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20 Free High Quality Playful Fonts

Every now and again we take a look around, select high-quality playful fonts and present them to you in a brief overview. The choice is enormous, so the time you need to find them is usually the time you should be investing in your current projects. We search for them and we find them, so you don’t have to.

In this selection we’re glad to present you Madawaska ExtraLight, Apparatus SIL, League Gothic, Contra and many other high-quality free fonts. Please read the license agreements carefully before using the fonts — the license can change from time to time.

Further Reading on SmashingMag: Link

New Free Fonts For Your Designs Link

Madawaska ExtraLight5
Madawaska is a rugged slab-serif font in 7 weights with fractions, old style numerals & lining numerals. When you’re using Madawaska Jeans or Madawaska River styles in an OpenType savvy application, common letter pairs will be automatically replaced by custom pairs for a more realistic, gritty effect. Madawaska ExtraLight is available for free download and use.

Playful Fonts - Madawaska6

Apparatus SIL7
The Apparatus SIL fonts were designed to provide most of the symbols needed to reproduce the textual apparatus found in major editions of Greek and Hebrew biblical texts. The fonts include the basic ASCII character set plus some international characters, Superscript characters, Certain Greek, Hebrew, Gothic (Fraktur) and other letters used for manuscripts and special punctuation. The font family consts of 4 weights: Regular, Italic, Bold and Bold Italic. It was designed for optimum clarity and compactness when printed at small point sizes.

Typography Free Fonts - Apparatus SIL8

League Gothic9
League Gothic is a revival of an old classic Alternate Gothic No.1. It was originally designed by Morris Fuller Benton for the American Type Founders Company (ATF) in 1903. The company went bankrupt in 1993. And since the original typeface was created before 1923, the typeface is in the public domain. This font is a display sans-serif, available for free download and use in personal and commercial projects. Designed by The League Of Moveable Type.

Typography Free Fonts - The League of Moveable Type10
Typography Free Fonts - The League of Moveable Type11

This legible font family comes in 2 weights: Regular and Italic. It works best for headlines and in large sizes.

Typography Free Fonts - Contra Font13

Sorts Mill Goudy14
A ‘revival’ of Goudy Oldstyle and Italic, with features among which are small capitals (in the roman only), oldstyle and lining figures, superscripts and subscripts, fractions, ligatures, class-based kerning, case-sensitive forms, capital spacing. There is support for many languages that use latin script. Currently there is no bold, but artificial emboldening by a web browser isn’t especially offensive with these fonts. Serif text/display-font, designed by Barry Schwartz.

Typography Free Fonts - The League of Moveable Type15
Typography Free Fonts - The League of Moveable Type16

Calluna Regular17 (registration is required)
Calluna is a typeface with flow. Calluna supports a very wide range in languages and is a very complete OpenType typeface. Each font has overall 723 glyphs. To download the free regular weight, you’ll have to register at Designed by Jos Buivenga.

Typography Free Fonts - Calluna18
Typography Free Fonts - Calluna19

Goudy Bookletter 191120
A classic vintage serif font, based on Frederic Goudy’s Kennerley Oldstyle. Designed by Barry Schwartz.

Typography Free Fonts - The League of Moveable Type21

Public Gothic Family22
Public Gothic Family is a little industrial, little vintage, little condensed, little bold. Public Gothic is a new font family, free to use in all your designs, commercial or non commercial. PB family members are PB Square, PB Vintage, PB Circular, PB Federal. It’s compatible with any OS (Mac T1, Win OTF, Win TTF).

Typography Free Fonts - ANTREPO23

A brushed script font for informal occasions. The @font-face-kit is included.

Typography Free Fonts - Free Font ArtBrush24

FFF Tusj25
A distinctive, original script font that is supposed to be a handwritten version of Georgia. The font works best in very large size.

Typography Free Fonts - FFF Tusj26

ITC Chino Bold Italic27
International Type Corporation released a new text family ITC Chino that consists of 10 fonts. One weight, Chino Black Italic was released for free.

Typography Free Fonts - ITC Chino28

Burnstown Dam29
An original playful typeface that can be useful for family-related websites. Available in the OpenType format.

Typography Free Fonts - Free Font Burnstown Dam30

An original, playful free font, created by Wete, a Spanish type designer.

Typography Free Fonts - Deibi32

Tex Gyre Schola33
A clean, strong, academic sans-serif font that can be used for formal documents and scientific works.

Typography Free Fonts - Tex Gyre Schola34

A font family from The Crud Factory, inspired by Diethelm-Antiqua, and named ‘jewel’ in Esperanto. An italic is being developed.

Typography Free Fonts - Juvelo

Programming fonts: ProFont for Windows, Mac and Linux35 and Anonymous Pro36 (thanks, Chris Apalodimas).

Typography Free Fonts - ProFont for Windows, for Macintosh, for Linux37

Sovereign™ Regular38
Sovereign is a highly original serif family from G-Type’s Nick Cooke. Available for Mac and Win.

Typography Free Fonts - Slug39

Experimental Free Fonts Link

A blocky experimental font by Alberto Rodríguez.

Typography Free Fonts - Groteska41


Typography Free Fonts - Behance Network43
Typography Free Fonts - Behance Network44

Another geometric font by the French type designer Samuel Delabarre.

Typography Free Fonts - Digitica

Layer Cake and Soraya45
Layer Cake (the first screensot below) is an isometric multiple layered type with capital letters A-Z, available only in Illustrator AI format. Soraya (the second screenshot) is half serif, half sans serif with capital letters A-Z, also available only in Illustrator AI format. Designed by Jakob Nylund.

Typography Free Fonts - Just My Type46
Typography Free Fonts - Just My Type47

Where does typography become art? Well, for instance in this font. The letters are difficult to read, but geometric forms are abstrac and captivaning. A creative font by Jonathan Calugi.

Typography Free Fonts - badabum font49

Free Font Amadeus50
A playful, @font-face compatible free font by the foundry Bright Ideas.

Typography Free Fonts - Free Font Amadeus51

20 Dingbat Fonts That Are Actually Useful52

Typography Free Fonts - 20 Dingbat Fonts That Are Actually Useful53

Reminder: Download fonts from our previous posts Link

Chunk Open Source Typeface54 [ Download the .zip-package55 ]
Chunk is an ultra-bold slab serif typeface that is reminiscent of old American Western woodcuts, broadsides, and newspaper headlines. Used mainly for display, the fat block lettering is unreserved yet refined for contemporary use. OpenType. Designed by Meredith Mandel. (via Graham Smith56).


A very legible, beautiful academic typeface that perfectly fits to every corporate identity design, magazines and headlines of corporate web-sites. The typeface is available in various weights: text version, title version, extra-black version and full-version.


Rough Draft Regular
A legendary TrueType typeface by Harold Lohner. Contains 189 characters in 9 ranges. For $5 you can buy the complete set which includes separate Outline, Clean Fill, and Solid Fill fonts.


A beautiful slab-serif typeface, designed by Manfred Klein. The family consists of 6 weights, regular, bold, extra bold, black, small caps and small caps bold (link and images via DerSven.de61).


Aller Sans
Dalton Maag design team designed a beautiful sans-serif Aller Sans, sponsored by Danish publishing company Aller (hence the name). The typeface was designed as part of the Danish School of Media and Journalisms new CI and is now available for free use and download.

Aller Sans

M+ Outline63
These fonts are free software. Unlimited permission is granted to use, copy, and distribute it, with or without modification, either commercially and noncommercially. Designed by Morishita Coji. The fonts are regulary updated, work in progress. Caution: Japanese language.

M+ Outline64

Andale Mono
Andale Mono is a highly legible monospaced font which was originally distributed as part of the Internet Explorer 4.0 add-ons page as It distinguishes well between the zero, and the O. You can find 4 further monospaced fonts in Hamish Macpherson’s article The Typography of Code.

Andale Mono Screenshot
Credits: Hamish MacphersonJunction65 [ Download the .zip-package66 ]
Designed by Caroline Hadilaksono, Junction is a humanist sans-serif typeface. It has elegant, clearn and very sharp glyphs, but contains only 100 most common symbols. Like Gentium67 it perfectly fits to body copy, but can also show its strengths, balance and beauty in headlines. Here are some insights from the designer:


This humanist sans-serif family is available in OpenType-format in three weights: ExtraLight, Regular and Bold. The typeface can be perfectly used both in body copy and in headlines.


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The Smashing team loves high-quality content and cares about the little details. Through our online articles, Smashing Books, eBooks as well as Smashing Conferences, we are committed to stimulating creativity and strengthening the web design community’s creative forces.

  1. 1

    great – thanks :)
    i always love FREE things!!

  2. 2

    Oh, thanks a lot. These are always useful :)

  3. 3

    Amazing collection! Thanks to share.

    I like those geometric fonts so much~

  4. 4

    Thank you soooooo much! Twitted and also went to delicious!

  5. 5

    Nice collection, these are perfect for my new design!

  6. 6

    Floris Fiedeldij Dop

    November 15, 2009 6:29 pm

    Yesssssh! I just spend an hour browsing the web for 2 of these fonts, and what do you guys do? Freaking put them both in 1 article, 5 minutes later. Excellent </burns>

  7. 7

    Floris Fiedeldij Dop

    November 15, 2009 6:38 pm

    Public Gothic Family is strange, upon installing it every program that renders it, takes 15 seconds on the latest iMac beachballing, with every preview change. Basically put Photoshop into a coma. I had to uninstall it. What a shame!

  8. 8


    November 15, 2009 7:05 pm

    just i need it :D

    i need a new look for my Forex blog, and here u are guys give me so many option to improve the typography

  9. 9

    Rough Draft 404’s at font squirrel, too bad, looks like a nice font to own.

  10. 10

    Design Informer

    November 15, 2009 7:11 pm

    Great fonts! These are all really nice.

  11. 11

    Great Collection Thanks!
    When it comes to Geometric fonts I can’t say I “get it”. I can’t even read some of them. I guess its an easy way to store decorative vector imagery like Dingbats.
    Unless I am missing something completely concerning Geometric fonts which is possible. Am I?

  12. 12

    what about….

    giving us a link to download a zip/rar pack comprehensive of all this fonts ?

    This proposal could be applied to every free-font post.

    Good fonts here, thank you very much.

  13. 13

    Copy note: I believe “Tex Gyre” is a serif face, not sans-serif as the blurb says.

    Tai: I don’t much get them either. I try to think of them as a jumping-off point for a very decorative display option, almost like illuminated caps from old manuscripts. Taking a letter or two from an appropriate geometric, outlining it, coloring and tweaking it and using it as a design element. I just never think of doing that though. :p

    Give me legible serifs and sans-serifs with good kerning pairs and ligatures any day!

    I love that there are several high-quality faces featured here. It’s maddening, yet brilliant, that houses are offering one weight of a font, especially when they aren’t stingy about it and offer the midrange roman or something, rather than “super bold condensed” or something. You wind up using the free weight, loving it, and then running to purchase the whole family. :)

  14. 14

    Thanks for these fonts. I liked Contra. I also reminded me the video game we use to play in our childhood named CONTRA :)

  15. 15

    I have to say… EXCELLENT MATERIAL has this post !!!

    clap clap clap

  16. 16

    Good article :]

  17. 17

    Wonderful collection. Fonts are always useful. Thanks :-)

  18. 18

    cool collection!
    Thanks 4 awesome font!

  19. 19

    Janice (5 Minutes for Mom)

    November 15, 2009 10:55 pm

    Fantastic fonts – and free too! THANKS!

  20. 20

    Good collection, thanks a lot !
    But look at the Rough Draft, there’s a bad link.

  21. 21

    How could you forget Museo which is available for free in 3 weights: Cheers & thanks for the great article!!!

  22. 22

    I love public gothic since the first day it was on public! god bless it

  23. 23

    Excellent fonts! Thank you for researching these and posting them.

    Another fantastic site / forum to get new fonts is

    It is the best typography forum for graphic designers / typographers on the internet. I believe it is an invite only site, similar to ffffound and behance, but a little more homegrown and small townish, but the content they have available is amazing.

    Thank you again!

    • 24

      hey, Alejandro.. would it be too much for me to ask for an invite?

    • 25

      ¿Eres Ale Paul? Soy Juanra, el diseñador que ha hecho la tipografía Deibi (incluída en este artículo de 20 fuentes gatuitas). El año pasado coincidí contigo en Barcelona, en la escuela IDEP con Eduardo Manso (yo soy alumno de Eduardo, pasastes un dia a ayudar a Eduardo con las correcciones). Tus tipografías son una fuente de insipiración buenísma, son las mejores tipos calígraficas modernas. ¿Me podrías pasar una invitación para la página esta que dices?
      Muchas gracias!

  24. 26

    am i going to get shot for saying that i really like calibri?

    love, dedicate mac enthusiast / despiser of times new roman.

  25. 27

    i love this so much, thank you thank you thank you!

  26. 28

    Oooh fonts!

  27. 29

    Callum Chapman

    November 16, 2009 1:21 am

    I love the free experimental typefaces, especially Digitica – great post!

  28. 30

    Wow! I just downloaded 18 of these fonts listed here! This is a great list. Thanks SM!

  29. 31

    Always love the free font posts!

  30. 32

    “20 New” ?!?!?!?!?! Some of these fonts are already announced here

  31. 33

    Hynek Zatloukal

    November 16, 2009 2:39 am

    Thanks! Great!

  32. 34

    Those “NEW” fonts are almost all the same as on older “free fonts” posts.. I’ve noticed that shamshingmagaze adding same freebies on the new posts and nothing new…

  33. 35

    Don´t wanna be a spoiler, but why show “aeroportal” and tempt the tempted, when it clearly states:

    Aeroportal is a custom made typeface with exclusive rights for the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

    • 36

      Vitaly Friedman

      November 16, 2009 4:46 am

      You are right, Henning – sorry, we missed it. The link was removed.

      • 37

        Per Olav Walmann

        November 16, 2009 12:38 pm

        Thanks for reminding them, Henning! Both the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and myself wanted it to be available, but with restricted usage rights.

  34. 38

    I like it ,
    uhaa uhaa!!

  35. 39

    VictoriaAnn Design

    November 16, 2009 5:10 am

    Thank you for sharing these, I just love Sovereign™ Regular and Deibi.

  36. 40

    evertt de sousa

    November 16, 2009 5:24 am

    very nice this post.

  37. 41


    November 16, 2009 5:29 am

    Very nice list of fonts. I am always looking for something unique and legible.

  38. 42

    FFF Tusj – bad archive :(

  39. 43

    Thanks for all the great stuff! Can’t wait for the Smashing Book next monday!

  40. 44

    Fantastic fonts , I like Titilium font very awesome

  41. 45

    Great! Thanks!

  42. 46

    I’m sorry, but Vegur is a Myriad Pro ripoff…

  43. 47

    Thanks! Great!

  44. 48

    Awesome guys! ^_^

  45. 49

    Awesome! If your looking for more free font resources I’ve shared some too:

  46. 50

    These fonts can be considered as “high quality” only for english texts. They don’t contain any diacritic characters :(

  47. 51

    alekos karalazos

    November 16, 2009 8:51 am

    I was hoping for atleast 1 greek font. but wht the thanks

  48. 52

    what would be awesome? a zip file with all of the fonts. i know that may be problematical with some of the licence agreements, but maybe it would be ok for some of them.

  49. 53

    Thank you verry much for this free fonts
    I like particulary “VAL” because this fonts is so fresh & pop and i like this

  50. 54

    Kathryn Merlihan

    November 16, 2009 9:31 am

    Hey Smashing! Thanks for the free fonts. They look great!

  51. 55

    FFF Tusj is the best! :) Thx

  52. 56

    Another great collection of free fonts! Thanks!

  53. 57

    Excellent Collection.
    Thank you very much for posting!

  54. 58

    free and good quality

  55. 59

    Buena recopilación Gracias desde Barcelona

  56. 60

    OPS Thank a lot

  57. 61

    Cool Job man

  58. 62

    Hi, are these fonts save to use on a website through technics like @font-face or cufon?
    Or are they just save if not distributed by the site?

  59. 63

    beautiful fonts which can help us for web and print media designing. thanks

  60. 64

    Good post and nice collection. Titilium is my new all time fav… =)

  61. 65

    On Goudy Bookletter 1911, the example image displays “Antique Cock” in the bottom-right corner…nice one, my grandpappy would be proud.

    Great list, but a number of these are not ‘new’, as the post title claims….I know, hate the hater. :-)

  62. 66

    Very useful collection, thanks. Vegur is one of my favourites.

  63. 67

    I love Smashing Mag! Thanks for all your great articles, I’m in font heaven with this one :)

  64. 68

    great! :D

  65. 69

    Can never have enough fonts. These are nice!

  66. 70

    Thanks… really appreciate all the great inspiration. Excellent collections.

  67. 71

    Love the fonts: just one question, though. You state that the Madawaska font is free, but when I go to the link, there’s only options to buy the font… I really want that font! :'(

  68. 72

    Great, thanks to this post I finally found a font to use for my own site (which still is in development, but will be online in january). I am talking about the League Gothic, the capitals look so awesome that suddenly everything about my design feels right to me.
    Maybe I will post a something about the stages the design went through, when the site is online, maybe others will see/feel the same as me.
    Thanks again for the post and thanks League of Moveable Type for the font.
    Not much to see there, yet, but have a look at


  69. 73

    Great thanks!

    Free stuff makes me happy.

  70. 74

    Thanks so much !!!

  71. 75

    Titillium Text will be updated at end of this year. For now there is a new fork called Titillium Maps with various widths on their homepage (download the full version).

    Best font ever!

  72. 76

    What fonts from this article have cyrillic letters?

  73. 77

    I love all the fonts! cartoonish mostly :)

  74. 78

    I found it very informative as I have been researching a lot lately on practical matters such as you talk about youtube videos. Then sıcak video fans says to me erotik video spam emails going on sex video fans private pages.

  75. 79

    Thanks for the great list of fonts! Love them!

  76. 80

    Wow! Those are hot. Some really great ones in there, and all for free? Sweet!

    Here’s an article I did on 20 Rockin’ Block fonts:

  77. 81


    January 18, 2010 8:00 am

    Great, Thanks guys..we just had to RT to our followers! Keep in Sync™

  78. 82

    many thanks! you dunno how much efforts you have saved!!

  79. 83

    Aleksandar Tasevski

    January 20, 2010 7:58 am

    wow artbrush!!! just what I needed

  80. 84


    January 21, 2010 10:43 am

    Vegur is a fantastic font. It’s very trim and thin, like Helvetica Neue Ultralight, but a bit more minimal and less blocky.

    Excellent selection. Thanks for posting!

  81. 85


    March 3, 2010 3:32 am

    Madawaska ExtraLight does not appear to be free. If someone from Smashing is monitoring these comments, please remove that font from the list.

  82. 86

    Madawaska ExtraLight does not appear to be free. If someone from Smashing is monitoring these comments, please remove that font from the list.

    • 87

      Christiane Rosenberger

      March 4, 2010 1:03 am

      Yes, you’re right.
      Please read the license agreements carefully before using the fonts — the license can change from time to time

  83. 88

    Martin Jacob

    March 20, 2010 1:26 am

    Great fonts,will be a great help. Thanks.

  84. 89

    could you please take ITC Chino Bold Italic off the list? It is no longer free and their customer service is arrogant and rude!

  85. 90

    thanks a lot …. u make my life simple

  86. 91

    Nice post i am also associated with this business so i am well aware how useful this article really is..Thanks again….

    Commented by:Logo and Stationary Design Firm

  87. 92

    Nice fonts – just used “Junction” on a wedding invite for a friend. Looks beautiful.

  88. 93

    Great fonts!!!

    thank a lot.

  89. 94

    Thank you! ” i like it “

  90. 95

    great selection!thnx!

  91. 96

    Really a nice post. This is great .

  92. 97

    Thanks for sharing this. Well, the article is actually the sweetest topic on this related issue. I fit in with your conclusions and will thirstily look forward to your forthcoming updates. Saying thanks will not just be sufficient, for the tremendous lucidity in your writing. I will immediately grab your rss feed to stay privy of any updates.

  93. 98

    Thanks for such beautiful fonts you provided, Denver’s curious location makes it an ideal base for an adventurous and fun Colorado Rocky Mountain break. If you are an extreme sports junkie visit denver, more power to you. Plan an all-boys or all-girls adventure vacation with your pals.

  94. 99

    very interesting article on various fonts, specially Badabum font is different from all. Despite all that, Denver continues to thrive. One reason for its continued popularity could be its comparatively milder climate, another could be its unique central location that allowed it to become a hub for trade, shipping, banking and finance in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In winter most of people come here to enjoy denver events with their families.

  95. 100

    There is support for many languages that use latin script. Currently there is no bold, but artificial emboldening by a web browser isn’t especially offensive with these fonts. The feature that stands out the most on instep jogging strollers is the wheels. In addition to having only three wheels, the wheels are significantly larger than those on standard strollers. A larger design helps with navigating the stroller over rough terrain, which can include curbs and steps.

  96. 101

    Looking for a font for a blues band. Those vintage fonts give me a design-gasm every time. Remember to support the designers people, these are really great guys.

  97. 102

    thanks a lots!

  98. 103

    Brett Widmann

    October 21, 2010 2:49 pm

    Very nice list of fonts! I’m always looking for new ones to spice up my work.

  99. 104

    There are a lot of great points here, but I’m not sure I agree with real-time search being discarded. I agree that it’s not very relevant,but isn’t the point of it to show what people are currently saying about a topic.

  100. 105

    WoW Nice

  101. 106

    Madawaska ExtraLight is no longer free. It is commercial.
    Public Gothic Family is no longer free. It is commercial.
    ArtBrush is 404
    ITC Chino Bold Italic is no longer free. It is commercial.
    Rough Draft Regular is 404
    Aller Sans is 404

    Might want to update this post.

  102. 107

    Great! Thanks!

  103. 108

    They’re very beautiful fonts. Thanks.

  104. 109

    At the moment I came across the web for exactly these kinds of info. Appreciate to your posting that search should ending right this moment. You had written the posting in a very understandable way. With this, I included your blog sites as one of my personal favorites! All the best!

  105. 110

    Nice is very useful for typography things…

  106. 111

    Anybody know how to download and use a typeface in .ai? I love that Soraya font but I don’t know how to use it in typical software like Word or Picasa.

  107. 112

    Oh, i like the Titilium very much. But the download does not work anymore. Has anyone managed it to download this font? Where can i get it now?

  108. 113

    Best fonts I’ve seen in my life.

  109. 114


    Titilium is available here:


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