One of the biggest (and prettiest) design trends I keep seeing in recent years is the use of discretionary ligatures in serifs for brand identity and typography design. I’ve rounded up my top picks based on overall style and variety of OpenType alternates.
What are ligatures? A ligature is a special character that combines two (or sometimes three) characters into a single character. A standard ligature is functional in nature, and is created to solve the problem of characters that collide when placed next to each other. (For example, fi, or ff).
A discretionary ligature is more decorative. For example, some discretionary ligatures combine frequently occurring letter pairs (like “Th”) into a single graceful design. Others are designed purely for fun and to add an elevated style to the character.
Take note that discretionary ligatures are meant to be exactly that: discretionary. Use them with care, or not at all. Do not use ligatures when you are increasing the spaces in between letters. Also, do not use ligatures for each and every letter pairing because it will just look awful.
Here are my top 10 picks for the most stylish ligature serif fonts. These are perfect for brand identities for creatives: wedding industry professionals, interior design, graphic design, florists, lifestyle photographers, fashion brands, etc. They’re also perfect for editorial designs.
Top 10 Most Stylish Ligature Serif Fonts
Here are a few logo mockups using some of my favorites from the set:
Where to find the fonts:
All of these fonts are premium. You can tell by the quality of each typeface, and the fact that these ligatures will only be accessible using Open Type aware software, like Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator.
I’ve listed the sources below, with links to each one. Note that these are affiliate links, and I may earn a small commission when you purchase from these sources (at no extra cost to you though).