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The Best Free Fonts for Designers

I’ve been meaning to write this post but just haven’t had the time to do so. I’ve received several messages and emails asking me about fonts that I use on some of my design projects. I have a pretty large font collection. Some of them are paid, but a lot of them are free! First of all, I suggest investing in some of the best typefaces1 out there but I also suggest that you take advantage of the free resources that can be found online. [Content Care Oct/21/2016 – expanded]

Anyway, I just want to share with you some of my favorite websites to obtain some high-quality typefaces that you can immediately start using on your projects. By the way, a lot of the free fonts on these sites can also be used for @font-face implementation as well.

Download Free Fonts from These Websites Link


  1. The League of Moveable Type3
    This website has a great collection of free fonts including League Gothic, which has really become popular. I would suggest following them on Twitter or subscribing to their feed as well.
  2. Lost Type4
    I just recently stumbled upon this website and they have lots of great fonts that are available for download. Although the fonts are free, I’m sure they would love your support so maybe donate a few dollars to them.
  3. Font Squirrel5
    This is a great website with tons of high-quality fonts that are mostly @font-face compatible. You can also download their fonts as @font-face kits and they also have a @font-face generator. This is definitely a great resource.
  4. FontFabric6
    They have a great freebie section with lots of nice fonts to download.
  5. DaFont7
    There are a lot of fonts on this site. Sure, not all of them are the best quality, but I usually go to this site if I’m looking for a font to use with a particular look or theme. For example, if I wanted to use an Indiana Jones font or some other type of movie font, I would just do a search on this site.

Anivers Regular8 Link

Jos Buivenga has released an update for Anivers, a font which was originally designed to celebrate the first anniversary of Smashing Magazine. Now the new improved Anivers has been expanded and Anivers Regular undergone a major update. Changes: extended language support, improved glyph shapes and improved metrics and kerning.

Anivers Screenshot9

Jos Buivenga has extended Anivers to the Anivers family which now comes in regular, italic, bold and small caps and has some nice OpenType features. However, only Anivers regular is free. To download the free Regular you have to register at The rest of the family can be purchased on MyFonts.

Fertigo Pro10 Link

Jos Buivenga has updated the old freefont Fertigo and has now called it Fertigo Pro. Fertigo Pro is still free. Important changes are extended language support (more than 150 glyphs added), improved glyph shapes, 10 added ornaments/dingbats and improved metrics and kerning. Languages now (fully) supported: Latin, Central European, Croatian, Romanian, Icelandic, Turkish, Esperanto.

Gentium11 (specimen12) and Gentium Basic13 Link

SIL International which has released Gentium few years ago, now released a modification of Gentium which is called Gentium Basic. Gentium is a typeface family designed to enable the diverse ethnic groups around the world who use the Latin and Greek scripts 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 Basic and Gentium Book Basic are font families based on the original Gentium design, but with additional weights. The “Book” family is slightly heavier. Both families come with a complete regular, bold, italic and bold italic set of fonts. The supported character set, however, is much smaller than for the main Gentium fonts. These “Basic” fonts support only the Basic Latin and Latin-1 Supplement Unicode ranges, plus a selection of the more commonly used extended Latin characters, with miscellaneous diacritical marks, symbols and punctuation. Designed by Victor Gaultney.


Freebooter Script17 Link

This script type literally impresses with its curves. Freebooter Script can be used for packaging design or some projects in old-style. Designed by Graham Meade, available in PC Type 1, PC True Type and Mac Type 1. Designed by Graham Meada.

Freebooter Script18

Walkway19 (TrueType) Link

Walkway is a large font family which consists of 31 font style, such as Rounded, SemiBold Reverse Oblique, Bold, Bold Reverse Oblique, Black, Black Reverse Oblique, UltraBold and further styles. The typeface looks elegant and modest and can be used best for headlines. Windows, Mac OS X, Linux.

Cora Basic Regular20

Karabine21 Link

Fancy “hand-drawing” typeface by Jonathan Paquette. A quite distinctive typeface in which capital letters are the reflection of “normal” letters. PC / Mac. Free for personal use only.


Advent Pro23 Link

A fresh, modern typeface coming in 7 weights — bold, bold extra, regular rounded, regular, regular oblique, light and light extra. Commercial work containing this typeface must include the reference to the author; personal projects don’t necessary need to have a reference. The advanced version of the font can be purchased.

Advent Free Font Screenshot24

Advent Free Font Screenshot25

Ambrosia26 Link

This font is free to use for personal purposes only. This version doesn’t contain kerning, accented character and foreign currency symbols.

Ambrosia Screenshot27

Telegrafico28 Link

Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License. TrueType (.ttf).

Fonce Sans Screenshot29

Fonce Sans Regular30 Link

A sans-serif typeface that includes old style (hanging) numbers, a number of english and non-english lettering, some additional symbols and complete punctuation. This typeface is considered a Trial Version, in which certain letterforms have been replaced. Available only for non-commercial use as .otf. The advanced version of the font can be purchased. This typeface is being released as a sort of “beta,” in which people might become accustomed to the typeface and also voice their opinions on its usability.

Fonce Sans Screenshot31

Luxi Family32 Link

Luxi fonts are commonly found on free software operating systems, such as Linux. They are the default fonts in Red Hat’s Bluecurve theme. This family includes Luxi Sans, a family of four sans-serif fonts, Luxi Serif, a family of four serif fonts and Luxi Mono, a family of four monospace fonts. These fonts can be downloaded using‘s FontOOo wizard. (via Chris Apalodimas)

Fonce Sans Screenshot33

By the way, if you are a web designer and if you are looking for some free fonts to use for @font-face implementation, then I suggest Font-Squirrel34 or the Google Fonts35.

With Free Fonts Comes Great Responsibility Link

Now that you have visited these websites and have downloaded lots of free fonts, you need to learn how to use these fonts wisely. Here are some great articles that you should read to get you started on good web typography.

I hope that this short article was a help to you. What are some other great font resources and articles that I missed? Do you know of any other websites that offer goof, high-quality fonts for free? Please share it with us in the comments below. Thank you for your support!

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SmashingConf Barcelona 2016

Hold on, Tiger! Thank you for reading the article. Did you know that we also publish printed books and run friendly conferences – crafted for pros like you? Like SmashingConf Barcelona, on October 25–26, with smart design patterns and front-end techniques.

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Former editor in chief of Designinformer.

  1. 1

    Thanks for the share Jad… really useful list.


  2. 3

    Thanks for the info Marc. I forgot to mention that on the post :)

  3. 4

    I use dafont all the time but those others are new to me. Thanks for the info!

  4. 6

    Thanks for the post, Jad. Amazing as always.

  5. 8

    Font collections are awesome. Thanks for the stuff provided…

  6. 10

    Good stuff.

  7. 12

    Russell Kurson

    July 20, 2011 11:14 pm

    We are property owners / managers and will forward this article to our graphics manager as we do everything inhouse. Thank you for some great font addresses. Randy & Russ

  8. 14

    Thank you for posting these awesome lists of fonts….very useful.

  9. 16

    Thanks a lot for this post!! I really enjoyed :), BTW I wanted to read the suggested article “Web Design is 95% Typography” but the link is broken ;(

  10. 17

    I’m not sure what you mean by installed and non-installed fonts. Do you mean dfleuats fonts that are installed by OS and fonts that you’ve installed yourself? Anyway, there’s a trial version at . So I would test it if I were you.


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