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Fonts Similar to Times New Roman (And Its History)

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Fonts similar to Times New Roman are growing in popularity, and it's easy to see why. The classic Times New Roman font family has been used everywhere from newspapers to popular desktop publishing software, and it's now become instantly recognisable.

Wensley Times New Roman alternative
You can find Wensley and other great Times New Roman alternatives on Envato Elements

But the very familiarity of Times New Roman means that it's become something of an uninspired design choice. It's the default option, but who wants that?

By choosing a font that shares certain Times New Roman characteristics but also has an identity of its own, you get the best of both worlds: classic style, with a contemporary twist.

In this article, we'll look at a selection of fonts similar to Times New Roman. But first, let's go through a quick Times New Roman history.

Times New Roman History

The Times New Roman font family is ubiquitous today, but where did it all begin? The typeface made its first public appearance in British newspaper The Times on 3 October 1932.

The Times had commissioned printing company Monotype to redesign its typeface a year earlier, and designer Stanley Morison recommended a more robust, modern design to replace its 19th-century predecessor. He used the Perpetua, Baskerville, and Plantin typefaces as inspiration in his design, but made substantial changes to create a unique font that would stand the test of time.

Times New Roman italic
Times New Roman Italic, compared with its influences. By Blythwood, CC BY-SA 4.0

The Times continued to use Times New Roman for another 40 years, before coming up with a new design in 1972 and going through several more redesigns since then. All of the new fonts have still been based on Morison's original Times New Roman design.

Since 1972, the Times New Roman font family has taken on a life of its own, achieving fame far beyond the world of newspapers. In the early days of the internet, websites could only use a handful of fonts, and Times New Roman was one of them. Look at a website from 1997, and chances are it uses Times New Roman.

Times New Roman was also the default font in Microsoft Word for many years, and Word was the default software for anyone creating documents in those days. So Times New Roman became the standard for everything from legal documents to school essays. It was everywhere.

Nowadays, with so many different options available, Times New Roman is not as dominant as it once was. Designers often shy away from it these days, feeling that it's too safe, too boring. And yet you'll still see it cropping up in documents and websites—and, as you'll discover later in this article, there are some great Times New Roman alternatives out there that you can use to harness its classic appeal while forging a design identity of your own.

Times New Roman Characteristics

Have some questions about the Times New Roman font family? Here are some answers to common questions about this popular typeface.

What Type of Font Is Times New Roman?

Times New Roman is a serif typeface designed for legibility on tightly packed newspaper columns. It's quite condensed, and it has a high x-height and short descenders. All of this makes it easy to read even at small sizes and in dense columns of text.

Is Times New Roman a Serif Font?

Yes. It's classified as a transitional serif typeface, which means it falls between Old Style and Modern. For more detail on the different types of fonts and where Times New Roman fits in, see this article:

Is Times New Roman a Monospaced Font?

No. Times New Roman is a proportional, or variable-width font. In monospaced fonts, all the characters have the same width—they were common in the days of typewriters and the early days of computer coding. Generally, variable-width fonts like Times New Roman are easier on the eye.

The question may come up because Times New Roman was created by a company called Monotype. But the name has nothing to do with monospaced fonts.

Which Fonts Are Similar to Times New Roman?

Good question! We'll be looking at some Times New Roman font examples in the next section, so read on.

Fonts Similar to Times New Roman

Times New Roman is a terrific font, but it's a little overused at this point. What if you want something similar, but with a bit of a twist? Here are some fonts like Times New Roman that you can try.

Naia - Sophisticated Serif Typeface (OTF)

Naia - Sophisticated Serif Typeface OTF
Naia - Sophisticated Serif Typeface OTF

You can see the influence of Times New Roman in this sophisticated serif typeface, but it also has a distinct look of its own. Naia includes all Latin characters (including accents), as well as numbers, special characters, and punctuation. The semi bold weight would be a great substitute for Times New Roman Bold.

Sharis Serif 7 Font Family Pack (TTF, OTF, WOFF)

Sharis Serif 7 Font Family Pack
Sharis Serif 7 Font Family Pack

Sharis Serif Typeface shares quite a few Times New Roman characteristics, making it a great choice for text where a high degree of legibility is key. It's not as condensed as Times New Roman letters, however, and its seven different weights allow you to create a wide variety of different effects.

Thomas Craft: A Modern Serif Typeface (TTF, OTF, WOFF)

Thomas Craft A Modern Serif Typeface

This sophisticated modern serif font offers four different weights, as well as the usual selection of glyphs and non-English characters. Use it for headlines, posters, branding, and other creative design applications.

Pierson: An Essential Serif Typeface (TTF, OTF, WOFF)

Pierson An Essential Serif Typeface

If you're looking for fonts like Times New Roman, you can't do better than Pierson. It has the same classic elegance, the same timeless appeal. Experiment with the three different weights and the selection of glyphs, and use it for your web layouts, packaging, and other projects.

Maiah Serif Font Family Pack (TTF, OTF, WOFF)

Maiah Serif Font Family Pack

Maiah is modern and minimalist, much like the Times New Roman font family. But it also has its own distinct personality, with four weights, an uppercase and lowercase alphabet, numbers, basic punctuation, and multilingual support. Download Maiah and see what you can create with it!

Glamour Luxury Serif Font Family (TTF, OTF, WOFF)

Glamour Luxury Serif Font Family
Glamour Luxury Serif Font Family

This is a well-named font: it does indeed communicate glamour and luxury. You can see this one being used on the pages of a glossy fashion magazine or for high-end product packaging. It comes with four weights, as well as glyphs and non-English characters. You'll find the numerals quite similar to Times New Roman numbers.

Aadam: A Modern Serif Font Family (TTF, OTF, WOFF)

Aadam A Modern Serif Fonts Family

Like many fonts similar to Times New Roman, Aadam will pair beautifully with script, signature, or handwriting fonts. Its minimalist, unfussy style provides the perfect foil for something more experimental. So why not download it and see if you can find the perfect match?

Vera Typeface (TTF, OTF, WOFF)

Vera Typeface

Here's a Times New Roman alternative that offers something a bit different. It's a very tall and slender display font, making it ideal for eye-catching headlines in narrow spaces like magazine covers and titles. You also get rough, regular, and oblique styles to choose from, and Vera includes multilingual uppercase characters, alternates, numbers, and punctuation.

Sandover Serif Font Family (TTF, OTF, WOFF)

Sandover Serif Font Family

Sandover shares a lot of the Times New Roman characteristics, but it also stands alone as an elegant serif typeface in its own right. You get five different weights to choose from, with glyphs and non-English characters. Use it for headlines, posters, advertising, and more.

Wild & Folk Font (TTF, OTF, WOFF, EOT, SVG, WOFF2)

Wild  Folk Font
Wild  Folk Font

Despite the name, there's nothing very wild about this font. In fact, it's a classy, elegant typeface inspired by classic styles. Look at the numerals, and you'll see they're pretty close to Times New Roman numbers. Wild & Folk does make use of a wide range of contemporary font formats, however, so you can use whichever one you prefer.

Media Times New Roman Alternative (OTF)

Media Times

Of all the fonts similar to Times New Roman that we've looked at today, this is probably the closest match. The characters are very similar to Times New Roman letters, but with just enough of a difference to make your text stand out. This would be a perfect corporate font, or why not use it for your newspaper or magazine?

New York Font (OTF, TTF)

New York Font

New York offers eight font files, with a range of different shadow and grunge effects to introduce some variation into your text. Reminiscent of the boom years of New York in the early to mid-20th century, this is a great display serif font for any retro or vintage project.

Wensley Modern Serif Font Family (OTF, TTF, WOFF)

Wensley Modern Serif Font Family

The bold weight of Wensley is very similar to Times New Roman Bold, but you can also introduce lots of variation to differentiate your text. You'll get plenty of glyphs, including for non-English characters, as well as three different weights, multilingual support, and more.

Aguero Serif - Clean & Elegant Font (OTF, TTF)

Aguero Serif - Clean  Elegant Font

Although Aguero's characters are much more stretched than Times New Roman, you can still see the connection. This is a much more striking, unusual typeface, however, so it would be ideal for logos, headlines, stationery, and other situations in which you need an attention-getting display font.

Earning: Times New Roman Alternative (OTF)

Earning font

If you're looking for a Times New Roman font example that's quite close to the original, try Earning, a bold serif font that's ideal for business and corporate uses. Despite the name and the preview image, however, it's not restricted to business and finance—you could use it on a range of different projects.

Discover More Times New Roman Alternatives

I hope this article has given you plenty of examples of fonts like Times New Roman that you could use in your projects. But if you're still looking for more Times New Roman font examples, then be sure to check out the thousands of serif fonts at Envato Elements to find what you're looking for.

And if you want more awesome font inspiration, try some of these articles:


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