14 Resources for Free Fonts and Premium Fonts
Now if you really want to blow your client away with an awesome design, you have to find a font that works. I mean sure, you could always just play it safe and use a font like Arial or Helvetica, but where’s the creativity in that? There are literally thousands upon thousands of fonts and typefaces out there just waiting for you to download. You just have to find them!
Use these tools and resources below to help you find the perfect font for your next project. Get ready to enter the world of beautiful typography!
We all love free things, especially free font downloads. Don’t you?
There are a lot of free fonts out there, but it’s hard to find fonts that are licensed for commercial work. But don’t worry, FontSquirrel has got your back. The folks at FontSquirrel scour the internet for free high quality fonts licensed for commercial use and hand select their favorites. And you won’t be disappointed by their selections. Every font on their website looks professional and is sure to impress your clients. I’d recommend FontSquirrel to all you freelance designers out there.
DaFont is one of the most popular online places to find free fonts. Organized by category and popularity, you can find user submitted fonts for any project. You can even get a preview of your text in a certain font without having to install the font. All fonts are user submitted and have different licenses, so be sure to check the license (above the download button) before downloading. Like DaFont but want more? Check out 1001FreeFonts, a similar website focusing on user submissions.
Fonts500 likes to keep things simple by getting rid of categories and tags. Instead, they organize their website by presenting you with the “web’s top 500 free fonts” as they say. You might not use most of their fonts on professional projects, but you may find a few gems in the rough. If you’re willing the pay $2.77, you can download all 500 of the fonts in a single file.
Sifting through thousands of fonts on websites like DaFont and 1001FreeFonts is a very daunting task. Fawnt tries to make things easier on you by providing only about 50 or so popular fonts on their website. With a clean interface and easy navigation, Fawnt makes it super easy to browse through their selections. All links you to the author’s website, where you can find licensing information.
Did you happen to get stuck with a client who is a huge Harry Potter fan and demands you use a Happy Potter font for that design you’ve been working on? Well, head on over to the TypeNow Themed section where you can find hundreds of movie, tv, music, and game related fonts that are sure to satisfy the urges of any fanboy.
When free fonts don’t cut it, you can use these resources to find and purchase the font you really want.
FontShop is the oldest and one of the best places to purchase professional fonts online. You can browse fonts by foundry (companies that design typefaces), designer, or category. Find and buy fonts individually or as packages. Fonts can be quite pricey so make sure you really want you’re paying for.
If you’re looking for an alternative to FontShop, MyFonts is for you. Their beta site looks quite spiffy and is full of functions to help you find the font you like. Organize by foundry, tags, designers, languages, or specials. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can use the random function and find a random font.
Find A Font
When you have a font in mind but don’t know what it’s called, use these tools below.
Here’s the situation: You found this beautiful font in a logo and you’d like to use it for a project, but you don’t know what the font is called and are too embarrassed to ask about it! So what do you do? You can definately use WhatFontIs. First, save the image and then upload it to WhatFontIs. WhatFontIs will process the image and spit out suggestions on what the font the image is using.
I tried it out with the FreelanceSwitch logo, and I have to say I’m impressed. I don’t know what font was used to make the logo, but the suggestions are pretty close.
(Note: Notice how FreelanceSwitch is missing ‘LA’ in the image? That’s because WhatFontIs was unable to detect those letters.)
WhatFontIs is a great tool, but what if you don’t have access to the logo? As long as you remember that the font looks like, you can use the website IdentiFont to find it for you. Find fonts based on their appearance, name, similarities, or pictures. Personally, I like finding fonts based on appearance. IdentiFont asks a series of questions about the font you remember and narrow down the number of possibilities as you progress. When you finish, it’ll present you with fonts that match your descriptions as well as links to download/buy the font.
Make Your Own
Show off your creative side and make your own font.
This is a tool for those of you out there who have legible handwriting. YourFonts is an awesome online tool that converts your handwriting into fonts! Download their template, fill in all the boxes with you own handwriting, then scan and upload it to the website. Preview your new font and download it to your computer. All for free!
If your handwriting is like mine and not fit for human eyes, you can use the FontStruct tool from FontShop to design your own font. You’ll have to sign up to use their editor, but it only takes a few seconds. Their online editor has tons of features that you can use to design your dream font. When you finish, you can download the font or share it with others.
By now, I hope you’ve found and downloaded a few dozen fonts that you like (otherwise I’d be ashamed of myself for providing bad resources). Now what? Well, you could open up Word or Photoshop and preview each of your fonts individually, or you could head to FlippingTypical and preview the fonts you installed on your computer, all at once. The website claims to be able to detect and display all fonts, but I’ve noticed that it doesn’t support all fonts. Nevertheless, it’s still a great tool and you should definitely try your luck with it.
Are you having trouble picking a font and need some outside force to make the decision for you? Check out graphic designer Julian Hansen’s infograph on choosing a typeface. If you like the infograph, support the designer and purchase a poster!
Find The Right Font?
If after all this, you still need some help picking a font, I highly suggest you read this blog article on finding the right font for the job, written by the people at FontShop. It’s very informative and will teach you more about fonts than you’d want to know.
I can only hope that you’ll use a few (or more) of these resources the next time you’re looking for a suitable font. Finding a good font isn’t the only trick to good typography, so be sure to read Angel’s article on the power of typography in design.
I know we have a lot of designers out there, so how do you all find the fonts you need for your projects? Do you use the resources mentioned above or some tool I failed to mention? Let us know about it in the comments! I’m also interested in knowing what your favorite font is, so if you could link to it that would be great. I’m always looking for new fonts to install!