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The Smashing Book #5

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25 New Free High-Quality Fonts

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

In this selection, we’re pleased to present Pompadour Numeral Set, Lato, Crimson Text, Espinosa Nova, Musa Ornata, Spatha Sans, ColorLines, Roke1984, Neuton, Avro, Baurete and other fonts. Please note that some are for personal use only and are clearly marked as such. Please read the license agreements carefully before using the fonts; they may change from time to time.

New High-Quality Free Fonts Link

Pompadour Numeral Set1 (.eps, released under Creative Commons)
A beautiful numeral font released by Andy Mangold under a Creative Commons license. The font can be useful in various settings, for instance for packaging design or logo deign. The .EPS file is available for free download. The font is free to use as long as the credit is given.

Pompadour Numeral Set2

Pompadour Numeral Set3

Lato4 (open-source sans serif)
Lato is a san-serif typeface family. The semi-rounded details of the letters give Lato a warm feel, while the strong structure provides stability and seriousness. Lato consists of five weights (plus corresponding italics), including a beautiful hairline style. The first release includes only the Western character set. Designed by Lukasz Dziedzic.

Lato5

Crimson Text6
“Crimson Text is a font family for book production in the tradition of beautiful old-style typefaces. There are a lot of great free fonts around, but one kind is missing: those Garamond-inspired types with all the little niceties such as old-style figures, small caps, fleurons, math characters and the like. In fact, a lot of time is spent developing free knock-offs of ugly ‘standards’ like Times and Helvetica. Crimson Text is inspired by the fantastic work of people like Jan Tschichold, Robert Slimbach and Jonathan Hoefler. We hope that the free type community will one day be able to enjoy Crimson Text as a beautiful workhorse.”

Crimson Text7

Espinosa Nova8: Regular (registration is required)
Espinosa Nova is a revival of the types used by Antonio de Espinosa, the most important Mexican printer of the 16th century and quite probably the first punch cutter anywhere on the American continent (1551). All of the fonts intended for setting text include small caps, five sets of figures (old-style and lining, both proportional and tabular, plus tabular small caps), many “f” and long “s” ligatures and a capital sharp “S” (U+1E9E). Designed by Cristóbal Henestrosa.

Free Font Espinosa Nova9

Free Font Espinosa Nova10

Color Lines11
This decorative font can be used for a variety of products, such as posters, packaging and label design. Original and unique. Designed by Anton Gridz, and available in AI format.

Color Lines — Free Font12

Color Lines — Free Font13

Color Lines — Free Font14

Baurete15 (free download16)
A playful, intriguing typeface that could work for designs without rigid alignment or symmetrically positioned elements. Baurete is free to use for personal and commercial projects. If you want to use it, please contact the designers at [we {at} welab {dot} info]. You can download it for free17.

Free Font # 18 | Caligraffiti18

Free Font # 18 | Caligraffiti19

Neuton Font20
Neuton is a clean Times-Roman–like typeface by Brian Zick. In structure, it is a transitional type with Dutch inspiration. The x-height is high and the color dark, and it is economical in ascenders, descenders and width. Also available in the Google Font Directory.

Neuton Font21

Neuton Font22

Melbourne23 (personal use only)
Melbourne is a sans-serif with a strong modern presence. The designer’s intention was to create a calm space-saving typeface. The glyphs have rounded corners and relatively large tracking, which makes it a good fit for dictionaries, indexes, catalogues and so on. When used at a large size, Melbourne can be used as a display or headline font. The typeface is released as a draft, and suggestions for improvements are appreciated. Designed by Marco Müller.

Melbourne24

Melbourne25

ROKE198426
A free display font based on geometric forms and mathematical symbols, this one includes accents and numerals. An interesting option for technical designs that call for a distinctive yet slightly challenging appearance. Designed by Wete. Available in OpenType format.

ROKE198427

ROKE198428

ROKE198429

Classic Round30: medium and italic (registration required)
This typeface was designed for text and display use. In small text sizes, the typeface looks clean, inviting and legible. When used in big display sizes, it looks playful and interesting. Designed by Ben Blom.

Free Font Classic Round31

Free Font FR Hopper32: regular and italic (registration required)
FR Hopper is a sans based on geometric forms but still retaining a friendly personality. It is intended for mid-length texts, captions, titles and almost any other occasional use: posters, flyers and even websites. The typeface comes with 7 weights, 12 styles with 836 glyphs, and many advanced OT features such as small caps, discretionary ligatures, alternate characters, fractions, arrows and ornaments.

Free Font FR Hopper33

Darth Vador Free Font
An original geometric font for the Darth Vador theme, designed by Juart Little from France.

VADOR free font

VADOR free font

League Script #134
“League Script #1 is a modern coquettish script font that sits somewhere between your high-school girlfriend’s love notes and handwritten letters from the ’20s. It includes ligatures and will serve as the framework for future script designs.” Designed by Haley Fiege and available in OpenType format.

League Script #135

Four Free Type36
Free original and playful OpenType fonts available in two font weights, regular and italic. Supported languages are English and Russian only. Designed by Alexey Frolov.

Four Free Type!37

Four Free Type!38

Musa Ornata39
This typeface, with its cheerful characters, could be a good fit for event announcements, grocery stores and public transport signage. To activate the alternative case, check the “Character Palette” in the OpenType options toolbar in your application. The download link is available at the bottom of the release post (above link). Designed by Carvente Dice.

Tipografía Gratis de Junio: Musa Ornata40

Skyhook Mono: regular
This family is a carefully handcrafted monospaced typeface family that is modern, sturdy and minimalist, yet distinctive enough for refined and classy uses. The regular weight is available as a free download. The free weight may not be used in political or religious works.

Skyhook Mono

Phoenica Std (personal use only, registration is required)
Phoenica offers an alternative to contemporary humanist sans serifs. It is a flexible family suitable for editorials and corporate branding. Phoenica comes in a big variety of weights, each available in both roman and italic. The regular width is available as a free download and for personal projects.

Phoenica Std font family

Indento41: bold (registration required)
“Indento is a multi-purpose modern geometric slab serif for headlines, posters and branding, but legible enough to be used for longer text. The straight and rounded corners, combined with the deep cuts and asymmetric serifs, give it a distinctive look while still keeping its legibility.” The bold weight is available as a free download in OpenType format. Designed by Mugur Mihai.

Free Font Indento42

Free Font Adec43
This typeface was inspired by Art Deco and Constructivism. It would fit posters, magazines and logos. The distinguishing feature of this font is the combination of decorative elements, such as textures and frames. Designed by Serge Shi.

Free Font Adec44

Free Font Adec45

Jean-Luc (Godard)46 (via I Love Typography47)
“Atelier Carvalho Bernau Design released Jean-Luc, a typeface inspired by the title cards of films like ‘Deux ou trois choses que je sais d’elle,’ to celebrate Jean-Luc Godard’s birthday. The style of lettering is so interesting to us because it is such a clear renunciation of the ‘pretty’ classical title screens that were common in that time’s more conservative films. It has a more vernacular and brutishly low-brow character; this lettering comes from the street.” To embed the font using @font-face, a copyright code must be appended as a comment in the source code.

Jean-Luc (Godard)48

Arvo Font Family49
This slab-serif typeface was created by Anton Koovit especially for the Google Font directory. It is optimized for Web use. The typeface is “monolinear-ish” but has a touch of contrast. For Windows users, the smaller 9, 12, 14 and 16 point sizes are hinted in Truetype format.

Arvo Font Family50

Thunderball51
This heavy sans font with 178 characters could be useful for posters, postcards and similar designs. Released under a Creative Commons license.

Free Font # 9 | Caligraffiti52

Spatha Sans53
A sans-serif font with organic playful shapes that set a friendly tone and are easy to read. The font could be a good fit for titles and maybe short text. Designed by Carvente Dice.

Spatha Sans54

Spatha Serif55
As a counterpart to the above-mentioned Spatha Sans, the glyphs in Spatha Serif have classic proportions and short serifs, which retain the playful and organic design. The font can also be embedded using @font-face, but a credit link is required. Designed by Carvente Dice.

Spatha Serif56

My Fair Cody
An interesting playful typeface that makes a an impression with its personality and warmth. The tone is inviting and informal, and as such might not be the best fit for a corporate context. Designed by Darim Kim, and available in OpenType format. You may use the font in your private and commercial projects; but if you embed it using @font-face, then a credit link is required.

My Fair Cody

Matchbook57
Matchbook is a simple and functional set of two typefaces, designed in serif and sans-serif versions. Each set includes all accented characters and works beautifully in larger sizes.

Matchbook58

Matchbook59

Mota Pixel60
Mota Pixel is a simple pixel font with simple roots. The regular weight was created as a custom design for TypeShow and is now available for free to the public. Optimized for use in 20-pixel increments, it is a larger than normal pixel design. Still, the regular is rather thin and delicate, expressing some tendencies of an upright italic.

Further Resources Link

  • Soma FontFriend61
    FontFriend is a bookmarklet for typographically obsessed web designers. It enables rapid checking of fonts and font styles directly in the browser without editing code and refreshing pages, making it the ideal companion for creating CSS font stacks.
  • Cure for the Common Webfont: Alternatives to Georgia62
    For nearly fifteen years, if you wanted to set a paragraph of web text in a serif typeface, the only truly readable option was Georgia. But now we’re starting to see some valid alternatives for the king of screen serifs. What follows is a list of serif typefaces that have been tuned for the screen.
  • How to Detect Font-Smoothing Using JavaScript63
    Some fonts look bad on computer monitors without font-smoothing enabled in the operating system. The author of this article initially thought there wasn’t a way, but after seeing a promising but incomplete method of detecting font-smoothing, he spent a few days devising a way to do it.
  • When Free Fonts Aren’t Free64
    To ensure that you’re using “free” fonts as their creators intended, here are four things to look for when you’re scanning a EULA.
  • iOS Fonts65
    An overview of font families available on iOS devices such as iPhone and iPad.
  • Free Typography66
    A blog dedicated to free fonts.
  • Caligraffiti67
    A Brazilian blog that features freely available fonts.

Also, you may want to take a look at…

Last Click Link

Adfont Calendar 201072
Here is Fontdeck’s typographic Advent calendar. Open the current day’s door and behind it you’ll find details of a great typeface, with a Web font offer available free for that day only. To use the offer, click “Purchase font licenses” in your Fontdeck settings before the day is over. Free subscription applies to websites with < 1 million page views per month.

Adfont Calendar 201073

(al)

Footnotes Link

  1. 1 http://www.andymangold.com/pompadour-numeral-set-free-download/
  2. 2 http://www.andymangold.com/pompadour-numeral-set-free-download/
  3. 3 http://www.andymangold.com/pompadour-numeral-set-free-download/
  4. 4 http://typophile.com/node/77283
  5. 5 http://typophile.com/node/77283
  6. 6 http://aldusleaf.org/
  7. 7 http://aldusleaf.org/
  8. 8 http://new.myfonts.com/fonts/estudio-ch/espinosa-nova/
  9. 9 http://new.myfonts.com/fonts/estudio-ch/espinosa-nova/
  10. 10 http://new.myfonts.com/fonts/estudio-ch/espinosa-nova/
  11. 11 http://www.behance.net/gallery/Color-Lines-a-Free-Font/741548
  12. 12 http://www.behance.net/gallery/Color-Lines-a-Free-Font/741548
  13. 13 http://www.behance.net/gallery/Color-Lines-a-Free-Font/741548
  14. 14 http://www.behance.net/gallery/Color-Lines-a-Free-Font/741548
  15. 15 http://www.behance.net/gallery/Baurete/309206
  16. 16 http://cl.ly/6ee1e69e72888f3f251e
  17. 17 http://cl.ly/6ee1e69e72888f3f251e
  18. 18 http://www.caligraffiti.com.br/free-font-18/
  19. 19 http://www.caligraffiti.com.br/free-font-18/
  20. 20 http://cg.scs.carleton.ca/~luc/zick.html
  21. 21 http://cg.scs.carleton.ca/~luc/zick.html
  22. 22 http://cg.scs.carleton.ca/~luc/zick.html
  23. 23 http://26plus-zeichen.de/fonts/melbourne/
  24. 24 http://26plus-zeichen.de/fonts/melbourne/
  25. 25 http://26plus-zeichen.de/fonts/melbourne/
  26. 26 http://www.behance.net/gallery/ROKE1984-free-font/762721
  27. 27 http://www.behance.net/gallery/ROKE1984-free-font/762721
  28. 28 http://www.behance.net/gallery/ROKE1984-free-font/762721
  29. 29 http://www.behance.net/gallery/ROKE1984-free-font/762721
  30. 30 http://new.myfonts.com/fonts/durotype/classic-round/
  31. 31 http://new.myfonts.com/fonts/durotype/classic-round/
  32. 32 http://www.fontspring.com/fonts/faberfonts/fr-hopper
  33. 33 http://www.fontspring.com/fonts/faberfonts/fr-hopper
  34. 34 http://www.theleagueofmoveabletype.com/fonts/15-league-script-1
  35. 35 http://www.theleagueofmoveabletype.com/fonts/15-league-script-1
  36. 36 http://www.behance.net/gallery/Sumkin-Typeface-and-Bext-type/582490
  37. 37 http://www.behance.net/gallery/Sumkin-Typeface-and-Bext-type/582490
  38. 38 http://www.behance.net/gallery/Sumkin-Typeface-and-Bext-type/582490
  39. 39 http://serifdechocolate.wordpress.com/2010/06/20/tipografia-gratis-de-junio-musa-ornata/
  40. 40 http://serifdechocolate.wordpress.com/2010/06/20/tipografia-gratis-de-junio-musa-ornata/
  41. 41 http://www.fontsquirrel.com/fonts/Indento
  42. 42 http://www.fontsquirrel.com/fonts/Indento
  43. 43 http://www.behance.net/gallery/Typeface-Adec-(free)/626869
  44. 44 http://www.behance.net/gallery/Typeface-Adec-(free)/626869
  45. 45 http://www.behance.net/gallery/Typeface-Adec-(free)/626869
  46. 46 http://www.carvalho-bernau.com/jlg/
  47. 47 http://ilovetypography.com/2010/12/03/free-font-jean-luc-godard/
  48. 48 http://www.carvalho-bernau.com/jlg/
  49. 49 http://files.korkork.com/index.php?/fonts/arvo/
  50. 50 http://files.korkork.com/index.php?/fonts/arvo/
  51. 51 http://fontstruct.com/fontstructions/show/thunderball
  52. 52 http://fontstruct.com/fontstructions/show/thunderball
  53. 53 http://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?hl=de&sl=auto&tl=en&u=http://serifdechocolate.wordpress.com/2010/08/10/tipografia-gratis-spatha-sans/&rurl=translate.google.de&twu=1&usg=ALkJrhiRxrjUr_JPG51yO95YHa66GxlL_g
  54. 54 http://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?hl=de&sl=auto&tl=en&u=http://serifdechocolate.wordpress.com/2010/08/10/tipografia-gratis-spatha-sans/&rurl=translate.google.de&twu=1&usg=ALkJrhiRxrjUr_JPG51yO95YHa66GxlL_g
  55. 55 http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=de&sl=auto&tl=en&u=http://serifdechocolate.wordpress.com/2010/08/10/tipografia-gratis-spatha-sans/&rurl=translate.google.de&twu=1
  56. 56 http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=de&sl=auto&tl=en&u=http://serifdechocolate.wordpress.com/2010/08/10/tipografia-gratis-spatha-sans/&rurl=translate.google.de&twu=1
  57. 57 http://www.onebyfourstudio.com/projects/fonts/2009/matchbook-typefaces/
  58. 58 http://www.onebyfourstudio.com/projects/fonts/2009/matchbook-typefaces/
  59. 59 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2010/12/25-new-free-high-quality-fonts-typography/
  60. 60 http://www.motaitalic.com/fonts/mota-pixel
  61. 61 http://somadesign.ca/projects/fontfriend/
  62. 62 http://typedia.com/blog/post/cure-for-the-common-webfont-part-2-alternatives-to-georgia/
  63. 63 http://www.useragentman.com/blog/2009/11/29/how-to-detect-font-smoothing-using-javascript/
  64. 64 http://blog.typekit.com/2009/06/11/when-free-fonts-arent-free/
  65. 65 http://www.iosfonts.com/
  66. 66 http://freetypography.com/
  67. 67 http://www.caligraffiti.com.br/
  68. 68 http://webdesignledger.com/freebies/20-dingbat-fonts-that-are-actually-useful
  69. 69 http://www.webdesignerwall.com/general/60-free-handwritten-script-fonts/
  70. 70 http://designshack.co.uk/articles/typography/20-bold-and-free-script-fonts
  71. 71 http://www.ourtuts.com/20-best-free-calligraphy-fonts-for-download/
  72. 72 http://adfont-calendar.com/
  73. 73 http://adfont-calendar.com/
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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 UX, front-end and performance problems in large companies. Get in touch.

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  1. 1

    More I learn about typography more I realize that I don’t know anything about that. There are some truly beautiful fonts in this article. But I’m little bit disturbed about the term “high-quality”. Not just SM but also many other blogs every two weeks have 25,50 New “high-quality” fonts. Massimo Vignelli would probably say that there are only 5 max 10 fonts in the world that are high quality. It takes years and years to build quality font. And probably only the people who are typographers and build type for leaving can say if it is quality font or not.

    Don’t get me wrong I love new typefaces and I love this article, but please don’t use “high-quality”, use beautiful use fresh and other words.

    3
    • 2

      I would suggest that’s more design snobbery than reality

      1
      • 3

        I totally agree. if the quality is measured by comparison, and seeing as there are about 500,000,000 really BAD quality fonts out there, then these qualify as high quality in my book. Best quality; maybe not, High quality; yip.

        6
    • 4

      @Vladimir You state you don’t know anything about typography, then proceed to prove it.
      Thanks, Vitaly, for your efforts in putting together this excellent collection. One of your best.

      5
    • 5

      I think you need to learn more about typography, Massimo vignelli only use 3 fonts (bodoni, helvetica and garamond), but this doesn’t mean that other typographys are shit. Making a font is a really hard work, it’s normal that those free fonts doesn’t include weights or special characters. This article show us high quality typography designs from people that are working for free, and this is admirable.
      Other way, if you like excellent typefaces you must look all the Type Directors Club catalogues and do some shoppings at fontshop. You’ll find how this kind of articles are great for designers.

      -1
      • 6

        I already regretted that I wrote the comment. I knew that I would be misinterpreted. My intentions were to give positive criticism and feedback. I love new fonts and i think that are many new high quality fonts. But I believe that you should use the superlative “high quality” only in special occasion. So again is not about this post or this collection of fonts it is about using special words in special occasions. This is just my personal opinion.

        0
        • 7

          Yes, only on “special occasions”, where we recite Bringhurst from memory before a crackling fire and wax poetic about Tschichold and Vignelli amongst a select circle of typophiles. Ahh, then we can label fonts “high quality”.

          Kidding, kidding.

          No really, I get what you’re saying Vladimir, but I would classify many of these as high quality. Are they classic typefaces that have withstood decades of use, misuse and fashion changes? No, but I’d say a font like, say, Espinosa Nova is definitely high quality.

          3
    • 8

      You really need to pay and buy yourself some fonts to appreciate the quality of such a free collection.
      SM makes the work of many a designer easier.
      I am so glad that Vitaly takes the time to put together such a collection.
      Thanks Vitaly.

      0
    • 9

      High-Quality may also elude to the fact that all the characters are present and won’t fail the rip in pre-press leading to dropped characters so many “free” fonts experience, not necessarily the elegance of the characters….

      0
  2. 10

    Great collection!! Thanks! :)

    10
  3. 12

    oh goodie. I already have some ideas.

    5
  4. 13

    Awesome!

    3
  5. 14

    Spatha Serif & Spatha sans have wrong links…

    0
  6. 17

    Wow. Really good selection! Thank you!

    1
  7. 18

    I would love such tips if at least some fonts would care about international characters. E.g.
    ěščřžýáíéúůťĚŠČŘŽÝÁÍÉÚŮŤ

    4
    • 19

      That’s one of the biggest problems for me as well. I’m very much into typography, but I often need to make a multilingual website, which includes using Latin characters like č,ć,ž, or đ, and using anything other than pre-installed fonts makes the characters look ugly and inconsistent.

      I know that the development of a new awesome font requires some hard work, but I would very much appreciate if developers took these characters into consideration during the development process.

      9
    • 20

      And let’s not forget about charcters like å, ä, ö, or Å, Ä, Ö. (And “…” et cetera …) Yes, a very small part of the world uses this kind of characters, but they are very important indeed. Peace and love!

      1
    • 21

      Check FR Hopper out – it does. I know as I made it ;)

      1
  8. 22

    Thanks for the collection! I like the Skyhook Mono and Phoenica Std the most but also the other font’s are very nice. Thank you, thank you, thank you so much and have a nice WE :-)

    2
  9. 23

    Thank you! This is a good gift for me =)

    3
  10. 24

    Great early Christmas gift :D

    5
  11. 25

    Thanks a lot for these awesome fonts!

    -1
  12. 26

    I like these font lists – lots of inspiration to be found here

    0
  13. 27
  14. 28

    Nerd Alert! Vader is spelled wrong.

    -3
  15. 30

    I know the point here is to drive traffic to some of these great font foundry’s sites, but i’d love a “download all” link for some single-click goodness.

    Some really nice type up in this post. Will definitely make use of Lato in some upcoming projects.

    Thanks Vitaly.

    6
  16. 33

    Ah! I love that!
    Thanks a lot for this greatly inspiring collection!

    0
  17. 34

    Nice collection!
    It’s the first time i have used this site.. any more inspiring graphics, please let me know.

    -1
  18. 35

    Fonts look great, one question tho, why can’t they all be submitted to the google fonts dictionary, is there any downsides on doing it?

    0
    • 36

      Google features only open source fonts; only few of the fonts mentioned in this overview are open source.

      3
  19. 37

    Best font collection I´ve seen in at least 4 months, thanks!

    -1
  20. 38

    good collection, but they aren’t all free as the title would indicate.

    0
  21. 39

    Some of these are quite nice. Thanks to those who made them available.

    -1
  22. 40

    Great collection! The pool of well-known free fonts was getting a bit stale, way to freshen it up.

    -1
  23. 41

    Those fonts are just amazing, can’t believe they’re free.

    -1
  24. 42

    Fernando Carvente

    December 17, 2010 9:04 am

    Hi, i’m the designer of Musa and Spatha, my name is Fernando Carvente, i think you used directly what was in the wordpress theme wich can be tranlated as “Carvente says”, thanks for considering my fonts.

    2
  25. 45

    Jackpot! Quality of life upgrade :) It would have been a real shame to miss neutron and matchbook

    -2
  26. 46
  27. 47

    Love me some free fonts! Pompadour!

    0
  28. 48

    Personally, I’m a big fan of the last image in the ‘Melbourne’ typeface series.

    A major deciding factor in typeface selection is how it handles expletives.

    Seriously.

    0
  29. 49

    Totally awesome! Thanks a lot for this great compilation.

    0
  30. 50

    awesome list of fonts, downloading now.

    -1

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