The best Old English fonts for traditional typography
Old English fonts are some of the most instantly recognizable font styles. Walk around any English town, and you won’t have to wait long before you see a pub donning letters of this kind on its front door or logo. You’ll also see it featured on many book covers, along with on many people’s tattoo designs.
There are several types of fancy Old English fonts, including Old English script styles and other kinds of Medieval fonts.
In addition to the above, you’ll find this classic typography feature on several vintage designs — such as t-shirts. Graphic designers also use this font style for projects associated with the Middle Ages, such as in TV shows and movies.
You’ll find several fonts for personal use, in addition to a wide selection that can take your commercial projects to a whole new level.
Regardless of whether you’re looking for more of an engraving look or other kinds of Old English font letters, you’re in the right place. Today, we’ll cover unique Old English style fonts of multiple shapes and sizes.
You can find new Old English type fonts, along with potentially your new favorite bold decorative Gothic font. You’ll find fonts across multiple websites, too, including Envato Elements and many others.
What is an Old English font? The impact of an Old English font
Before we go on to assess the various Old English fonts that you’ll find online, let’s talk a little more about why you should think about choosing one.
Historically, England has been one of the most important countries in Western Europe — and it has had influence from the Romans, the Vikings, and many other groups over the centuries.
Medieval script is incredibly popular in darker genres, and you’ll find many fonts of this kind within classic Gothic design on both clothing and in literature.
On top of that, you can use Old English fonts when designing pubs and restaurants in more historical buildings — regardless of whether they sell British meals.
When you think of the English language, many people associate the historical feeling of these fonts with the UK version in particular. Not everyone in Britain talks like they just walked off the set from a Shakespeare play, but that’s the impression that decorative Old English fonts can give to some.
An Old English-style font typically features quite large text, and it’s almost always in a single color — namely black. You will also notice that many of these fonts don’t typically feature only lowercase letters, nor are they exclusively capital letters in many cases.
They’re better used in more imposing situations, such as when you need a title or logo design, rather than in the middle of a main body of text.
Old English fonts also usually feature words that are pretty close together, and you will also notice that many of the capitals feature curved edges. This is different from the lowercase characters, which often have straighter finishes to them.
Sometimes, Old English is referred to as Olde English. However, the two things are pretty much the same as one another; Olde English is more how the word was spelled during Medieval times and earlier.
What makes a good Old English font?
Old English font letters weren’t all designed equally. There isn’t such a thing as the perfect Old English font, but at the same time, different Old English fonts might not be a great option for everyone.
The main thing that makes for a good typeface of this kind is that it’s easy to read; people need to know exactly what you stand for within a few seconds of viewing your design. If you don’t accomplish this, you run the risk of those people going somewhere else.
Choosing a readable style with this font family is quite challenging, so it’s worth keeping in mind for your next project.
Another way to choose the best Old English fonts is by deciding what your specific needs are.
What might be an excellent choice for one person is not always going to be the same for you; if you’re designing an epic novel title instead of the next design for an English-style pub, you’re probably going to run into significant problems if you try blindly using the same font for your project.
Some fonts work better in digital designs, whereas others are more of an ideal option if you want to create posters and other forms of print media.
What also makes a good Old English font is that it at least has some degree of versatility. You might, for example, need multilingual characters — such as if you use the Scandinavian Ø or ä (found in German and a selection of other languages).
Similarly, you might want something that can work with different backgrounds; many Old English font letter styles are a good choice if you want to include a picture instead of a simple solid color.
What to consider when looking for the best Old English fonts
Now that you know more about what defines cool Old English fonts, let’s look at what you should consider when picking the right Old English font.
The first thing you’ll need to think about is the platform you choose your design from. Although you’ll find a broad selection on Canva, we’re not going to cover those in this guide as we have already put together a different piece discussing the best Old English fonts in Canva.
If you don’t want to upgrade to Canva Pro, or you simply would like to choose a different platform, you have several choices.
One of the best choices, and a program we’ll cover in this guide quite significantly, is Envato Elements. Beyond that, you can also choose Design Cuts and many other platforms. Besides choosing from your favorite fonts, it’s worth thinking about the other benefits you’ll get upon signing up.
For example, you might be able to find vectors, images, and backgrounds to complete your plan with some programs — especially if you get an unlimited subscription.
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It’s also worth thinking about whether you want to use these fonts for personal projects or with clients. If you’re a hobbyist, you might find that a free Old English font is more than good enough for your needs.
But in other cases, you may need to get something more comprehensive — especially if clients are paying you big money for your designs.
What font is closest to Old English?
Old English has inspired several other font designs through the years, and some will work with 19th century-style projects — with others being a better choice for before or after that era. In terms of the font that is closest to Old English, you’ll actually find a broad selection with similarities.
Perhaps the most obvious example of something close to an Old English Gothic font is Engravers, which has some variations that we’ll discuss later today.
Another font that is quite closely related to Old English letter styles is SG Murray Hill SB. The font dates back to the 1950s and provides more of a modern twist on what you’ll find today. You can, if you’re interested, find plenty of other 50s fonts for your next retro design project.
The best Old English fonts to use in your designs
Okay, so you should now have quite a significant understanding of Old English fonts — and what to expect when you choose this font style. With that out of the way, now is a good time to start looking at the reason you came here: the actual best Old English fonts.
We’ll break down our favorites into what you will find on different websites.
Envato Elements is arguably the most complete tool for design assets on the web, and you will find a broad selection of fonts on the website. To make your purchasing decision easier, we’ve cherry-picked the top choices.
Cambridge is one of England’s most scenic towns, and it’s home to one of the world’s best universities. And with that in mind, you might not be surprised to hear that one of the best Old English fonts has the same name.
This decorative font features the gothic style that you’re probably familiar with when looking at Old English fonts, and you will also notice that the sizing is quite large.
The Cambridge font is an excellent choice if you need to design a header and you want to include some images with your design. There’s plenty of space around the edges to do precisely that, and you can use tools like Canva to remove the background if you just want to include the structure.
On top of that, Cambridge features smaller text that you can use alongside your titles — and this looks much better if you keep it all in caps.
Royal Grande is another classic in our selection of the best Old English fonts. Compared to Cambridge, it’s a little more playful — and you’ll find better versatility if you want to change the colors. Moreover, Royal Grande will work with different background colors.
You can use this font if you want to still use Old English, but you’re trying to design something more modern; one example would be a video game cover.
In addition to the standard typography scenarios that you would use this font in, it’s one of the main Old English fonts that you should consider for larger bodies of text — such as blog posts.
The Old English font style is often associated with the fantasy genre. As soon as you see it, it’s easy to remind yourself of some of the world’s most popular movies and novels within this category — and it’s therefore unsurprising that you will also find fonts that were designed with mythical lands in mind.
Enchanted Land is arguably the best of these options, and you’ll find it on Envato Elements if you want to use it in your next project.
Enchanted Land is very similar to Cambridge but has much more of a modern feel than that particular typing style. The letters have a bit more between them in terms of spacing, and you’ll notice that the letters aren’t joined together.
It’s a great choice if you’re looking for something that doesn’t feel as restrictive as many Old English fonts sometimes can.
One of the best blackletter fonts you’ll find is Root King, which is a particularly great choice if you’re into rock music and similar kinds of genres. It’s much more rebellious than those we’ve mentioned so far, and the letter is also much bolder.
As a result, you should consider using it on album covers and for book titles. It’ll also be a good option if you wish to design t-shirts or you’re creating a poster (both physical and print versions).
The Root King font works well with darker backgrounds, and you should consider using white or similar colors for your letters. You can also round the letters with subtle colors that are still different, if you would like more of a rounded look to your projects.
The final Old English font that we’ll look at from Envato Elements is The Bjorke. If Enchanted Land couldn’t convince you to use it for your fantasy genre designs, The Bjorke will potentially seal the deal.
This is especially the case if you’re creating something associated with the Vikings and similar periods of history. This font is easy to read and features a decent level of spacing, and you can also use it in both black and white.
It works well on plain backgrounds, too, along with some that have pictures and other designs.
You can use The Bjorke in all kinds of scenarios, such as when making book covers and designing covers for different toys.
Now that we’ve covered Envato Elements, let’s look at Design Cuts. The two websites are similar in the sense that you’ll find a broad range of font types, so — to make things easier for you again — we’ve picked the very best.
One of the more playful Old English font designs is Wallington Pro, which features wavy letters and a thinner design than what you’ll find with most of the others on our list.
In stark contrast to many of the fonts you’ll find here, this is one that actually works better in brighter colors — especially red, yellow, and blue.
The Wallington Pro font is a great choice for your epic novel cover, and you might also find that it’s a good option if you want to design a header that helps you promote your work on social media.
Additionally, you can use Wallington Pro when you need to design a website landing page.
Next up on our list of the best Old English fonts is WT Kingsbury. Compared to the previously-mentioned font, this one has thicker letter designs. However, they are both similar in the sense that you can use them with brighter colors.
WT Kingsbury is a fantastic choice if you want to design a banner ad, and you can also consider using it for the beginning title sequence on a film that you’ve created.
WT Kingsbury works best when you have shapes around it, and you can get really creative when experimenting with the colors for these assets.
The font features different shading, too, so you can figure out something that allows your creative side to shine through — while also ensuring that you stay true to your brand messaging.
Warsuck has more of a dreamier feel to it, and you could imagine the font being used in a fantasy TV show aimed at children. The font has a degree of formality, but it’s still flexible enough to be used in several situations.
Besides your front title sequences, you can also consider trying Warsuck when making t-shirt designs. On top of that, it’s a good option if you want to design the loading screen for a video game.
The Warsuck font works especially well on a darker background, so we recommend picking a lighter color for the letters themselves. Also, you can add smaller bits of text on either side of your title — and we recommend keeping everything in all caps.
Next, let’s look at the Old English fonts that you’ll find on Fonts.com. Many of the ones you can check out on this website are especially popular, and our favorite choices are in the subsections below.
Old English is, as you might expect from the name, the archetypal Old English font. You’ll see this used in many places, including on restaurant menus and in several pubs. The font’s letters feature sharp edges, with the exception of some capital letters that have more rounded options.
You can use Old English for newspaper and magazine logos, along with on logos for beers and other drinks.
When using the Old English font, we recommend keeping the color scheme simple. This is best used with black or white, and your choice will largely depend on the background choice you opt for.
Monotype Old English is very similar to the previously-mentioned font, but you will notice slight differences in the letter shapes if you look closely enough. It’s slightly thinner, and the punctuation on top of letters like lowercase J is also somewhat different.
Moreover, the letters have more rounded edges than is the case with the normal version of Old English. Each of these changes are somewhat subtle, but they’ll make a big difference to how your design looks
Monotype Old English is a better choice if you need a font for a newer magazine cover. On top of that, you can use the font for your website landing pages and if you want to create a playful resume — such as if you’re applying for a role as a writer.
Another font design that you might have seen used in different places is Collins Old English. It’s especially common with books, and the main difference is that it’s thinner than both Old English and Monotype Old English.
On top of that, there are differences in how the letters are shown — with the lowercase Z being one clear example. You can use Collins Old English if you need to design a book cover, and it’ll work if you need something thinner for the spine of your book as well.
Collins Old English is better used on a brighter background and with neutral colors involved.
To round up our list of Old English fonts, let’s look at some of the options you’ll find on Myfonts.com.
Large Old English Riband
Large Old English Riband is perhaps the best Old English font on our list if you’re going for the classical Gothic look. This is especially true if you want your text to look more three-dimensional, as each letter looks great if you add a shadow to it.
Compared to some of the others, it’s quite hard to read if large bodies of text are involved — so you should keep this one as simple as possible.
Large Old English Riband is an excellent choice if you’re trying to design something art-related, such as a coloring book or a website where you share older-style paintings and drawings.
Last but not least on this list of the best Old English fonts is Fruehling, which has a distinguished look that closely resembles older European-style writing.
Compared to many options on this list, Fruehling is thinner, and the letters also feature an appearance that looks joined together — though each one is separate. You can get creative with this font by trying it on brighter backgrounds, such as yellow and bright green.
The font itself is better kept as black.
You can use Fruehling on social media, and it’s also a good choice if you need something for your website. Beyond that, consider using it if you need to design an app interface for smartphone devices.
As you can see from this list, there is no shortage of Old English fonts available online. You can use each of these in all kinds of projects, from book covers to magazine titles. They’ll work well if you wish to design posters, t-shirts, cups, and all sorts of other things.
We’ve included a wide selection on this list, so you should hopefully find it much easier to stay on track when picking something that best fits your needs.
When you choose an Old English font, it’s a wise idea to look at each website’s additional features as well. If there’s something you need and can get unlimited access to, for example, then you might want to pick that over another option.
You should also consider the pricing for each platform, as some are more budget-friendly than others. Keep all of these things in mind, and you’ll find it much easier to pick a great design for your next project.
Sans Serif is another popular font style, and you might want to opt for these if you need something that looks a little more modern than Old English. We’ve got a full guide to choosing Sans Serif fonts if you want to check that out.