20 Free High Quality Playful Fonts
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:
- 55 Wonderful Free High-Quality Fonts To Jazz Up Your Designs
- Massive Collection of Nature Inspired Typography
- When Typography Speaks Louder Than Words
- 50 Helpful Typography Tools And Resources
New Free Fonts For Your Designs
Madawaska ExtraLight 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.
Apparatus SIL 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.
League Gothic 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.
Contra This legible font family comes in 2 weights: Regular and Italic. It works best for headlines and in large sizes.
Sorts Mill Goudy 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.
Calluna Regular (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 MyFonts.com. Designed by Jos Buivenga.
Goudy Bookletter 1911 A classic vintage serif font, based on Frederic Goudy’s Kennerley Oldstyle. Designed by Barry Schwartz.
Public Gothic Family 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).
ArtBrush A brushed script font for informal occasions. The @font-face-kit is included.
FFF Tusj A distinctive, original script font that is supposed to be a handwritten version of Georgia. The font works best in very large size.
ITC Chino Bold Italic International Type Corporation released a new text family ITC Chino that consists of 10 fonts. One weight, Chino Black Italic was released for free.
Burnstown Dam An original playful typeface that can be useful for family-related websites. Available in the OpenType format.
Deibi An original, playful free font, created by Wete, a Spanish type designer.
Tex Gyre Schola A clean, strong, academic sans-serif font that can be used for formal documents and scientific works.
Juvelo A font family from The Crud Factory, inspired by Diethelm-Antiqua, and named ‘jewel’ in Esperanto. An italic is being developed.
Programming fonts: ProFont for Windows, Mac and Linux and Anonymous Pro (thanks, Chris Apalodimas).
Sovereign™ Regular Sovereign is a highly original serif family from G-Type’s Nick Cooke. Available for Mac and Win.
Experimental Free Fonts
Groteska A blocky experimental font by Alberto Rodríguez.
Digitica Another geometric font by the French type designer Samuel Delabarre.
Layer Cake and Soraya 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.
Badabum 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.
Free Font Amadeus A playful, @font-face compatible free font by the foundry Bright Ideas.
20 Dingbat Fonts That Are Actually Useful
Reminder: Download fonts from our previous posts
Chunk Open Source Typeface [ Download the .zip-package ] 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 Smith).
Titilium 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.
Nilland 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.de).
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.
M+ Outline 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.
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 Monotype.com. 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.