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Best Developer Fonts in 2021.

The font matters when huge portion of the day is spent coding, teaching, speaking and writing about code.

Cover Image for Best Developer Fonts in 2021.
Thirumalaa Srinivas
Thirumalaa Srinivas

Picked top 7, plus 1 honorary mention.

I spend a huge portion of my day coding, teaching, speaking and writing about code. It is very important and it matters to me to have a font that provides the best UX and reduces eye fatigue, for me. I have layered my experience with some of the web references, from developers who seem to care about the same thing.

This is my personal rating and recommendation. Please use your own taste and judgement, as you are trying or committing to one or more of these wonderful fonts.

All fonts except one, on this list are free!


1. JetBrains Mono - Just Use This!

A typeface for developers.

Font family count: 8

This is my daily driver!

Jetbrains Mono font

  • Looks amazing in all my daily tools as in WebStorm, VS Code and iTerm! Built for reading code all day!
  • JetBrains IDEs from v2019.3 ships with them, to look awesome in any language.
  • They have a lot of code-specific ligatures.
  • Supports plenty of languages.
  • The font height is increased for a better reading experience.
  • Code-specific eye movement. Made more rectangular. Vertical scanning is smooth.
  • Provides recommended settings.
  • It’s free & open source!

JetBrains Mono: A free and open source typeface for developers

2. Fira Code - The Level-Up!

Free monospaced font with programming ligatures.

Font family count: 6

Fira Code font

  • JS code snippet in Fira Code. Built with carbon.
  • JS code snippet in Fira Code. Built with carbon.
  • Ligatures are given a lot of focus and effort.
  • The creator Nikita Prokopov is known for his craft.
  • Meant to be ASCII compatible.
  • Spacing in frequent sequences are optimized.
  • Includes Retina version.
  • Looks most popular on Github with over 57k stars.

GitHub - tonsky/FiraCode: Free monospaced font with programming ligatures

3. Monolisa - The Complete Lux!

Font follows function.

  • It’s a monospace font that’s been sculpted and taken far.
  • Has an increased width for more relaxed, less eye-straining experience.
  • Similar characters have been made to look distinct, to reduce ambiguity.
  • Unique shapes to maintain space.
  • Shaped to let the eye follow fluently.
  • Italics are shaped distinctly.
  • There is a script version as well.
  • Coding ligatures are included.
  • Packed with symbols for developer usage in CLIs.
  • Includes many OpenType features for great customization.
  • Supports over 200 languages.
  • Excellent website with theme trials, code playground and specimen examination.
  • Some popular household dev names use it.
  • The full-fledged version seems expensive.

MonoLisa: A font family designed for software developers.


4. IBM Plex Mono

Roman & Italics

4 Subfamilies, 8 Weights, 100 Languages

IBM Plex Mono font

  • Plex was built to represent the rebranding of IBM.
  • The landing site is exquisite and beautiful.
  • It’s intended as global and versatile.
  • The slab serif is a unique touch.
  • Aimed at balancing human and machine, natural and engineered concepts.
  • Meant to be timeless and a daily workhorse.
  • Some deep philosophy is stitched into the landing pages.
  • The source of inspiration includes their 1961 Selectric Typewriter and Bodoni font.
  • They have tried really hard to draw the balance in various ways, angles and dimensions.
  • World languages support to keep the International in IBM.
  • It’s built to work in big and small contexts, and be versatile.
  • Latent marketing of IBM history and recent Quantum computing progress.
  • It’s an open source project.
  • They have brought together an international team of type designers that seems to be growing as the language coverage grows.
  • It doesn’t include ligatures!

IBM Plex. It’s global, it’s versatile, and it’s distinctly IBM.

5. Source Code Pro

Roman & Italics

7 Weights

Source Code Pro font

  • It’s built to work well in UI environments.
  • One of the first open source fonts made by Adobe.
  • This has been popular among the dev community for many years now.

Monospaced font family for user interface and coding environments

6. Monoid

Open source coding font

Monoid font

  • It has a hieroglyphic look to them.
  • When you squint-eye, it has a bitmap kind of feel.
  • They pair well with font awesome and can see them in the code.
  • It has a retina version.
  • It is open source.

Monoid is a customizable, minimal + legible font optimized for coding.

7. Ubuntu Mono

Linux ahoy!

Ubuntu Mono font

  • Built to complement the Linux operating system.
  • Gives you the linux feel on a Mac or Windows OS.

Ubuntu font - Canonical


Inconsolata - An Honorable Mention

Open-source monospace font for code listings

Inconsolata font

  • It has that Microsoft Consolas font feel.
  • It has 2 ligature families.
  • Built using python-based tools.

Inconsolata by Raph Levien


References

Carbon is the tool used to generate the code snippets.

Carbon is the easiest way to create and share beautiful images of your source code.


So, go ahead, code on and have an improved developer experience!