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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.

Further Reading on SmashingMag: Link

Download Free Fonts from These Websites Link

lost-type6

  1. The League of Moveable Type7
    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 Type8
    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 Squirrel9
    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. FontFabric10
    They have a great freebie section with lots of nice fonts to download.
  5. DaFont11
    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 Regular12 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 Screenshot13

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 MyFonts.com. The rest of the family can be purchased on MyFonts.

Fertigo Pro14 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.

Gentium15 (specimen16) and Gentium Basic17 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.

Screenshot18

Screenshot19

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.

Screenshot20

Freebooter Script21 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 Script22

Conglomerfont23 Link

Conglomerfont is a free font created by Jay Hilgert (BittBox) and the design community from all over the world. Jay asked people to send individual letters to his inbox, and I coagulated the submissions into a single font, hence the name, Conglomerfont.

Conglomer Font24

Conglomer Font25

Walkway26 (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 Regular27

Karabine28 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.

Karabine29

Advent Pro30 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 Screenshot31

Advent Free Font Screenshot32

Ambrosia33 Link

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

Ambrosia Screenshot34

Telegrafico35 Link

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

Fonce Sans Screenshot36

Fonce Sans Regular37 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 Screenshot38

Luxi Family39 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 OpenOffice.org‘s FontOOo wizard. (via Chris Apalodimas)

Fonce Sans Screenshot40

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-Squirrel41 or the Google Fonts42.

Megalopolis Extra43 [ Specimen44 | EULA License45 ] Link

Revamped version of the 2004 one. Now in OT with extended language support and OpenType features with alternates, ligatures, different styles of figures, etc. You can use it freely for all your personal and commercial work. [ via ]

Sketch Rockwell46

Sansation47 Link

A modern sans-serif, designed by Bernd Montag and available for free download and usage. PC / Mac OS X.

Advent48

Birra Stout49 Link

Birra arose from years of compulsive doodling in pen and ink, and conjures the whimsy and syncopated contrast of novelty handlettering in the early 20th century. Birra Stout is a free font, made available by Darden Studio (registration is required).

Birra Stout50

Miso51 [ Preview52 ] Link

MISO is an architectural lettering font completed in 2006 by Mårten Nettelbladt. It’s available in three weights (light, regular, bold) in TrueType format for Windows.

Miso53

Last Click Link

High Heels Typeface54
This was a fun project overall because I got the chance to explore a diverse and massive collection of High-heeled shoes, which was the main inspiration for the typeface that I have created. Not available for download.

High Heels Typeface55

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!

Footnotes Link

  1. 1 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2013/02/a-critical-approach-to-typefaces/
  2. 2 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2007/11/40-excellent-freefonts-for-professional-design-2/
  3. 3 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2016/02/free-fonts-with-personality/
  4. 4 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2012/11/industrial-strength-types/
  5. 5 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/06/beautiful-high-quality-free-fonts-for-your-designs/
  6. 6 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/lost-type.jpg
  7. 7 http://www.theleagueofmoveabletype.com/
  8. 8 http://www.losttype.com/browse/
  9. 9 http://www.fontsquirrel.com/
  10. 10 http://fontfabric.com/category/free/
  11. 11 http://www.dafont.com/
  12. 12 http://exljbris.com/anivers.html
  13. 13 http://exljbris.com/anivers.html
  14. 14 http://exljbris.com/fertigo.html
  15. 15 http://scripts.sil.org/cms/scripts/page.php?site_id=nrsi&item_id=Gentium
  16. 16 http://scripts.sil.org/cms/scripts/page.php?site_id=nrsi&item_id=Gentium_samples
  17. 17 http://scripts.sil.org/cms/scripts/page.php?site_id=nrsi&item_id=Gentium_basic
  18. 18 http://scripts.sil.org/cms/scripts/page.php?site_id=nrsi&item_id=Gentium
  19. 19 http://scripts.sil.org/cms/scripts/page.php?site_id=nrsi&item_id=Gentium
  20. 20 http://scripts.sil.org/cms/scripts/page.php?site_id=nrsi&item_id=Gentium_basic
  21. 21 http://pedroreina.net/apostrophiclab/0167-FreebooterScript/freebooterscript.html
  22. 22 http://pedroreina.net/apostrophiclab/0167-FreebooterScript/freebooterscript.html
  23. 23 http://www.bittbox.com/freebies/bb-free-font-conglomerfont/
  24. 24 http://www.bittbox.com/freebies/bb-free-font-conglomerfont/
  25. 25 http://www.bittbox.com/freebies/bb-free-font-conglomerfont/
  26. 26 http://www.fontcubes.com/Walkway.font
  27. 27 http://www.fontcubes.com/Walkway.font
  28. 28 http://www.dafont.com/fr/karabine.font
  29. 29 http://www.dafont.com/fr/karabine.font
  30. 30 http://inde-graphics.deviantart.com/art/advent-pro-FINAL-57338302
  31. 31 http://inde-graphics.deviantart.com/art/advent-pro-FINAL-57338302
  32. 32 http://inde-graphics.deviantart.com/art/advent-pro-FINAL-57338302
  33. 33 http://jelloween.deviantart.com/art/Font-AMBROSIA-demo-39421709
  34. 34 http://jelloween.deviantart.com/art/Font-AMBROSIA-demo-39421709
  35. 35 http://ficod.deviantart.com/art/telegrafico-65509498
  36. 36 http://ficod.deviantart.com/art/telegrafico-65509498
  37. 37 http://liquisoft.deviantart.com/art/Fonce-Sans-Regular-Trial-25092730
  38. 38 http://liquisoft.deviantart.com/art/Fonce-Sans-Regular-Trial-25092730
  39. 39 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luxi_fonts
  40. 40 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luxi_fonts
  41. 41 http://www.fontsquirrel.com/
  42. 42 https://fonts.google.com/
  43. 43 http://www.smeltery.net/fonts/megalopolis-extra
  44. 44 http://www.smeltery.net/dl/megalopolis-extra/megalopolis-extra.pdf
  45. 45 http://www.smeltery.net/SMFFEULA.html
  46. 46 http://www.smeltery.net/fonts/megalopolis-extra
  47. 47 http://www.dafont.com/sansation.font
  48. 48 http://www.dafont.com/sansation.font
  49. 49 http://www.dardenstudio.com/typefaces/birra_stout
  50. 50 http://www.dardenstudio.com/typefaces/birra_stout
  51. 51 http://martennettelbladt.se/miso/
  52. 52 http://martennettelbladt.se/miso/
  53. 53 http://martennettelbladt.se/miso/
  54. 54 http://zummi.deviantart.com/art/Highheel-typeface-98346864
  55. 55 http://zummi.deviantart.com/art/Highheel-typeface-98346864
  56. 56 http://www.alistapart.com/articles/more-meaningful-typography/
  57. 57 http://webtypography.net/
  58. 58 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/12/typography-talk-brian-hoff-ask-expert/
  59. 59 http://blogof.francescomugnai.com/2008/07/the-30-most-curious-and-interesting-dingbats-for-graphic-designers/

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Former editor in chief of Designinformer.

  1. 1

    Thanks for the share Jad… really useful list.

    -deepu

    0
  2. 3

    Jad Limcaco

    July 19, 2011 1:08 pm

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

    0
  3. 4

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

    0
  4. 6

    Thanks for the post, Jad. Amazing as always.

    0
  5. 8

    Font collections are awesome. Thanks for the stuff provided…

    0
  6. 10

    Good stuff.

    0
  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

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  8. 14

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

    0
  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 ;(

    0
  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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