Free Fonts Cheat Sheet


We all love high quality typefaces, particularly those available for free download: as provided by typo-designers or typo-foundries. Over the last months we’ve collected over 50 of them and presented them in our Free Fonts Section41, which is being updated on a regular basis. So if you haven’t downloaded these fonts yet, you probably should take a look at them right now.

However, 50 fonts are pretty much, so it would be nice to have some kind of quick reference for the best of them – to have them printed out and browse through them once you need to decide which font to use. Therefore we’ve decided to create a Free Font Cheat Sheet, which is basically a list of examples, which demonstrate, how the best high quality freefonts can be used for body copy.

We’ve also listed basic system fonts and Vista fonts in the list, so you can compare them if you’d like to. You can download the final .pdf2 (.zip, 0.8 Mb) for free. You can also use the Free Fonts Cheat Sheet Page if you have the fonts already installed on your PC.

Quick Overview

We’d like to thank to all typo-designers and foundries for releasing these fonts for free. We appreciate your work and your intentions.

If you find any mistakes, problems or if you have any comments how we could improve the Cheat Sheet – let us know or just comment on this article. Please do not link directly to the .zip-file, but to this article. Please appreciate our work and time.


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Vitaly Friedman loves beautiful content and doesn’t like to give in easily. Vitaly is writer, speaker, author and editor-in-chief of Smashing Magazine. He runs responsive Web design workshops, online workshops and loves solving complex performance problems in large companies. Get in touch.


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  1. 1

    very kewl : ) ty

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    Great summary … my only suggestion would be adding a web link to the location of the type foundry or type designers site

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    indeed, thanks to the typo-designers for the good work, and thank you for researching.

  5. 5

    Thank you 4 the feature. Nice work and thanx 2 all the font artists :-)

  6. 6

    You guys should make a .zip with a collection of 50 fonts if you could. Such a pain to install each one :(

  7. 7

    A font fan’s dream.

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    another goooooood article…

  10. 10

    Awesome! I was actually thinking of compiling a similar resource from the great list of free fonts you had provided us =)

    S:Mag, affecting your web.code addicted lives every day!

  11. 11

    I have just one suggestion. When you tell us about another great free font, could you please tell us which code pages it have? There’s usually no such information available, I’m downloading every single one you mention just to find out I will not be able to use it.

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    Jörg Petermann

    April 25, 2007 2:48 pm

    Der Link zur PDF auf der Cheat Seite erzeugt einen Fehler!

  13. 13

    Great collection, very useful!

  14. 14

    Yet another fantastic post.

    To echo other people’s comments, it’d be nice for ‘Smashing Magazine’ to offer these fonts in one zip, but i understand that the foundry’s want the downloads from their own websites.

    It’d be nice to find out where to download them though :)

    Oh, and sorry to be picky but the ‘Free Fonts Cheat Sheet Page’ shows the old smashing magazine favicon for some reason :

    Keep up the goodwork!!!

  15. 15

    thanks to the designers for the good work, and thanks for researching.

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    Thank you 4 the feature. Nice work and thanx 2 all the font artists :-)

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    do you know what we could really use? an online .pdf with the fonts with links to download page (or smashing magazine page where we can find them)…

    .zip is so… web 1.0 :P

  18. 18

    Awesome. I know I can always trust you guys to hook me up.

    Question though…how does one go aboout making a nifty little cheat sheet like that? Very simple…does the job.

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    .zip? Really now. The 200K you saved by zipping this PDF isn’t worth the time it takes to unzip it and open it. How about just linking to the PDF page?
    (BTW, I reduced the PDF 125K by opening it in Acrobat Pro and saving it… the Ghostscript engine you’re using apparently doesn’t optimize.) Thanks for the samples!

  20. 20

    I request a zip of all the free fonts so far, please!

  21. 21

    Awesome. I love typefaces :>

    Thanks for this great overview, just downloaded it :)

  22. 22

    A very nice overview, I didn’t know there were so many good free fonts!

    Some more free typefaces, mainly Greek but some also have a latin character set: the Greek Font Society

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    Smashers- Thanks very very very much for all the hard work you put into this. It is appreciated, not just b/c I can link to the story for my blog, but because these fonts keep people inspired and put cash in our wallets from jobs.

    So, Thanks!

    Lawton Chiles

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    Carlos Eduardo

    May 3, 2007 10:33 pm

    Thank you for this cheat sheet…

    I think it will help us a lot when we want to use a quality font without paying for it :)

  25. 25

    Thanks for the info. A designer can never have too many fonts.

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    Ich merke gerade in diesem Moment dass ich diese Seite deutlich mehr aufrufen sollte ;-) – da kommt der Leser wirklich auf krasse Ideen

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    Book of Ra Tricks

    May 5, 2011 1:00 pm

    Unglaublich! Das hatte ich gar nicht gedacht :-)

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