Trajan is one of the most recognisable and enduring display typefaces. Based on classical Roman letterforms, the original digital version of the font was designed by Carol Twombly for Adobe in 1989. Since then, a range of designers have revisited Trajan, looking to further optimise its legibility and visual impact.
Discover our selection of the best alternative fonts to the Trajan font family, as well as interesting Trajan facts about the Trajan typeface’s history and design.
Looking for more fonts similar to Trajan, and other classical Roman fonts? Bring a touch of heritage and historic elegance to your designs with these classical fonts on Envato Elements.
Trajan is a classical serif typeface based on the letterforms of Roman square capitals (capitalis monumentalis). The all-capitals Trajan Pro font (the Romans did not use lowercase letters) takes its name from Trajan’s column, which has an inscription at its base which uses capitalis monumentalis letterforms.
Historically, many type designers and artists have taken an interest in the inscriptions on Trajan’s column, some of whom created their own interpretations of the Trajan font style. Emil Rudolf Weiss created Weiss in 1926, and Frederic Goudy produced Forum Title, Hadriano, and Goudy Trajan, all in tribute to the Roman letterforms. British type designer Eric Gill faithfully copied the Trajan letterforms, using them as a reference point for his own type designs, including Gill Sans and Perpetua.
However, the digital version of Trajan released by Adobe has come to be the most widely used and acclaimed interpretation of the classical type design, with type historian Alastair Johnston noting that the Trajan Pro font outdid ‘anything old Fred Goudy ever produced.’
Trajan was designed as a digital font by Carol Twombly for Adobe, and it was released in 1989 as part of Adobe’s suite of fonts that came preloaded with its software. Over a ten-year period, Twombly designed a range of typefaces for Adobe which were influenced by classical type styles. Some of her other type designs include Myriad, Charlemagne, and Adobe Caslon.
Twombly designed Trajan with display purposes in mind, rather than printed text. The legibility and visual drama of the font made it an instant hit with movie studios and book designers, who used the font liberally across posters and covers during the 1990s and 2000s.
Trajan Pro was the initial OpenType release of the font, which included small caps in the lowercase slots, and in 2012 the font was revisited by Adobe’s Principal Type Designer, Robert Slimbach, who added four additional weights to the Trajan font family, in addition to the existing Trajan Pro Regular and Trajan Pro Bold font, releasing the typeface as Trajan Pro 3.
In 2014, Adobe released a companion font to Trajan, Trajan Sans, which offers a more contemporary and minimalist take on the original typeface designed by Twombly.
Trajan’s classical proportions, legibility, and crispness have ensured its longevity, and it remains one of the most widely used display fonts today. However, a number of type designers have looked to create a more contemporary revision of the old Roman type style.
Below, discover our selection of the best alternatives to the Trajan font style. These include fonts similar to Trajan Pro with lowercase letterforms, as well as more modern interpretations which incorporate script styling, alternative letters, or ligatures for a unique take on the Trajan typeface’s heritage.
Fonts Similar to Trajan
Looking for fonts similar to Trajan for a design project? The typefaces below pay tribute to the classical heritage that informed the design of the original Trajan Pro font. From classical display fonts to Roman-inspired scripts, these contemporary Trajan alternatives retain the ancient and elegant spirit of Trajan, while offering something fresh and original for your design work.
Karin is an exotic and beautiful take on classical script styles, with a wide range of alternative letterforms and ligatures, making it a versatile choice for branding and logo design. More flowing and feminine than the Trajan font style, Karin nonetheless retains the legibility and clarity of the Trajan typeface, making it suitable for display, packaging design, and posters.
Blending Roman, Greek, and Medieval influences, Praetoria is a dramatic, historic-fantasy font that’s perfectly suited for games, movie posters, and book covers. Available with a range of alternative quirky letterforms, the font is a faithful yet more interesting alternative to Trajan Pro Regular.
Merova is a classical font that blends Roman styling with Belle Epoque proportions. With a tall x-height, the font offers a more condensed alternative to Trajan Pro, and includes five weights for versatile use across editorial, book, and magazine design.
If Carol Twombly had designed Trajan in the 1920s, the result would probably not look dissimilar to Agatho. With more pronounced serifs and thicker ascenders and descenders than the Trajan font family, Agatho has a vintage feel that would suit nostalgic marketing, packaging design, or logos. Designed by Andrii Shevchyk, Agatho is available in a single regular weight.
5. The Broads
Described as a modern Roman font, The Broads pays tribute to 1930s interpretations of Roman type styles while retaining crisp, geometric letterforms, resulting in a font that feels luxurious and contemporary. A beautiful and subtle alternative to Trajan, The Broads will lend class and elegance to branding projects, websites, and packaging.
Loki is a brush font built on a minimal sans serif foundation, resulting in a crisp Roman-inspired style that retains a unique character. In tribute to the mischievous Norse god after which it’s named, Loki is a high-contrast typeface with thin, pointy, and heavily bracketed serifs. If you’re hunting for fonts similar to Trajan Pro with lowercase, this won’t be the right fit as it contains only uppercase characters, but it’s this feature that makes it the most honest tribute to the original capitalis monumentalis letterforms.
7. Bw Vivant
Designed by Moritz Kleinsorge and Alberto Romanos, Bw Vivant is a romantic and glamorous sans serif display font with a clean, elegant appearance. Combining 1960s and Art Deco magazine styling with the minimalism of Roman type styles, the resulting typeface is effortlessly stylish.
Porte is an elegant tribute to the style of stone-carved fonts made popular at the start of the 20th century, which in turn took their cues from the classical carved typefaces on the likes of Trajan’s column.
The comprehensively kerned typeface (it contains around 2,000 perfectly kerned pairs) also contains a wide range of stylistic alternatives, allowing you to give your designs unique flourishes.
9. Armadira Display
Most fonts similar to Trajan pay tribute to the lighter weights such as Trajan Pro Regular. Armadira Display’s heavier design draws similarities with the Trajan Pro Bold font, making it feel more impactful and solid. The font is highly legible even at small sizes, making it a good fit for badge and logo design, as well as store signage.
Novante is described by its designer, Ramz, as a luxury display serif. Inspired by Art Deco interpretations of classical type styles, Novante uses flowing descenders and script-inspired alternates for a romantic and effortlessly stylish result. Suited to contemporary branding, eMagazines, and websites, this offers a relaxed and pretty alternative to the serious personality of Trajan.
Inspired by the architecture and aesthetics of ancient European cultures, Imperiem is an exaggerated interpretation of Trajan’s formal Roman style. The strong vertical lines represent the supportive pillars of Greek and Roman architecture, which contrast with thin hairlines for a balanced result.
12. Cal Roman Modern
If Trajan or the other fonts similar to Trajan featured here feel too formal for your design project, why not try a brush font alternative? Cal Roman Modern is an informal calligraphic font created with brush rather than pen strokes. Simple Roman proportions are given dynamism and energy with the jaunty brush style, making for a font that feels lively and optimistic.
Created by Craft Supply Co., Giveny is a classical and breezy serif font designed for display and brand design. The square shapes of the round letterforms pay tribute to the formality of Roman type styles like Trajan, while the geometric design nods to transitional serifs like Baskerville and Mrs Eaves.
Amongst the most decorative of the Trajan alternatives presented here, Arrogant is suitably vain and flashy, with decorative letters and alternative ligatures. Created by Zeppelin Graphics, Arrogant is indebted to the classical tradition of Trajan, using generous tracking and broad, airy letterforms.
Still Looking for Fonts Similar to Trajan?
From the true-to-Trajan styling of Praetoria to the informal interpretation of classical typefaces, such as Giveny and Loki, and a range of other Trajan Pro font alternatives in-between, we hope you’ve found a font similar to Trajan that will suit your next design project.
If not, find more fonts similar to Trajan and other classical Roman fonts over on Envato Elements. Discover our essential selections of the other fantastic fonts and font alternatives to add to your collection below: