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40 Delightful High-Quality Free Fonts

Every now and then, we look around, select fresh free high-quality fonts and present them to you in a brief overview. The choice out there 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. [Links repaired February/18/2017]

In this selection, we’re pleased to present Signika, Plastic Type, Bariol, Alegreya, Metropolis, Typometry and other quality fonts. Please note that while most fonts are available for commercial projects, some are for personal use only and are clearly marked as such. Also, please read the licensing agreements carefully before using the fonts; they may change from time to time.

Further Reading on SmashingMag: Link

Free Quality Fonts Link

A remarkable sans-serif typeface with a gentle character, Signika was developed for wayfinding, signage and other media in which clarity of information is required. Developed by Anna Giedrys of Poland, the typeface has a low contrast and tall x-height to improve readability at small sizes and at far distances. The typeface has a wide character set, supporting most European languages, small caps, pictograms and arrows. All weights from light to bold have alternative negative versions, optimized to solve the effect of juxtaposed positive and negative text setting, whereby negative text tends to look thicker. Available at Google Web Fonts7 and for free download at Fontsquirrel8.


Plastic Type10
The designers of this typeface were inspired by the plastics industry, exploring how they could use the various forms and imperfections of plastic in their design. The result of their experimentation is a freely available, beautiful, playful font, released under the Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike license.


Sullivan is a bold display face that comes in three variations. Each variation can be used effectively on its own or layered on the others to create a modern, industrial visual effect. The typeface was designed by Jason Mark Jones and released under the name-your-price policy.


Corki is a distinctive condensed slab-serif typeface suitable for headlines. Four styles are available: Regular, Rounded, Tuscan and Rounded Tuscan. The typeface includes 134 glyphs: both Latin and Cyrillic scripts, plus two manicules and various arrows. It is available for free.


Bariol is a friendly, rounded, slightly condensed typeface, available in four weights and designed with versatility and readability in mind. It’s nice and familiar, without being too sweet, and very readable even at small sizes. Bariol Regular is available for free (a tweet or Facebook update is requested), but each font weight can be purchased for just $1.00.


This beautifully designed serif typeface has a classic, olden feel. The uppercase letterforms seem to be based on Roman script, while the lowercase characters rather have the feel of a humanist book. The family consists of 12 fonts (including regular, italic, bold, black, bold italic and black italic.)


Metropolis is a distinctive, experimental typeface in the Art Deco style. The design was inspired by the industrial movement of the 1920s, when skyscrapers where born. As the designer explains, “Using a double line technique, I wanted to create my own Art Deco style font that represented this era. The result is a bold, bumptious typeface with a stolidly calm disposition.” Metropolis could be a good choice when you are looking for a retro or retro-futuristic look. Released under Fontfabric’s Free Font EULA, you may use it in your private and commercial projects for free, but if you use it with a @font-face declaration, then a credit to Fontfabric is required somewhere on your website.


An experimental display typeface inspired by geometrical forms. An interesting choice for unique patterns or just playing arond with glyphs. Designed by Emil Kozole. An advanced version of the typeface with 2 weights, 4 styles and 220 glyphs is available as well.


Tikal Sans Medium25
Tikal Sans is a family with curved terminating strokes, ending in sharp edges. With a contemporary feel, a tall x-height and OpenType contextual alternate letters, Tikal Sans offers a functional look with a friendly touch. The thin and black weights are great for display sizes, while the light, regular and medium weights are well suited to longer texts. Tikal Sans Medium and Tikal Sans Medium Italic are available for free, but registration is required.

Tikal Sans26

If you are looking for a workhorse typeface, then Actor might be it. It has a tall x-height, which is why it requires fairly high line spacing. The digits of Actor are created as old-style figures. The font can be used for free via Google Web Fonts28.


Veneer Extras and Veneer Extras Italic31 (not free anymore)
Veneer is a versatile, handcrafted “letterpress” font that has an authentic vintage feel with a touch of grunge. The freely available extras include 70 glyphs, in both regular and italics. Registration is required for the free download.


Wayfinding Sans33 (not free anymore)
This type family, designed by Ralf Herrmann, sets a new standard for legibility in signage and wayfinding. Herrmann started this project with extensive field studies, driving tens of thousands of miles to explore the legibilty of road signage typefaces in dozens of countries around the world. The results of these explorations, along with an extensive study of relevant scientific legibilty research, formed the theoretical framework for creating an “ultimate” signage typeface. Wayfinding Sans includes 400 glyphs in one style, with arrows. To get the font, a tweet or Facebook update is required.


Here is a playful Colorado-inspired italic typeface, designed by Evan Huwa. It’s a good choice for a bold movie title or a vintage book style. This typeface is sans serif and uppercase only.


José Nicolás Silva Schwarzenberg of the University of Buenos Aires designed this free font specifically for the South American indigenous language Wayuunaiki. Fortunately, the tyepface can be used not only by the 305,000 Wayuu people, but by everyone across the world. It is a medium-contrast serif font, optimized for the Web and efficient at smaller sizes. Poly is available in the Google Web Fonts38 library as well.

Free Font: Poly, A Quality Serif Font39Adec40
Designed by Serge Shi of Russia, Adec is an original experimental typeface. The texture of the glyphs makes the typeface a good choice for distinctive playful designs and graphic branding. The typeface has three styles: Main, Initials and Text. The download contains samples of patterns created using the typeface alone.

Frontage Outline42
Frontage is a charming layered typographic system that allows you to combine fonts and colors to achieve an interesting 3-D effect. Add the shadow font or just use the capital letters of the regular and bold cut for a stark effect. Unfortunately, only the Frontage Outline one is available for free (or at least paid for with a tweet or Facebook update).


This serif typeface might be the perfect fit for the headlines and body copy of your next corporate or personal project. Designed specifically for Spanish text, this typeface is a solid fit for English as well. The free typeface was given the 2010 Desigh Award by Bienal Ibero-Americana. It includes the basic set, accented characters, signs and punctuation, numbers, ligatures and mathematical signs. Released under the SIL Open Font License.


Blanch is a distinctive display face, designed for the Fruita Blanch brand, a family-run company. The typeface is a great match for brochures and posters, but can be used for headings on the Web as well. Although it might look a bit rigid, the typeface has a modern, contemporary feel. The family consists of six weights: three condensed weights and three caps weights. Designed by the Spanish design studio Atipus, and released with a name-your-price license.


Valentina is a classic “didone” that follows some of the principles of Bodoni from the 18th century, while incorporating many characteristics of the Spanish style of the time. The font contains 457 glyphs, with 125 alternative lowercase glyphs and 46 ligatures. Some of the glyphs can be nicely integrated in a logo or branding design and combined with Ampersand (featured above) or Zeta.


Sánchez50 (not free anymore)
Sánchez is a display serif type family. Similar to Rockwell, it has rounded edges, which provide contrast and balance to the overall square forms. Regular and italic variants are available for free.


Erler Dingbats52
This typeface covers the full encoding range for dingbats in Unicode (U + 2700 to U + 27BF). Erler Dingbats is the result of a collaboration between designers Johannes Erler and Henning Skibbe to create a consistent, contemporary font that could be used for everyday communication. It includes a range of popular symbols and pictograms, such as arrows, pens, phones, stars, crosses and checkmarks.


Entypo Pictograms54
Entypo Pictograms is a set of more than 100 pictograms available as OpenType fonts, released under the Creative Commons license and free for commercial use. The collection consists of many navigation elements and other familiar icons. Its designers, Daniel Bruce and Andreas Blombäck, look forward to seeing usage of it.


Great Vibes56
This beautiful, flowing typeface has looping ascenders and descenders, as well as elegant uppercase forms. It is a Unicode typeface that supports languages that use the Latin script and its variants.


This typeface has strong contrast without feeling overwhelming. It can be used in headings and design campaigns. The smaller sizes (9, 12, 14 and 16 points) are hinted in TrueType format for better legibility on Windows. The font is published in the Google Font directory as a free open font (OFL).


Banda Free Regular60 (not free anymore)
Banda is a semi-serif typeface with a tall x-height and rounded semi-serifs. Playful and inviting and suitable for logos, headlines and packaging designs, Banda Regular is available as a free download.


Edmondsans is a free display typeface with three weights (regular, medium and bold). The typeface isn’t suited to every occasion but would be good for bold, conservative headings.


Fenix is a serif typeface designed for display and long passages of text, with its strong serifs and rough strokes. Fenix is elegant yet legible at large sizes, probably a good fit for editorial work, books and newspapers. It is freely available for private and commercial use.


EB Garamond66
Georg Duffner is recreating the classical Garamond with his open-source project EB Garamond. His goal is to revive Claude Garamont’s famous humanist typeface from the mid-16th century. Duffner’s design reproduces the original, with its letterforms taken from a scan of a specimen known as the “Berner specimen.” It’s a good, comprehensive Web font, released under the SIL Open Font License, 1.1, and also available on Google Web Fonts. The project is under ongoing development, so if you’d like to help Duffner, feel free to contribute.


Noticia Text68
This slab-serif typeface was designed for long passages of texts in digital newspapers and other on-screen publications. Available for free in four styles, the typeface is currently under development, but the first version is available now.


Lusitana is a classic serif typeface inspired by the type found in the 1572 first edition of The Lusiads, a Portuguese epic poem by Luís Vaz de Camões. This typeface is made for long passages of text at small sizes. Designed by Ana Paula Megda.


Cardo is a large Unicode font designed especially for academic needs. It works well for general typesetting in situations where a high-quality old-style font is appropriate. Its large character set supports many modern languages, as well as those studied by scholars. Cardo also contains ligatures, text figures (i.e. old-style numerals), true small capitals and a variety of punctuation and spacing characters.


Exo Font Family74
A successful Kickstarter project made it possible for Natanael Gama of Portugal to create this typeface and release it publicly. Exo is a comprehensive geometric sans-serif font family with nine weights, in both regular and italic. Each font comes with many OpenType features such as small caps, ligatures, alternates, old-style figures, tabular figures and fractions. Both the OpenType and source files are available to download for free.


This typeface was designed by Jonatan Xavier to imbue the Art Deco style with a strong modern feel. It is best for brochures and packaging designs, posters and magazines.


Last Clicks Link

Type Connection78
A good relationship can be characterized as two people who fit together. Aura Seltzer adopted this idea for her game Type Connection, which was her MFA thesis project. In this game, you are a procurer who helps different typefaces mate with each other. Each typeface is a lonely character searching for love, and your job is to find its perfect partner. By playing the game, you not only explore type history, but also learn typographic terms, while learning how to pair typefaces.

Type Connection79
Just My Type80
Picking just the right typeface can be difficult. On this page, Dan Eden presents a collection of beautiful font stacks delivered by Typekit. Some of the combinations aren’t necessarily revolutionary, but Eden delivers a nice, visually pleasing collection nevertheless. Some of the fonts are even free. Whether you’re looking for a new font to please a client or just want to play around, you won’t waste your time visiting Dan’s website. And for a more thorough article on combining typefaces, check out “Four Techniques for Combining Typefaces81.”

Novel Constructions83
A detailed case study on how Christoph Dunst designed the typeface Novel. Interesting and unique insights into the design process.


Showcase of Typographic Posters85
This project is curated by André Felipe, a graphic designer who loves typography and its unorthodox uses. Featuring literally hundreds of posters, this project is a great resource that could serve either as a platform to show off your talent or as a reference for your next project.

Showcase Of Typographic Posters86
Squared Superheroes87
How well do you know your favorite superheroes? What kind of weapons do they fight with? What do their masks look like? Instead of drawing the usual fine details (facial expressions, hair, shadows, special visual effects), René Schiffer goes for a rather laconic, minimal style. He has picked out the most important characteristics of each superhero and represented them as squared forms. Placed side by side, the superheroes make for a great composition. Now, see if you recognize your childhood heroes! And no, it’s not a typeface, but… well, it could be one!
Squared Superheroes88

Further Resources Link

  • Lost Type Co-Op89
    The Lost Type Co-Op is a pay-what-you-want type foundry. Users can pay whatever they like for a font or type in “$0” for a free download. All proceeds from sales go directly to the designers of the fonts themselves.
  • The League of Moveable Type90
    This open-source type movement brings high-quality tyepfaces to the Web. The creators of the project release quality fonts every now and then, so stay tuned!
  • Google Web Fonts91
    This growing directory offers hundreds of free open-source fonts optimized for the Web. Google also provides ready-to-use snippets to integrate the fonts on your website.

We sincerely appreciate the time and effort of all of the type designers featured in this post. Please keep in mind that type design is a time-consuming craft that truly deserves compensation and support. Please consider supporting the type designers who create and release these amazing typefaces for all of us to use.


Footnotes Link

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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

    some stunning work in that lot but it should be noted they are not all free as noted.

  2. 2

    Thanks for the efforts ! really love’em

  3. 3

    Typography is truly art. Thank you for sharing!

  4. 4

    Shaimoom Newaz

    July 20, 2012 6:23 pm

    Wow, this is an amazing collection. Signika and Actor stand out for me. Thanks!

  5. 5

    The first two I checked out, Veneer and Ranger, are both charging for the fonts. Am I missing something?

    • 6

      Vitaly Friedman (editor-in-chief of Smashing Magazine)

      July 20, 2012 11:38 pm

      Please notice that the weights featured in this post are available for free download. In the case of Veneer, you just have to register on MyFonts and select the fonts (which both cost $0) and proceed with checkout. With Ranger, you can decide yourself how much you’d like to pay for the font.

    • 7

      Yes, you have to look through the list. They sell them as bundles or separate, find the one that has $0 as the price. It is there. It is not the entire font pack that is free. You need to really love the font to make it worth your time. Personally, I dislike having to register to download a free font. I get enough junk email. Good examples of typography in this article, but the download links are less than user friendly with several clicks to get the download and some requiring registration.

  6. 8

    Barbara Bouton

    July 20, 2012 7:43 pm

    Thank you for the great roundup. I want to bring your attention to two new, community created, SIL Open Source fonts you probably haven’t heard about.

    Celebrated Burgeon Ornaments TG and RoundHand TG are newly released fonts that were created by the members of the Fonts and Typography forum as a gift to the typographic world. The Celebrated Burgeon Ornaments TG font was based on a 1907 catalog of ceramic stamps used for decorating fine china. RoundHead TG is based on an historic 1883 typeface by The MacKellar, Smiths & Jordan Co. Both fonts are free to download and use on any project –personal or commercial.

    As the TG forum admin, I admit that I’m biased – but I really believe that these are great fonts that deserve a place in any designers toolkit. Smashing Magazine readers are invited to download and use these fonts. And if anyone would like to get involved in creating new fonts, stop by the TalkGraphics Fonts and Typography form where we welcome all regardless of previous font creation experience.

  7. 9

    Thank you so much :)

  8. 10

    Really loved to had multiple varieties of fonts on a single plate.

    Thanks for this wonderful dish :)

  9. 11


    July 20, 2012 8:44 pm

    What a conincidence, i was trying out font combinations today for my new site and Signika was one of the ones i tried, didn’t look quite right but stil nice font anyway along with the rest.

  10. 12

    Great collection, thanks a lot !

  11. 13

    Julien Maury

    July 20, 2012 9:15 pm

    Christmas in July ! Thank you. I’ve been looking for this for a couple of days. Now I can invest my time otherwise.

  12. 14

    Oh wow, this is a great collection, thanks!!!

    Tikal Sans is gorgeous!

  13. 15

    michal mazan

    July 20, 2012 10:43 pm

    Thanks guys

  14. 16

    I’m consistently amazed at the quality of your font round-ups. Thank you once again for some stunning additions!!!!

  15. 17

    This is a HUGE collection of typefaces. Nice job Smashing!

    Some of them are a little… niche… but most are pretty solid. Really feeling Exo.

  16. 18

    Oh my god! These are brilliant!

  17. 19

    Nice collection of fonts.

  18. 20

    Evan Varsamis

    July 21, 2012 7:52 pm

    These are beautiful and I have to say that I’ve downloaded 3/4 of the collection. You rock Smashing Mag:)

  19. 21

    Is anyone else getting a virus alert from the superhero web site? I’ve had multiple reports here.

  20. 23

    Dear etitors: Spyware warning!!
    The Website of ist Infected with the “Live Security Premium”-spyware when opening the fotos.

    Thank you for this great list! But I have to reinstall my work PC now!!!

    • 24

      Remove Squared Superheroes!!
      Its infected!
      Eset Nod32 safed me :D

      BUMP this up so everyone can see!

  21. 25

    sorry to say that: but most fonts are not free to get…

    they are really good and all perfect, but if you have to pay (also just a bit) they are not free…

  22. 26

    Very nice collection, thanks!

  23. 27

    Nice. Liked Sanchez the most :)

  24. 28

    Penio Dachev

    July 23, 2012 9:48 am

    But please, can add one line:
    with/without Cyrillic support
    Please :)

  25. 29

    Dear Smashing Magazine,

    can you please point out more clearly under which license a font is provided? I am always looking for nice fonts which are free for commercial use. But I am less interested in fonts which are only free for personal use. Now one example: Edmondsans is, according to your description, a “free” font but the license cleary states that you have to ask permission before using it in a commercial environment.

    Maybe you can add these information in future postings so that people know in advance what license is used.

    Thank you very much and best regards,

  26. 30

    Thanks for the featuring guys!

  27. 31

    Wow! Awesome collection once again! Thanks for providing these resources. As a student of typography I really have learned so much from Smashing Magazine and the typography community.

    I think it is important to test, experiment and dissect quality typography to understand the anatomy of letterforms and sites like your’s and Pilo’s that really appreciate typography have really helped broaden my horizon.

  28. 32

    do you guys have in mind that Signika is a copyright crime? It’s a clean plagiarism on ITC Officina and FF Meta:

    • 33

      David Březina

      July 23, 2012 7:05 pm

      @thaian: Signika is not a plagiarism and certainly not a copyright crime. It has been designed from scratch (I was consulting during the design process). Indeed, it is in the same category with mentioned typefaces, but it has also its own character. You might want to look at more characters than “Handigloves”. Besides different basic letters, it has particularly good diacritics (certainly better than Meta) and nice figures, small caps, pictograms etc. One could easily compare one typeface to others this way, even typefaces like Officina (Letter Gothic) or Times (Plantin). People should simply look at wider picture than a carefully editted snapshot.

      • 34

        Johs Krejberg Haahr

        November 7, 2012 9:54 pm

        I only managed to find the basic character set, which doesn’t include arrows, pictograms, ligatures, etc. How can I get these? Is there a paid version? Would very much like to use this font (Signika) for a wayfinding project, but it wouldn’t work out, without the additional features.

  29. 36

    Awesome list, Smashing! However, I tried installing Blanch (Windows 7) and having problems. A few people are also having this same issue over here:

    Any fix for this? I’ve been looking everywhere for a solution. Thanks!

  30. 37

    PLSTK is wonderful!!

  31. 38

    Amazing selection of fonts. You guys really have a very good taste of design. Kudos !!

  32. 39

    Hey, the bitter download link is now working, please check it out.

  33. 40

    Liam O'Leary

    July 26, 2012 1:55 pm

    Oh my god these fonts are amazing! Defiantly using some of these!!! Thanks SM

  34. 41

    Loving this post. What a post about type should be. Not to slam anyone in your ecosystem or what not, but a similar post from WDL lacked the substantial effort and wisdom within this post from SM. Well done guys, the effort is appreciated.

  35. 42

    Marcin Balinski

    August 9, 2012 12:29 pm

    Hi Guys,

    Great set!

    Although I must inform you that you have messed up Tikal Sans Medium link – when you click on preview thumbnail it redirects to instead of

  36. 43

    Jesus Guanambal

    August 14, 2012 12:09 am

    Excelente!!! gracias!!!

  37. 44

    Great collection! I loved the previous round-up too. BTW, there’s a small typo – the link in the beginning says “Make sure to check the free quality fonts round-up from January 2011, too.” but I think it’s meant to say 2012, not 2011. The link directs me to the round-up of Jan 09, 2012.

  38. 45

    Nice collection, thanks!
    Also, nice shoes on the photo. Does anybody know what model is it?)

  39. 46

    Perhaps the images you have shown here could actually be of the same boldness etc. as what is actually being given for free (e.g Sanchez from MyFonts) instead of the obviously more stylish and popular $26 font shown above … In saying that generally I love your work!

  40. 47

    Santiago Moreno

    April 11, 2013 4:25 am

    Hello! I want to invite you to take a look the this FREE font I’ve just finished! Hope you like it :)

  41. 48

    Great resource… thanks for posting. Here’s another Free Font that you’re welcome to download. Note to Self is a typeface developed by Rene Tan during his graphic design undergraduate degree at OCAD. It is a typeface based on his handwriting and comes with a principal and companion typeface – Fifth Grade and Third Year. Enjoy!

  42. 49

    Very interesting and useful for creating new designs like those webframes use.

  43. 50


    November 5, 2014 9:07 am

    If there was any way I could download and use them, I would be more than grateful to use them. Good stuff there!


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