Best Fonts For Subtitles in 2023: Our Top 10 Picks
Those who underestimate how necessary subtitles are for a video's success likely have no idea how many people watch videos on mute. Subtitles serve a vital part in ensuring that your videos are understandable to a wide audience by offering an enhanced video-watching experience.
By now, you’re probably familiar with how important subtitles are for your video. Whether it's accessibility, convenience, or just a personal preference to have captions turned on while watching a video. But just having subtitles on a video won’t cut it.
If you’ve hesitated to add subtitles to your video - we understand. You’re probably unsure about where to place your subtitles so they don’t interfere with the content of your video. Or you’re worried about what color, size, or style to keep in mind when creating subtitles.
We understand that one size (or style) won’t fit all so we’ve put together 10 of the best subtitle fonts to consider for your next video. We’ll also cover best practices to keep in mind when adding subtitles to your video and answer some important questions you might have about the quickest way to generate subtitles.
10 Best Fonts for Subtitles and Video Captions - quick view
3. Noto Sans
5. Open Sans
9. Proxima Nova
10. Segoe UI
What to look out for when choosing a subtitle font for your video?
When it comes to subtitles, it’s best to explore how each of these fonts might look and pick one that best reflects your brand vision.
In the end, it’s all about how your subtitles or captions enhance your video content.
Subtitle fonts or typefaces (how the captions and subtitles really appear) have a significant influence on readability. Subtitles and closed captions, whether standard or custom, will contribute to people appreciating your video much more than you think.
What to look out for when choosing a subtitle font for your video?
Here’s a quick checklist to help you narrow down a font for the subtitles that fits your video well.
✓ Is it easy to read?
When choosing a font, remember that people will probably be watching your videos on different devices - so make sure the font you pick is clearly visible from afar and on a tiny screen.
Different font styles can make a significant difference in how easily these can be read.
Rule of thumb - It is widely agreed that sans-serif typefaces like Arial and Verdana are more readable than serif fonts like Times New Roman.
✓ Is it clearly visible?
If you want your subtitles to be read easily without taking up too much space on the screen, increase the font size. It's important to strike a balance between size and readability. Avoid using thin or cursive fonts, if you want your subtitles to be legible at a smaller font size.
In most cases, a font size between 16 and 24 points works well.
✓ Is it distracting?
It’s important to ensure that your subtitles don’t distract your viewers from your video. Assuring that the font color stands out clearly against the background of your video is crucial for legibility.
Subtitles with a light hue might be difficult to read on a white or very light backdrop. It might also be difficult to read subtitles if the background of your video has a lot going on or keeps shifting colors.
Consider adding a highlight to your subtitles to ensure your subtitles are always visible.
✓ Does it complement the tone of your video?
It is important to choose a font that reflects the tone and style of the video content. For instance, a more formal tone on a video would go well with fonts that are more traditional, such as Times New Roman. A more informal video might work better with a font that is more current, such as Noto Sans.
In general, experiment with different fonts and font sizes to find a combination that works best for you.
Whichever font you pick - whether from our list of recommendations or your own custom brand font, run it through the following checklist to ensure it's compatible with video subtitles.
10 Best Fonts For Subtitles In 2022
Here are the 10 best fonts that you can’t go wrong with for subtitles and captions in videos:
Calibri is one of the most common fonts for video subtitles. It is easy to understand and read. There is no cursive writing, no letters that look alike, and no creative touches that could make the screen too crowded.
Why does Calibri work well for video subtitles?
- At larger point sizes, Calibri's stems and edges become gradually softer. As with many modern sans-serifs, its slanted shape is a "true italic," influenced by handwriting.
It is a basic, sans-serif font that is widely used across the globe. Its minimalism is what makes it one of the greatest subtitle fonts. Arial has been widely used for professional and academic reasons for many years and is also an attractive option for subtitles.
Why does Arial work well for video subtitles?
- Its legibility and readability
- It's not extremely fancy, or distracting.
- Its adaptability across devices is seen in its rounded, broader curves and diagonally slit terminal strokes.
- Even if you need to include numbers or symbols in your video subtitles, Ariel's clean and compact design will accommodate these well.
You can't go wrong with Arial if you want a clear and safe video subtitle that doesn't need much thought.
3. Noto Sans
Not Sana is a Sans-Serif Latin, Greek, Cyrillic, and Devanagari font family. The font has more than 30 different scripts and is meant to cover all of the characters. No matter what language you want your subtitle to be in, you can never go wrong with Noto Sans.
Why does Noto Sans work well for video subtitles?
- Its main purpose is to make websites easier to read and use.
- In terms of how it looks, it's a sleek and elegant font.
- It doesn't make any shadows and can have the right effect on certain videos.
- It’s great for translated subtitles.
Verdana is another common font option for subtitles on the video. It works particularly well in creative, technology-focused projects.
Verdana's understanding of computer pixel orientation is its primary advantage when used for video subtitling. This typeface was designed specifically for use on screens.
Why does Verdana work well?
- It was designed for use on-screen
- Its simple, robust design ensures it will look great on different screen sizes.
5. Open Sans
Considering that Google also adopts Open Sans, you can't really go wrong with it. It is best described by a steady position, open shapes, and a friendly yet repetitive style.
Open Sans doesn't draw too much attention to itself. This kind of basic design doesn't steal the show, so the great work on the platform gets more attention.
Why does Open Sans work well?
- Its extensive character set makes it suitable for a wide range of languages and contexts.
- It has several variants if you need more complimentary text styles for your video.
Some of Google's websites and ads use the typeface, Open Sans. Open Sans is the default font for Mozilla websites and the desktop version of Telegram until 2019.
Tahoma, created by British Microsoft typographer Matthew Carter, was first made available with Windows 95. It's the default font for many Windows applications and one of the few fonts that are as widely accessible as Arial.
Why does Tahoma work well?
- If you’re looking for a thinner, more compact typeface, Tahoma may be an excellent alternative to Verdana.
- It displays well across a wide variety of display sizes.
- It is available in a number of styles, including italic and small capitals variants.
- The font's weight works well against a variety of backdrop colors and motion.
Using Tahoma in video subtitling creates a polished, trim look.
Roboto became a popular choice and default typeface for Google Play, YouTube, Maps, and Images, among many others. The big advantage here is that this font is very well recognizable, making it easy to read for almost everyone.
Why does Roboto work well?
- It is available in a number of lengths and variations.
- If your video subtitles have a lot of lengthy sentences, Roboto might help with readability.
- Roboto's readability is superb on different screen dimensions like computers, tablets, and mobile phones.
Max Miedinger and Eduard Hoffmann created Helvetica in 1957. It was used a lot in the International Typographic Style and was one of the most widely used typefaces in the middle of the 20th century.
Top broadcasting and advertising businesses have used it for years, as have designers, authors, and videographers. The iconic yellow subtitle is in Helvetica Medium Italic typeface. Yellow subtitles are typically used because they are clearly visible from a distance.
Why does Helvetica work well?
- The font looks strong, complete, and solid.
- It also comes with a wide range of typefaces.
- Can add a modern touch to your video subtitles.
- Helvetica is considered to be one of the easiest fonts to read.
This typeface is the most popular aesthetic font because it doesn't go out of style and is easy to use. Bold, italicize, color, and modify capitals to create distinct, appealing looks.
NASA used Helvetica for the Space Shuttle orbiter and federal income tax forms. The US TV rating system uses Helvetica. Logos and websites employ Helvetica. Designers like its unusual style and adaptability.
9. Proxima Nova
Mark Simonson's Proxima Nova, released in 2005, is a widely used font. It combines a geometric look with contemporary dimensions, drawing similarities to Futura and Akzidenz Grotesk.
The style combines geometric fonts with traditional sans-serif faces. Even if the letters are tall and broad, their width may be reduced by the use of compression.
The font family Proxima Nova has seven different weights (light, normal, semibold, bold, extremely bold, and black) with corresponding italics, small caps, condensed, and super-condensed versions of each.
When it comes to creating videos, this typeface is among the finest on the market.
Why does Proxima Nova work well?
- Proxima Nova makes it easy to read paragraphs, even when the font size is small.
- Proxima Nova's clean, simple design is legible across devices, whether you're using a desktop or a mobile device.
- It works well as a booklet or billboard, too.
10. Segoe UI
Steve Matteson came up with the idea for the Segoe typeface when he was working at Agfa Monotype. It was created to be friendly while still being readable, and Microsoft licensed it for use as a branding typeface and user interface font in their products. Matteson designed a humanist font family that included a variety of weights and italics.
Here are a few more font choices for your subtitles:
- IBM Plex Sans
- Alegreya Sans
How to add subtitles to videos with Typito?
Choosing the right font size for video Subtitles
Have you ever given serious consideration to the significance of font size?
Subtitling typically uses a font size of roughly 22 points.
However, this varies depending on the font used. In the end, you’ll need to choose a font size that allows your video subtitles to be read easily - not so large that it disrupts the video. Sometimes the most important thing is the device on which the video will be watched.
Subtitles on a mobile phone must be substantially bigger than those on a desktop PC since the screen is smaller and the viewing distance is greater. Subtitles on a digital billboard ad, like those seen in subway cars, need to be significantly bigger to be readily seen by passengers.
The size of the font affects how the subtitles look. Subtitles with poor contrast can affect the clarity of your text. For example,
- The gaps between letters increase in size as the text becomes larger, which causes greater visual clutter. Bright, complex, and fast-moving backdrops will highlight this issue more than any others.
- It is simple to miss the introduction of a subtitle if the font size is small.
- Reading text at smaller sizes causes more strain on the eyes.
Best Practices for Formatting Subtitles on Video
Subtitles are a great way to increase your video's accessibility, but only if it's formatted correctly. There’s a lot you can do to ensure your video subtitles are on point and add to the experience of watching a video.
Here are some quick pointers for formatting your video subtitles:
1. Font Color - Tones and tints
Ensuring that your color scheme is consistent throughout your video is just as critical as any other design problem you can encounter while making a video. If the contrast between the colors is too harsh, people watching your video may find it unpleasant to look at.
Avoid using colors that are really different from one another or that clash, since this may be a strain on the eyes.
2. Screen's Resolution
Another important factor to think about when selecting subtitle fonts is the viewing environment of your intended audience. You may choose to use a simple font like Open Sans or Verdana if you expect most of your viewers to be viewing on mobile devices.
3. Does it work on more than one device?
Increasing its accessibility requires using a typeface that displays correctly across a variety of devices and operating systems. This ensures that the subtitle will be accessible on any device and via any streaming service.
4. Pricing and Terms for Purchasing a Font License
It is crucial to know the distinction between licensed and non-licensed fonts when working with many typefaces. Although many free fonts provide unlimited usage, "free" fonts may sometimes be unlawful copies of commercial fonts as a result of licensing regulations.
Be careful to only use typefaces from reliable sources and familiarize yourself with any applicable licensing terms before putting them to use.
5. Pick either "under" or "over"
Do you want the subtitles to appear above or below the video?
In certain cases, the video was shot with black bars on top and bottom. If this is the case, you may choose to have the subtitles appear below the video, where they won't be in the way. If you're watching a video with subtitles and don't want them to distract from the experience, letterboxing is an option.
6. Taking word for word
Add subtitles for a global audience, but avoid literal translations. Such serious errors may render the whole video useless since words have different meanings in various languages.
7. Add boxing, shadows, or outlines
If your video has a lot of colors or you're not sure how the background will affect the subtitles, use one of the following options:
- The use of narrow borders around each letter in your font, called "outlines," helps set them out from the backdrop.
- To further differentiate the text from the video, a shadow is added behind it. This gives the appearance that the typeface is hovering in front of the footage.
- Putting a colorful box around all the text is called "boxing," and it's the most distinct option.
8. Placing all dialogues in the same format
It's a bad idea to stick with one font for the whole video. Makers of clips should make an effort to use a variety of font formatting options for the distinct characters. By doing so, we may make captions more accessible and clear up any misunderstandings.
9. Don't forget the last bit of quality control
Prior to making your video public, it is strongly suggested that you do one last round of quality assurance.
There are a lot of moving components in any video content, but when that video is being translated, there are even more. The last round of quality assurance may make a world of difference and give you confidence that the video is perfect in whatever language you want to release it in.
Should I use caps or lowercase for captions and subtitles?
We recommend using sentence cases for captions and subtitles.
Reading and understanding subtitles/captions written in sentence case or lowercase characters is easier on the eyes. Capitalization can be used to draw attention when necessary, but otherwise is difficult to read. The use of large blocks of all capital letters might come off as shouting in today's digital world.
What Subtitle Font Does Netflix Use?
Consolas is the main subtitle font used by Netflix. The typeface that is used for the Netflix subtitles is monospaced, which means that the spaces between the characters are set at equal intervals.
What typeface does the majority of YouTube subtitles use?
The fonts used for subtitles in YouTube videos vary from creator to creator and are often reflective of the style of the video's creator. Subtitles on the platform default to Roboto Medium, however, YouTube provides a number of other fonts at no cost to its creators.
Wrapping It Up
Subtitling your videos with the appropriate font may make a huge difference, whether you're making videos to promote your small company or just sharing them on social media.
While it’s necessary to add subtitles to a video, it's just as important to pay attention to how your subtitles appear on your video. This means ensuring you have the right subtitle font, color, size, and position on your video. It might take a few experiments to get it right, and we hope our extensive guide helped you feel a bit more confident about trying out different font styles for your next video.
Subtitling is a great addition that is well worth the effort and not very difficult if you have the right software. With Typito, you can give your video subtitles a unique and interesting style while also making them more engaging for viewers.