In typography, a font superfamily is a set of fonts designed to work well together. For example
Here are some of my favourite free font superfamilies which you can use in your project:
1. IBM Plex
IBM Plex™ is the new corporate typeface for IBM worldwide and an open source project developed by the IBM Brand & Experience team (BX&D). Plex is an international typeface family designed to capture IBM’s brand spirit and history, and to illustrate the unique relationship between mankind and machine—a principal theme for IBM since the turn of the century. The result is a neutral, yet friendly Grotesque style typeface that balances design with the engineered details that make Plex™ distinctly IBM.
The family includes a Sans, Sans Condensed, Mono, and Serif and has excellent legibility in print, web and mobile interfaces. Plex’s three designs work well independently, and even better together. Use the Sans as a contemporary compadre, the Serif for editorial storytelling, or the Mono to show code snippets. The unexpectedly expressive nature of the italics give you even more options for your designs.
Roboto has a dual nature. It has a mechanical skeleton and the forms are largely geometric. At the same time, the font features friendly and open curves. While some grotesks distort their letterforms to force a rigid rhythm, Roboto doesn’t compromise, allowing letters to be settled into their natural width. This makes for a more natural reading rhythm more commonly found in humanist and serif types.
The Quattrocento Roman typeface is a Classic, Elegant, Sober and Strong typeface.
Their wide and open letterforms, and the great x-height, make it very legible for body text at small sizes. And their tiny details that only shows up at bigger sizes make it also great for display use.
Some of their distinctive characteristics are:
Low Contrast. The thins are just a tad thiner than the thicks, almost monotone. Cupped, tapered stems that flows naturally into the serifs. Distinctive K, R and & tail. Cupped B, D, E, F, P, Q, R and T. The Q is a humble expression of admiration and gratitude for Doyald Young. Alternate M, Two W alternates . Narrow L, T for better fit. Almost flat top serif on the lowercases. Shoulders of the m and n rise above the serif.
Serif-less bottom j and y.
This font works great with Quattrocento Sans.
The old posters and signs in the traditional Montserrat neighborhood of Buenos Aires inspired Julieta Ulanovsky to design this typeface and rescue the beauty of urban typography that emerged in the first half of the twentieth century. As urban development changes that place, it will never return to its original form and loses forever the designs that are so special and unique. The letters that inspired this project have work, dedication, care, color, contrast, light and life, day and night! These are the types that make the city look so beautiful. The Montserrat Project began with the idea to rescue what is in Montserrat and set it free under a libre license, the SIL Open Font License.
This is the normal family, and it has two sister families so far, Alternates and Subrayada. Many of the letterforms are special in the Alternates family, while ‘Subrayada’ means ‘Underlined’ in Spanish and celebrates a special style of underline that is integrated into the letterforms found in the Montserrat neighborhood.
Alegreya was chosen as one of 53 “Fonts of the Decade” at the ATypI Letter2 competition in September 2011, and one of the top 14 text type systems. It was also selected in the 2nd Bienal Iberoamericana de Diseño, competition held in Madrid in 2010.
Alegreya is a typeface originally intended for literature. Among its crowning characteristics, it conveys a dynamic and varied rhythm which facilitates the reading of long texts. Also, it provides freshness to the page while referring to the calligraphic letter, not as a literal interpretation, but rather in a contemporary typographic language.
The italic has just as much care and attention to detail in the design as the roman. The bold weights are strong, and the Black weights are really experimental for the genre. There is also a Small Caps sister family.
Not only does Alegreya provide great performance, but also achieves a strong and harmonious text by means of elements designed in an atmosphere of diversity.
The Alegreya type system is a “super family”, originally intended for literature, and includes serif and sans serif sister families.
The Oxygen typeface family is created as part of the KDE Project, a libre desktop for the GNU+Linux operating system. The design is optimized for the FreeType font rendering system and works well in all graphical user interfaces, desktops and devices.
This is a web font version of Oxygen, designed to be used freely across the internet by web browsers on desktop computers, laptops and mobile devices. It works great with Oxygen Mono.
7. PT Sans
PT Sans was developed for the project “Public Types of Russian Federation.” The second family of the project, PT Serif, is also available.
The fonts are released with a libre license and can be freely redistributed: The main aim of the project is to give possibility to the people of Russia to read and write in their native languages.
The project is dedicated to the 300 year anniversary of the civil type invented by Peter the Great in 1708–1710. It was given financial support from the Russian Federal Agency for Press and Mass Communications.
The fonts include standard Western, Central European and Cyrillic code pages, plus the characters of every title language in the Russian Federation. This makes them a unique and very important tool for modern digital communications.
PT Sans is based on Russian sans serif types of the second part of the 20th century, but at the same time has distinctive features of contemporary humanistic designs. The family consists of 8 styles: 4 basic styles, 2 captions styles for small sizes, and 2 narrows styles for economic type setting. This font family is usually paired with PT Serif.
8. Source Sans Pro
Source® Sans Pro, Adobe’s first open source typeface family, was designed by Paul D. Hunt. It is a sans serif typeface intended to work well in user interfaces and is usually paired with Source Serif Pro.
9. Josefin Sans
The idea of this typeface is to be geometric, elegant, with a vintage feeling, for use at larger sizes. It is inspired by geometric sans serif designs from the 1920s. The x-height is half way from baseline to cap height, an unusual proportion. There is a sister family, Josefin Slab.
10. Encode Sans
Encode Sans is a versatile workhorse sans serif design, featuring a huge range of weights and widths, ready for all kind of typographic challenges.
This project is led by Impallari Type, a foundry based in Rosario, Argentina. It was initially designed by Pablo Impallari and Andres Torresi. To contribute, see github.com/impallari/Encode-Sans