How To Choose the Perfect Font for your Laser Engraving Project

Janice SherriffsUpdated: Mar 13, 2023

One of the most popular things to do with a CNC machine is to make signs or notices with text on.

Using your YoraHome CNC with laser such as the 3018-Pro CNC (With Laser Module Kit), Mandrill 3036 CNC (With Laser Module Kit), or the 6550-Pro, allows you to add sharp, clean lines to an item to add a personal touch.

Spending some choosing the font you’re going to use will be worth it.

Everyone has their idea of the ideal font, but what works well and what doesn’t when laser engraving is a whole another matter.

1. What are the Basic Types of Fonts?

Fonts are usually divided into 2 groups: Block and Script.

Block Fonts

For formal occasions, Block fonts are the most often used.

Block fonts are divided again into Serif and Sans Serif.

Serif fonts – This type of font has short lines or extensions at the end of its longer strokes.

Examples of serif font styles are old-style serif fonts, such as Garamond.


Transitional serif fonts, such as Times New Roman.


 Modern serif fonts, such as Bodoni. 


Lastly slab serif fonts, such as Rockwell. 


Notice the little tails on the letters.

Sans Serif fonts – “Sans” translates to without, so sans serif fonts are without the serif – the extensions to the letters.

Examples of sans serif fonts include Grotesque fonts such as Bahnschrift. 


Neo-grotesque fonts such as Arial.


Geometric fonts such as Century Gothic. 


And lastly Humanist fonts such as Gill Sans.


This shows the difference between the types of fonts:


Script Fonts

Sometimes called cursive fonts, they are used more often for romantic occasions, birthdays etc. they are derived from handwriting and calligraphy.

Examples of script fonts include:


You can notice the extra details and flourishes in this type of font.

So, that’s how different fonts print, but does that mean they would all laser engrave the same?

2. How do you test Text with a Laser?

I opened LightBurn, clicked on Text and chose Garamond as my first font to try.


I then put in my test text.





Then I added the title Garamond.

Using my YoraHome Mandrill with a 40W Laser, I set up this test at 2500 mm/min at 80% power, with the text on fill.

I adjusted the height of the font to 10.


Clicking on the select arrow, then the test text and the title, then going to the font, I then changed to Times New Roman.


I changed the title over the test text to Times New Roman as well.


You get the idea, I continued to change the font and title, going through the list, not changing anything other than the font itself.

3. What were the Text test results?

Remember every one of these tests were run with exactly the same settings, size, speed and power remained unchanged throughout.



 Times New Roman










Century Gothic


Gill Sans


Bradley Hand


Brush Script


Edwardian Script


Freestyle Script


It appears that some fonts look much thicker and clearer than others.

Personally, I really like the Edwardian Script, but on this test, it doesn't look good at all. Yet others such as Bodoni and Gill Sans both look really sharp.


Obviously, there are a huge number of fonts you can try to find what works best for your engraving project, but here are some general tips:

  • Use fonts with thick continuous lines – they will stand out better on the background.
  • You can choose sharp corners and straight lines or go for a more flowy approach with some curves and loops.

You also need to spend time looking at the different weights and letter spacing, available. It might be that using bold or reducing/increasing the letter spacing may make your lettering more legible or fit to the space available better.

Also, a font that looks fabulous on something like the bamboo cutting board that I used, may not look just as good on a piece of oak. As always, test first.

Choosing your font is part of the design process you will go through to make your projects stand out, take your time to find the right style and it will transform your item from personalised to perfect.

With a YoraHome CNC machine, you have the tools to create those ideal items, for you, your friends and family or for your business.

But, this was only testing with the laser. In a few days, I’ll try engraving with my Mandrill CNC and spindle!