When briefing or planning any design job it is important to consider the type of font that is best to use. Telling a designer you want something 'classic' or 'sophisticated' does not give enough direction. You do not necessarily need to know the names of specific fonts but the types will help you.
A serif is the 'foot' or 'hat' you see on letters. The traditional style of lettering has largely fallen out of fashion with designers in recent years. The reason? The way we digest information. Serif fonts are easier to read in printed form than san serif, but more difficult to read in digital formats. The sis because the serif allows the eye to flow more eerily across a large quantity of text, as typically found in books, professional articles and reports.
You don't have to restrict your use of serif fonts to long printed documents however, they can make stunning logos as well.
As the name suggests a san serif font is one without the 'hat' or 'foot' (san meaning, without) Generally referred to a a more modern looking font. Favoured for work destined for digital publication or for more impactful titles and key points.
A flowing, hand calligraphic style of font, curving and with joining, or nearly joining letters. Most commonly found in greeting cards, wedding stationary or as capitol letters to larger bodies of text to give an added dimension. Never use script fonts in all caps and don't use on its own for body text.
The largest and most varied style of font decorative fonts are used to reflect an aspect, culture or emotion a writer or designer wants to convey to the audience. Like script fonts use sparingly as part of a more graphical artwork rather than an editorial.