants. Google is not the only one to switch their iconic logo from a serif typeface to their own sans-serif typeface, dubbed, “Product Sans”. 

In fact, Google seems to be a late arrival to the sans-serif bandwagon. Ebay, Pepsi, Belk and O’Charley’s are just a few brands that have made the switch to the more contemporary look that a sans-serif typeface brings to the table (excluding comic-sans of course).

It seems these corporate giants are looking to change their image to something that is undeniably modern. Yet, the sans-serif typefaces offer another benefit that most consumers do not realize, they look great on screens. 

With the ever-growing dependency on the internet for large and small businesses alike, one can easily infer that a business’ image on the internet is extremely valuable. Considering that a businesses logo is the first interaction that a consumer has with a company, and with 89% of consumers using search engines for purchase decisions, it is wise to invest in the type of logo that is aesthetically pleasing when viewed on the World Wide Web.

That being said, are we heading toward the demise of the serif typeface? Serif typefaces obviously still have a solid ground in print media, and there are some companies that hold on to it with a vice-like grip, (e.g. Coca-Cola). But we must admit, that the internet is growing more every day, and both businesses and consumers are becoming more reliant on the benefits that the web offers.

Will this growth affect how we view typefaces in general? Or is this simply another trend that will dissipate in a decade? 

By: Bryce Thorson
  • Bryce, do you think screen size plays considerably into typeface selection? What I mean is that with mobile search continuing on a steep incline, do you think certain typefaces will win on the smaller screen? Great perspective on the move to modern by the classic brands.