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Reviewing the Font: Playfair Display by@huashu

Reviewing the Font: Playfair Display

Hua Shu Hacker Noon profile picture

Hua Shu

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Hi there 👋

This week is great for me because my students are off to spring break, which means I get off too. I plan to spend more time working on the content for this newsletter. This is a goal I have been trying to meet all of last week, but I kept falling behind. I will also get more time working on our design tool over at Woo-hoo! With that said, I hope you will have a fantastic week ahead and get everything done.


Now, let’s get to our font friend for today!


img: sample of Playfair Display

The Fashion Standard


img: Bodoni, a popular high contrast serif that has inspired many similar looking fonts.

Playfair Display is the perfect serif for fashion and editorial. This style of font for editorial comes from Bodoni1, a font designed in the late eighteenth century. High-stroke contrast serif fonts are darlings of fashion branding because they come off as elegant and graceful. They have a sophisticated editorial voice that attracts and demands your attention. That’s why fashion and lifestyle magazines adore fonts like Bodoni. Magazines brands and even blogging platforms, like Medium, love to use high contrast serifs as part of their brands.

The core strength of Playfair Display is it has many weights for you to choose from, which means that you will be able to use it in various ways for a range of creative materials. Also, Playfair Display is pretty versatile when it comes to styles. The regular style is clean and objective. The italic version, however, is very decorative— a very nice contrast. This can be very advantageous when designing graphics on social media (for example, when you emphasize, as I did with the "Give in to it"  in the Instagram image at the beginning of this post). With the right brand colors, Playfair Display is perfect for more classic fashion brands.


img: editorial brands that uses high-contrast serifsimg: styles and weights of Playfair Display. Left – regular; Right– italic


img: styles and weights of Playfair Display. Left – regular; Right– italic

How to use Playfair Display

⭢ Logo

Editorial or fashion brands. For example: Online magazines, fashion focused community or marketplace.

⭢ Typography System

This is a display font. Use for showy purposes only, like social media.

Cautiously avoid

The thinnest parts of high contrast fonts will break down at small scales. Don’t use this font for small text.

Creative prompt

If you have a brand that focuses on Fashion: Create an instagram graphic with this font and see what happens.

You Made it!

You can find Playfair Display in Canva and Figma. It is available to download on Google Fonts.


img: quick infographic of Playfair Display

Have more questions about design and fonts? Find me on Twitter at @HuaTweets

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