Seven Free Slab Fonts to Give Oomph to Your Headings

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The term Slab Serif is an umbrella term covering many font sub-categories. Slab fonts are closely associated with old posters such as the famous “Wanted” posters of the American Wild West. They originated in the nineteenth century when letters for printing were carved out of wood. The fine and very thin lines which are achievable with metal type, were not possible with wooden letters and as a result big, bold typefaces became popular as “display” typefaces. Initially slab typefaces were created as all-caps, lower case letters came later.

Slab fonts have become popular again in both graphic and web design and are frequently used to create big, bold headings and sub-headings. They contrast very well when used with body copy set in lighter typefaces. When set in larger sizes, slabs are eye-catching and draw attention.

So here’s a selection of typefaces, all fitting under the umbrella term “Slab.” Note that all of the following fonts are free to download for personal use (for example your own web site) but as always please check the licensing on anything you download and want to use for commercial use.

Ryno Slab Caps by Philotype – download here

RynoSlab

Ryno

Klein Slab Serif by Manfred Klein are free for all uses but a donation to Doctors Without Borders is welcome if you’re using this typeface commercially. You can download the font here.

Klein

Street Corner Slab by Gem Fonts is available in ten styles. Available for download here.

StreetCornerSlab

HFF High Tension by Have Fun With Fonts – download here.

HighTension

Freshman font by William Boyd is a variation on the college/university style typeface – download here.

Freshman

Slab Tall X by Manfred Klein – download here.

SlabTallX

Gipsiero is a heavy distorted type create by Bumbayo Font Fabric – download here.

Gipsiero

What do you think about these fonts? Would you use them in your designs? I wrote about Slab Serif fonts in a post last year and you’ll find another collection of fonts there.

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  • albioner

    Jennifer, the term is ‘Slab SERIF’, and refers to the distinctive thick block-shaped serifs. The Grip Limited web site shown is all SANS serif, in bold, bold condensed… not a slab to be found.

    • http://www.laughingliondesign.net Jennifer Farley

      Hi Albioner

      Yes, you’re right. The typefaces in the Grip web site are indeed NOT serif fonts, but all the fonts I picked out are. I’m removing the screengrab from the post. Ta!

      • richard

        Jennifer, I just want to apologize – I made a comment that was somewhat insulting, as is all too easy on websites such as this one. You made a simple mistake, as all of us do from time to time.

        Your handling of the situation was very classy – a simple response to the first person that pointed out the mistake, a correction, and ignore the jerk (in this case, me!).

  • http://www.iraqtimeline.com/maxdesign Black Max

    It’s just my personal opinion, but I will be very glad when this fascination with “slab designing” runs its course and disappears.
    Having said that, your collection is a nice one, and kudos to Manfred Klein for soliciting donations for Doctors without Borders for his font.

  • http://rockatee.com/ kohoutek

    albioner is correct; there isn’t a single slab typeface in the Grip Unlimited example. The screenshot displays sans-serif typefaces exclusively.

  • web design prescott az

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  • http://www.acumensoftware.co.uk Dr Madvibe

    Doctors Without Borders?

    Has Médecins Sans Frontières a rival? Oh no, they are one and the same, it’s just the US ‘translation’.

  • richard

    albioner and kohoutek are both correct – the first thing i thought when i loaded this article was “why are all of those fonts sans serif?”

    Fortunately, all of the fonts listed are, in fact slab serif. I don’t understand how a designer could not see the difference!

  • John DeSenio

    I liked the fonts it is really eye catching, it will surely be useful for advertisements. Aside from being too noticeable, it also gives you a ‘glance.’ Am sure, advertisers are now planning to redesign their posters.

  • http://www.yellowshoe.com.au/ markbrown4

    Chunk and Museo are still my preferred slab fonts.