Fonts With Perfect Circle O: Which?

Here’s everything about fonts that have a perfect circle for the letter O:

The most well-known fonts that have perfect circles for the letter O include Moderne Sans, Avant Garde, Futura, and Century Gothic.

You can also browse font lists to find very new, sometimes custom options that will also provide perfect circles.

Still, the majority of fonts don’t implement perfect circles.

So if you want to learn all about which fonts use perfect circle “O”s, then this article is for you.

Let’s jump right into it!

Perfect Circle for O: Which Fonts? (Everything to Know)

What Is a Font? (2 Things)

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Most people have a basic idea of what a font is.

It’s the design of the letters that you see when you type things, and there are a lot of different designs and patterns that are available. 

There’s nothing wrong with that take, but it’s a pretty simple way of looking at fonts.

It turns out that there’s a lot more involved with fonts, and understanding a few of them can help with today’s discussion.

If we’re going to understand why only a handful of fonts use perfect circles for their Os, or why that even matters, we have to dissect fonts a little bit first.

So, here are some of the things you need to know.

#1 The Digital Nature of Fonts

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Originally, fonts were invented for printing presses. 

Making a font was a matter of metalworking.

It’s a long, interesting topic, and there’s plenty you can read about if you’re interested.

These days, fonts are largely digital, and it turns out that going from metal-set fonts to digital fonts has some consequences.

Primarily, a digital font is made up of digital pieces.

A font has to contain information that tells the computer how to shape each letter, and there are actual limitations involved.

I’m going to skip a bit of math here, but basically, the shape of a font on your screen depends on the ratio of the smallest possible description of the letter to the shape of the screen.

In more technical terms, the shape of any letter will depend on the pixel arrangement of the screen (which is literally the arrangements of the lights that make up images on the screen) and how complicated the font description is (in terms of how many bits of memory the font description requires).

Depending on that ratio, it might be impossible to make letters that contain perfect squares or circles.

Here’s another way to think about it.

Most computer screens are not perfect squares; they’re elongated rectangles instead.

That means that images on such a screen are naturally going to stretch according to the screen’s shape.

You can use software and coding to mitigate that natural stretching, but this technique is limited by the computer itself.

It can only describe an image so precisely, and when that precision isn’t good enough, even letters on the screen will distort.

This distortion isn’t always major, but it can prevent perfect circle Os from working.

As a result, many fonts avoid using perfect circles at all.

They design around this limitation so that minor distortion won’t really be noticeable.

All the same, a handful of fonts tackle the challenge head-on, and that’s why you’ll find some that actually can produce perfect circle Os.

#2 Types of Fonts

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I can elaborate on the ideas above by talking about the three primary types of digital fonts: bitmap, vector, and stroke.

A bitmap font makes the letters out of pixels.

So, it accounts for the number of pixels on the monitor and shapes the letters according to that information.

This is a more specific approach than the other two, and bitmap fonts aren’t perfectly universal.

But, because they are based on pixel sizes, they suffer the least in terms of distortion when comparing one screen to another.

Vector fonts take a very different approach.

They describe the letters using mathematical formulas.

Such fonts are actually more universal, but they are also more susceptible to distortion effects.

Stroke fonts design the characters around lines on the screen.

You can think of it as taking a hypothetical screen and dividing it into a grid.

The lines in the grid are used to define how the letters are drawn.

That grid can be applied to any screen of any size or shape because the stroke fonts are basically based on percentages of the screen.

This puts them between bitmap and vector fonts both in terms of universality and distortion.

Why Does a Perfect Circle Os in Fonts Matter? (2 Reasons)

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Now you know that there are specific challenges associated with making perfect circles in a font.

You also know that the majority of fonts don’t bother.

So, why are there outliers?

Why does a perfect circle even matter when it comes to a font?

In the vast majority of cases, it doesn’t matter at all. 

Some of you reading this already have a purpose in mind for perfect Os, but some of you are here out of curiosity.

For the curious, there are a few specific applications where symmetry in a font is quite useful, and those two applications are graphic design and user interface design.

Let’s talk about each one for a minute.

#1 Aesthetics

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The primary reason to seek out a font with perfectly shaped Os is for the sake of aesthetics.

Especially when it comes to graphic design, there is an entire school of thought and philosophy related to typesetting, fonts, and geometric expression.

If you know when and where you have certain geometries, you can design graphics around modern theory and your available visual tools.

Getting the right geometries for a graphic can help portray an intended idea or feeling.

It’s an artistic take on fonts, but it’s a prevalent school of thought.

To put in a bit of a context, if you have a perfectly symmetrical Os, then you can plan some of your graphical design around that symmetry.

You can center aspects of the overall design around symmetry in the font.

It can help you find the right height or width for written elements of the design.

There’s a lot to it, but a little bit of symmetry in the text can go a long way.

#2 UX

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When it comes to user interfaces (UX), symmetry in text is not always about aesthetics.

Sometimes, it’s more about figuring out how to fit text on things that need labels or identifiers.

As an example, a web page might have a button you can click (or tap) on to navigate to a different page.

That button is often labeled with words, and having symmetry in some of the letters can help designers figure out the optimal way to fit the letters on the button.

There are countless other ways that this type of thing could manifest.

The point is that symmetrical letters provide a basis that you can use to design UX elements in ways that are easy to read and understand.

Symmetry isn’t the only thing that matters in UX design, but it’s nice to have access to symmetry when it comes up.

Which Fonts Have Perfect Circle Os? (5 Types)

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There are a lot of fonts in the world.

I’m going to cover the most prolific fonts that use perfect circles for the letter O, but you can do a deep dive and find alternative options for sure.

#1 Moderne Sans

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Moderne Sans was developed with 1920s typewriting in mind.

This throwback font is built around legibility in print and on paper.

While Moderne Sans is used in plenty of digital spaces, taking advantage of the old type philosophy brings a different element to modern fonts.

Most notably, Moderne Sans injects symmetry into three letters.

As already stated, the Os are perfect circles.

Additionally, the Ms and Ns are constructed from perfect triangles.

In all, this gives designers three different letters that can be used for applications built around symmetry and shape regularity.

#2 Avant Garde

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Avant Garde is another font with perfect circle Os.

It’s in the sans-serif family of fonts, and it’s based on a consistent geometry.

It’s actually inspired by and named after the well-known Avant Garde magazine.

As a geometric font, there are specific symmetries found in a number of letters (most notably O), and as such, it is popular for graphic design choices where these symmetries provide benefits.

#3 Futura

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Yet another geometric font in the sans-serif family, this one dates back to 1927.

When it comes to fonts with perfect circles, Futura is possibly the best known.

It implements perfect circles for the Os and any other letter that can reasonably derive from a perfect circle (including Es, Qs, Bs, Ps, Ds, and Gs).

In terms of this aspect of geometry, Futura is a favorite and unparalleled font to use.

#4 Century Gothic

Smiley young girl at home using laptop.

If you haven’t noticed the theme yet, let me spell it out for you. 

Century Gothic is a geometric font in the sans-serif family.

This is newer than some of the others on the list, dating back to 1991.

It was actually derived from Futura and Avant Garde. 

Yet again, symmetry is present in letters that involve circles.

Century Gothic also applies symmetry to Ms and Ws, making it one of the most geometrically consistent fonts out there.

#5 Custom Fonts

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I’ve covered the best-known fonts that have perfect circles in them, but that’s hardly the whole list.

The truth is that in the digital age, there are more fonts available than you could count in a lifetime.

You can browse all kinds of fonts, and you might even find some free versions that have perfect circles.

Even among paid fonts, there are so many out there that you can essentially use a customized font that provides subtly unique elements to whatever characters you implement.

Author

  • Theresa McDonough

    Tech entrepreneur and founder of Tech Medic, who has become a prominent advocate for the Right to Repair movement. She has testified before the US Federal Trade Commission and been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, helping influence change within the tech industry.

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