40+ Excellent Freefonts For Professional Design

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The importance of typography in design can’t be overestimated. The accuracy, precision and balance of geometric forms can give letters the elegance and sharpness they deserve. Besides, elegant fonts can help to convey the message in a more convenient way. In fact, while there are many excellent professional fonts (we’ve presented some of them in our article 80 Beautiful Typefaces For Professional Design1) there are literally thousands of free low-quality fonts which you would never use for professional designs.

Quality costs. The price of “bulletproof” fonts usually reflects their quality and starts at 50$ per typeface. However, before purchasing a font you will probably use only once in your designs you might want to take a glance at outstanding free alternatives first.

Over the last year we’ve been observing typo-designers and their works; we’ve regularly collected high-quality fonts available for free download and free to use for personal or/and commercial projects. In this article we’d like to present an overview of over 40 excellent free fonts you might use for your professional designs in 2008. What is your favourite?

Please notice:

  • Some images are taken from Gerrit van Aaken’s Typography Essays2. Thank you, Gerrit.
  • We haven’t listed Arial, Georgia, Verdana, Trebuchet MS & Co. as well as Calibri, Cambria, Candara, Constantia and Corbel as they are delivered almost “automatically”.
  • You can visit the Free Fonts Section3 to find more free fonts. The category is regularly updated.
  • We’d like to thank to all typo-designers and foundries for releasing these fonts for free. We appreciate your work and your intentions.
  • Before using fonts please read the license agreements carefully — they can change from time to time.

Excellent Freefonts For Professional Designs in 2008

Gentium4
Gentium is a typeface family designed to enable the diverse ethnic groups around the world who use the Latin script to produce readable, high-quality publications. It supports a wide range of Latin-based alphabets and includes glyphs that correspond to all the Latin ranges of Unicode. Gentium examples5.

Screenshot6

Screenshot7

District Thin8
A very calm, serious and impressive sans-serif free font from GarageFonts’ District family. The font is available as Mac Postscript, Mac TrueType, PC Postscript, PC Truetype and OpenType.

Freefont9

MG Open Moderna10

Moderna11

Pigiarniq Inuktitut font12
Have you ever known about the existence of Nunavut? A small region in Canada with one of the lowest population rate of the world? Probably not. Only 0,01 people live there per km2, mostly Eskimo. The citizens of Nunabut speak four languages — French, English, Innuinaqtun and Inuktitut. Nothing spectacular so far, right?

Few years ago the government of the region has decided to design a new typeface to enable its 28.000 citizens to use all four languages in a uniform manner. The result is a beautiful, rich and professional sans-serif free font. The family includes a bold, heavy, italic, light and regular weights. Examples13.

Pigiarniq Inuktitut font14

Pigiarniq Inuktitut font15

Delicious16
Special attention was given to character spacing to obtain a homogenic appearance. With it’s relatively large x-height the Delicious can be used for text in smaller point sizes. The Delicious italic is not a slanted roman, but a true italic. Serif, Mac / PC.

Delicious17

Delicious18

Delicious19

Anivers20
A robust and rigid font, forgiving, flexible, elegant and also suitable for a broad use: from a stationery to a poster headline. A smashing serif freefont by Jos Buivenga, dedicated to the One-Year-Anniversary of Smashing Magazine. Besides ligatures, contextual alternatives, fractions and oldstyle/tabular numerals Anivers also has a ‘case’ feature for case sensitive forms. Anivers supports CE languages and Esperanto. It has more than 350 glyphs and over 1.600 kerning pairs. Examples21.

Anivers Freefont22

Anivers Freefont23

Tallys24
Tallys is a font that is one degree slanted and has large caps, a small x-height and long ascenders. Only roman style is available.

Tallys Freefont25

Tallys Freefont26

Mido27

Mido STF28

Fontin Sans29
Available weights: regular, italic, bold, bold italic and small caps. It is a sans companion of Fontin30 and can be downloaded at Mac & PC (OpenType). Fontin Sans is absolutely free for personal and commercial use. Examples31.

Fontin Sans32

Fontin Sans33

MG Open Cosmetica34

Cosmetica35

Geo Sans Light36, by Manfred Klein

Geo Sans Light Freefont37

Nadia Serif38 by Nadia Knechtle, Quersicht )

Nadia Serif Freefont39

Yanone Kaffeesatz40
This “coffee”-font is supposed to be used in headlines and brief text passages; it shouldn’t, however, be used for body copy. The numbers and currency signs are monospaced, which means that they have the same width. This is useful if you’d like to place them on a restaurant menu beneath each other in a table. The alternative and historic symbols as well as ligatures can be activated via the OpenType-option »optional ligatures«. Released under Creative Commons license. Examples41.

Screenshot42

Screenshot43

JustOldFashion44
A font designed by Manfred Klein.

JustOldFashion45

Lido STF46
The typeface is suitable for all periodicals wishing to abandon inconspicuously the hideous system typefaces with their even more hideous accents and to change over to the contemporary level of graphic design. It is also most convenient for everyday work in text editors and office applications. It has a fairly large x-height of lower case letters, shortened serifs and simplified endings of rounded strokes. Lido STF examples47. For professional use you need a valid license which means purchasing the font.

Screenshot48

Cardo49
Cardo is a large Unicode font specifically designed for the needs of classicists, Biblical scholars, medievalists, and linguists. This font is free for personal, non-commercial, or non-profit use. Examples50.

Screenshot51

Day Roman52
In digitizing this typeface, attention was mainly given to duplicate the technical imperfections of 16th century printing, which have been lost with today’s technologies. In order to accomplish this, some digital type design conventions have been avoided – things like the uniformity of the serifs, overall stroke precision, vertical proportion exactitude. This digitization should work nicely when used anywhere from 10 to 30 pt. Some design oddities, appealing or otherwise, may appear in 30+ pt usage. This serif-font is available in PC Type 1 and PC True Type formats. Examples53.

Screenshot54

Day Roman

Liberation Serif55
Public domain / GNU GPL, Regular, Italic, Bold, Bold Italic, PC / Mac OS X

Liberation Serif56

Liberation Sans57
Public domain / GNU GPL, Regular, Italic, Bold, Bold Italic, PC / Mac OS X

Liberation Sans58

Romeral59 offers aside from optimal legibility an elegant style, rounded forms and sharp geometric structure of its letters. Romeral is designed to produce a noticeable visual impact that invites the audience to the reading due to its sizable thickness. Interestingly enough, the basic idea of this OpenType-font was to find a way to fill the color titles zone in order to create a comfortable atmosphere for the reading experience. It can be used for body copy and headlines. Free to use in personal and commercial projects.

You can get the font sending a personal request via e-mail or comment form. More information is available on Typies60, Pablo De Gregorio’s blog.

Romeral61

Romeral62

Scriptina63
Handwriting, PC, Mac.

Scriptina Freefont64

Mank Sans65
A freefont designed by Manfred Klein.

Mank Sans Freefont66

Chúcara67
To get the font, contact the designer Juan Pablo De Gregorio or add a comment to the post, explaining, who you are, why are you willing to get the font and how do you intend to use it. The author sends the font via e-mail.

Chucara68

Qlassik69

Qlassik Freefont70

Diavlo71
Jos Buivenga’s freefont that is a bit square and sharp. Great attention has been given to detail, spacing and kerning. It contains more than 300 glyphs and over 1.300 kerning pairs. So Tørwald can pick up his Téléphone without worrying. Diavlo contains (some) East European characters and also Esperanto characters.

The final release contains 5 weights: Light, Book, SemiBold, Bold and Black. Diavlo contains a bunch of ligatures and contextual alternatives (OpenType feature) to prevent undesired collisions.

Diavlo Freefont72
Diavlo Freefont73
Diavlo Freefont74

Engel Light Ltd75
Sans-Serif, PC, Mac, no special characters available.

Engel Light Ltd Freefont76

Cicle77
Sans-Serif, 7 weights, freeware.

Fresh Free Fonts - Cicle Font | dafont.com78

Kontrapunkt79
Slab-serif. Kontrapunkt was awarded the Danish Design Prize for best typeface. The aim has been to develop a distinct font, with regards to both the inidividual character and the overall image as such. The typeface has so far been developed in a light, light italic and bold version.


Freefont

Fontin80
The Fontin is designed to be used at small sizes. The color is darkish, the spacing loose and the x-height tall. The numbers of the Fontin have a ‘hybrid’ design. They carry the characteristics of medieval numbers, but their size is larger than the x-height. Mac (Type 1), PC (TTF, Opentype).

Fontin81

Fontin82

Colaborate83

Colaborate84

Colaborate85
[image via typoblog.ch86]

Fertigo87
It’s a bit like Laphroaic; the more you get to know it, the more you’ll (probably) appreciate it. With it’s auto-ligatures (no Open Type programms needed), a complete character set and many other unknown features it can be hard to resist. Regular only.

Freefont88

Freefont89

Steiner90
This typeface is ideal for logos and general design. It isn’t very suitable to be used with word-processors as it lacks some symbols and letters. Sans Serif, free for personal use only.

Fresh Free Fonts - Steiner Font | dafont.com91

AUdimat (v2)92
OpenType, Mac, PC, in four weights: regular, italic, bold, bold italic. Freeware, via fontleech93.

AUdimat94

Greyscale Basic95
A freefont designed by Greyscale [via Computerlove96]

Tuffy Freefont97

Existence Light98
A free sans-serif font designed by Yeah Noah. 3 weights — Light, UnicaseLight, StencilLight. OpenType, PC, Mac OS X.

Fresh Free Fonts - Existence Light Font | dafont.com99

Lacuna100
To download the font enter the Flash page, click on “Glashaus Fonts” in the navigation menu at the top, in the opened page click on [MAC] or [PC] in the left menu to download the font. [via Typemotion.de105101]

Lacuna Reg102

Lacuna Reg103

Lacuna Reg104

Images from Typemotion.de105101

Com4T Fine Regular106

Freefont

Pixel fonts

Style-Force Semplice Pixelfonts107
Tiny pixelfonts, Flash-compatible including detailed instructions on how the fonts should be used to achieve the best readability.

Pixelfont Freefont108

Pixelfont Freefont109

Unibody110

Unibody is an optimized screen font family for Macromedia Flash MX and Adobe Photoshop. It’s designed for one point size only, 8 pts.

Unibody Freefont111

Silkscreen112
Silkscreen is best used in places where extremely small graphical display type is needed. The primary use is for navigational items (nav bars, menus, etc.). Silkscreen also works very well at large point sizes if you’re looking for that chunky, old school computer look so popular with the kids today. Created by Jason Kottke. Silkscreen, with both Mac and Windows versions, is free for personal and corporate use. TrueType, Windows, Mac, Linux.

Silkscreen Freefont113

Footnotes

  1. 1 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2007/08/08/80-beautiful-fonts-typefaces-for-professional-design/
  2. 2 http://praegnanz.de/essays/
  3. 3 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/category/fonts/
  4. 4 http://scripts.sil.org/gentium
  5. 5 http://praegnanz.de/essays/gentium
  6. 6 http://scripts.sil.org/gentium
  7. 7 http://scripts.sil.org/gentium
  8. 8 http://www.philsfonts.com/freefont.html
  9. 9 http://www.philsfonts.com/freefont.html
  10. 10 http://www.ellak.gr/pub/fonts/mgopen/index.en.html
  11. 11 http://www.ellak.gr/fonts/mgopen/
  12. 12 http://www.gov.nu.ca/english/font/
  13. 13 http://praegnanz.de/essays/pigiarniq
  14. 14 http://www.gov.nu.ca/english/font/
  15. 15 http://www.gov.nu.ca/english/font/
  16. 16 http://exljbris.com/delicious.html
  17. 17 http://exljbris.com/delicious.html
  18. 18 http://exljbris.com/delicious.html
  19. 19 http://exljbris.com/delicious.html
  20. 20 http://exljbris.com/anivers.html
  21. 21 http://exljbris.com/anivers.html
  22. 22 http://exljbris.com/anivers.html
  23. 23 http://exljbris.com/anivers.html
  24. 24 http://exljbris.com/tallys.html
  25. 25 http://exljbris.com/tallys.html
  26. 26 http://exljbris.com/tallys.html
  27. 27 http://www.fontsquirrel.com/fonts/Mido
  28. 28 http://www.fontsquirrel.com/fonts/Mido
  29. 29 http://exljbris.com/fontinsans.html
  30. 30 http://exljbris.com/fontin.html
  31. 31 http://exljbris.com/fontinsans.html
  32. 32 http://exljbris.com/fontinsans.html
  33. 33 http://exljbris.com/fontinsans.html
  34. 34 http://www.ellak.gr/pub/fonts/mgopen/index.en.html
  35. 35 http://www.ellak.gr/pub/fonts/mgopen/index.en.html
  36. 36 http://www.dafont.com/font.php?file=geo_sans_light&page=1&nb_ppp_old=10&text=Geo+Sans+Light&nb_ppp=10&psize=l&classt=alpha
  37. 37 http://www.dafont.com/font.php?file=geo_sans_light&page=1&nb_ppp_old=10&text=Geo+Sans+Light&nb_ppp=10&psize=l&classt=alpha
  38. 38 http://quersicht.ch/04_labor/04_ft_nadi.html
  39. 39 http://quersicht.ch/04_labor/04_ft_nadi.html
  40. 40 http://praegnanz.de/essays/yanone-kaffeesatz
  41. 41 http://praegnanz.de/essays/yanone-kaffeesatz
  42. 42 http://www.yanone.de/schriftgestaltung/kaffeesatz/
  43. 43 http://www.yanone.de/schriftgestaltung/kaffeesatz/
  44. 44 http://moorstation.org/typoasis/designers/klein03/text/justold.htm
  45. 45 http://moorstation.org/typoasis/designers/klein03/text/justold.htm
  46. 46 http://www.stormtype.com/free.html
  47. 47 http://praegnanz.de/essays/336/lido-stf
  48. 48 http://www.stormtype.com/free.html
  49. 49 http://scholarsfonts.net/cardofnt.html
  50. 50 http://praegnanz.de/essays/435/cardo
  51. 51 http://scholarsfonts.net/cardofnt.html
  52. 52 http://apostrophiclab.pedroreina.net/0189-DayRoman/dayroman.html
  53. 53 http://praegnanz.de/essays/417/day-roman
  54. 54 http://apostrophiclab.pedroreina.net/0189-DayRoman/dayroman.html
  55. 55 http://www.dafont.com/liberation-serif.font
  56. 56 http://www.dafont.com/liberation-serif.font
  57. 57 http://www.dafont.com/liberation-sans.font
  58. 58 http://www.dafont.com/liberation-sans.font
  59. 59 http://typies.blogspot.com/2006/12/romeral-display-typeface.html
  60. 60 http://www.typies.blogspot.com
  61. 61 http://typies.blogspot.com/2006/12/romeral-display-typeface.html
  62. 62 http://typies.blogspot.com/2006/12/romeral-display-typeface.html
  63. 63 http://pedroreina.net/apostrophiclab/0158-Scriptina/scriptina.html
  64. 64 http://pedroreina.net/apostrophiclab/0158-Scriptina/scriptina.html
  65. 65 http://www.dafont.com/font.php?file=mank_sans&page=1&nb_ppp_old=10&text=Mank+Sans&nb_ppp=10&psize=m&classt=alpha
  66. 66 http://www.dafont.com/font.php?file=mank_sans&page=1&nb_ppp_old=10&text=Mank+Sans&nb_ppp=10&psize=m&classt=alpha
  67. 67 http://letritas.blogspot.com/2006/05/chcara-una-tipografa-econmica.html
  68. 68 http://letritas.blogspot.com/2006/05/chcara-una-tipografa-econmica.html
  69. 69 http://www.dafont.com/font.php?file=qlassik&page=1&nb_ppp_old=10&text=Qlassik&a=on&e=on&nb_ppp=10&psize=m&classt=alpha
  70. 70 http://www.dafont.com/font.php?file=qlassik&page=1&nb_ppp_old=10&text=Qlassik&a=on&e=on&nb_ppp=10&psize=m&classt=alpha
  71. 71 http://exljbris.com/diavlo.html
  72. 72 http://exljbris.com/diavlo.html
  73. 73 http://exljbris.com/diavlo.html
  74. 74 http://exljbris.com/diavlo.html
  75. 75 http://die-gestalten.de/fonts/freefonts/details.html?id=16
  76. 76 http://die-gestalten.de/fonts/freefonts/details.html?id=16
  77. 77 http://www.dafont.com/font.php?file=cicle&page=1&nb_ppp_old=10&text=Type+your+text+here&nb_ppp=10&psize=l&classt=alpha
  78. 78 http://www.dafont.com/font.php?file=cicle&page=1&nb_ppp_old=10&text=Type+your+text+here&nb_ppp=10&psize=l&classt=alpha
  79. 79 http://www.fontsquirrel.com/fonts/Kontrapunkt
  80. 80 http://www.fontsquirrel.com/fonts/Kontrapunkt
  81. 81 http://exljbris.com/fontin.html
  82. 82 http://exljbris.com/fontin.html
  83. 83 http://www.fontsquirrel.com/fonts/Colaborate
  84. 84 http://www.fontsquirrel.com/fonts/Colaborate
  85. 85 http://www.fontsquirrel.com/fonts/Colaborate
  86. 86 http://www.typoblog.ch/?p=142
  87. 87 http://exljbris.com/fertigo.html
  88. 88 http://exljbris.com/fertigo.html
  89. 89 http://exljbris.com/fertigo.html
  90. 90 http://www.dafont.com/font.php?file=steiner&page=1&nb_ppp_old=10&text=Type+your+text+here&nb_ppp=10&psize=l&classt=alpha
  91. 91 http://www.dafont.com/font.php?file=steiner&page=1&nb_ppp_old=10&text=Type+your+text+here&nb_ppp=10&psize=l&classt=alpha
  92. 92 http://www.smeltery.net/fonts/audimat
  93. 93 http://www.fontleech.com/
  94. 94 http://www.smeltery.net/fonts/audimat
  95. 95 http://www.greyscale.net/basic/
  96. 96 http://www.cpluv.com/www/feeditem/3085
  97. 97 http://www.greyscale.net/basic/
  98. 98 http://www.dafont.com/font.php?file=existence&page=1&nb_ppp_old=10&text=Type+your+text+here&nb_ppp=10&psize=l&classt=alpha
  99. 99 http://www.dafont.com/font.php?file=existence&page=1&nb_ppp_old=10&text=Type+your+text+here&nb_ppp=10&psize=l&classt=alpha
  100. 100 http://www.glashaus-design.com/site/glashaus.php
  101. 101 http://www.typemotion.de/_typographie/lacuna.php
  102. 102 http://www.glashaus-design.com/site/glashaus.php
  103. 103 http://www.glashaus-design.com/site/glashaus.php
  104. 104 http://www.glashaus-design.com/site/glashaus.php
  105. 105 http://www.typemotion.de/_typographie/lacuna.php
  106. 106 http://com4t-fff.seesaa.net/article/20901050.html
  107. 107 http://pixelfonts.style-force.net/
  108. 108 http://pixelfonts.style-force.net/
  109. 109 http://pixelfonts.style-force.net/
  110. 110 http://www.underware.nl/site2/index.php?id1=unibody&id2=download
  111. 111 http://www.underware.nl/site2/index.php?id1=unibody&id2=download
  112. 112 http://www.kottke.org/plus/type/silkscreen/
  113. 113 http://www.kottke.org/plus/type/silkscreen/

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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 delicate selection of fonts, Vitaly!
    Thanks!

    0
  2. 352

    Great list, although

    >Have you ever known about the existence of Nunavut? A small region in Canada with one of the lowest population rate of the world?

    Nunavut is not a small region by any means!

    0
  3. 703

    thanks for sharing.. nice

    0
  4. 1054

    is there a way i could download all the above fonts at one time, instead of doing it one by one??

    1
  5. 1405

    I’ve used Fertigo on several clients websites with greeat effect.

    Good list.

    0
  6. 1756

    Wonderful post….

    0
  7. 2107

    Thanks alot. Am grateful! More grease to your elbows.

    0
  8. 2458

    Koco sang pengembara

    October 24, 2011 7:42 am

    Thank’s.. I like it. The beautiful fonts.. :-)

    0
  9. 2809

    Thanks Man,
    I download them. I like your post :-)

    0
  10. 3160

    Wow … Thanks! … Thanks!

    0
  11. 3511

    Nunavut is three times the size of France.

    0
  12. 3862

    nice font

    0
  13. 4213

    Some very nice fonts here. Thank you so much.

    0
  14. 4564

    Smashing work :)

    NOTE: I noticed that the District Thin has a broken link. If you want you can fix it to this adress: https://philsfonts.com/index.php/free_fonts ; it is the official site.

    0
  15. 4915

    I like “Lido STF”, but your link is broken :(

    I found in this address : http://www.freefonts.info/details/13045/lido-stf.html

    Update your link if you want.

    Thanks

    0
  16. 5266

    really awesome collection

    0
  17. 5617

    It would be better if you provided it in a single zip file.
    Anyway nice fonts. Thanks

    0
  18. 5968

    If some one wants expert view on the topic of blogging then i advise him/her to visit this web site, Keep up the fastidious work.

    0
  19. 6319

    Thanks for this awesome collection of fonts.

    0
  20. 6670

    I cannot see where it says if they are FREE for ALL purposes? Please add to the post if this is true.

    Thank you

    1

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