Extra Light, Ultra Thin Fonts: Hairline Type Lends Elegance to the Page

FF Meta Light with PMN Caecilia in Real Simple magazine.

Just as there is often a need for extra heavy type, the delicate stuff on the light end of the spectrum has its place as well. Here, we gather the typefaces in FontShop’s catalog with the thinnest of weights. See the Fine Lines newsletter for a closer look at some of our favorites.

FF Meta Hairline

Extra Light Sans Serifs

Sans serif families sometimes include a “Hairline” or “Thin” font meant for large sizes. The following are those sans typefaces with a weight thinner than “Light”.

Bodoni Egyptian Thin

Extra Light Slab Serifs

Ultra thin headline and novelty typefaces.

FF QType Extra Light

Extra Light Display Faces

Ultra thin headline and novelty typefaces.


Extra Light Scripts

Ultra thin script typefaces.



Extra Light Serifs

There aren’t many book serifs that are as ultra light overall as those in the slab and sans categories. Display versions of text serifs are generally high contrast, so there is usually a mid-to-heavy part of the stroke. Nevertheless, it can be useful to have a list of serif fonts that are very light in color.

Update: May 2, 2008 — Several new fonts added.
Update: August 15, 2009 — Test all the fonts in this list at FontShop.com


  1. Hey, nice list, but you’re missing Stag Thin by Christian Schwartz. It’s a really interesting slab. Plus Stag Sans Thin is a really nice sans. Cheers.

    Posted by Simon Robertson on Sep. 13, 2008
  2. Ultra fine types may lend elegance but according to every study known to man, the sans serif ones test very poorly in the comprehension arena. While as a designer i appreciate the concept of setting the stage and designing with elegance, as a writer i am always looking for ways to make the copy i write as easy to read as possible. I would never recommend any light font as body copy unless it was going to be at least 12 or 13 point and a serif with alternating thickness. That said, for a BIG headline and in black (not a color) they are not as dangerous. These days, if someone doesn’t read our message, they don’t respond. If they don’t respond, they don’t buy. and then we’re out of work. So I want people to read and comprehend my messages, and buy my clients’ products.

    Posted by Carol Worthington-Levy on May. 8, 2009
  3. You are absolutely right. The typefaces in this list are meant for headline/display use only, in big sizes. I would never dream setting any of those at 12 or 13 point.

    Posted by Yves Peters on May. 8, 2009
  4. Kris Sowersby’s National Thin looks great in larger sizes — you should add it to the list, Yves!

    Posted by Bert Vanderveen on Nov. 25, 2010
  5. Most definitely, but our FontLists work with an internal database system linked to the FontShop website. As Klim typefaces are not offered through fontshop.com we can’t include them.

    Posted by Yves Peters on Nov. 25, 2010
  6. i just loved your collection of fonts… ultra thin script are heavenly… do check out this assortment… [edited by administrator] … loved the Titillium Regular is still the best…

    Posted by yhyqart on Dec. 9, 2011
  7. Sorry Yhyqart, but your list includes rip-off of commercial fonts, so I’d rather you don’t link it from here.

    Posted by Yves Peters on Dec. 10, 2011
  8. Perhaps you can help me. I am looking for a serif for body copy which would compliment Hoefler & Co’s very thin Idlewild. I am attracted to its simplicity and elegance and am using it as a display font on my portfolio cover, business card, and resume. The font for body copy would cover the text for my contact info on my business card, portfolio info, resume and cover letter. Can you think of anything which might pair well? Thanks, in advance.



    Posted by mashika gallo on Mar. 8, 2015
  9. Hello,
    Still a novice to typography and wants to learn. Where do I start?

    Posted by Deon Works on May. 13, 2015

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