As a graphic designer, I spend a lot of time looking for new fonts to use on projects for both clients and my own blog. Whilst I purchase a lot of fonts for my professional work, I am always on the look out for free fonts for small personal projects. A lot of fellow bloggers contact me to ask what fonts I use/recommend so I have collated a list of my 5 favourite websites for free fonts!
1. Font Squirrel
Font Squirrel has a HUGE range of free fonts (and these are free for commercial use too). Overall the quality of the fonts is good, you just have to know what style of font you’re looking for as it can get a bit overwhelming.
2. Lost Type Co-Op
LostType is one of my favourite type foundries, giving you the chance to pay what you like for a font. So yes that means it’s possible to type in ‘$0’, for a free download. But maybe flick em a few bucks now and then cause they are great.
3. Da Font
The quality of the fonts at Da Font varies greatly, but there are some amazing fonts buried in here and it’s often one of my first stops on my quest to find new fonts.
4. Google Web Fonts
Google Web Fonts is a huge library of, you guessed it, free fonts for the web. As it’s all open source, you can use them on your blog/website/online store to customise the look.
5. The League of Moveable Type
These guys have a GREAT range of free fonts, and are the first free and open-source type foundry. I use several of their fonts on a regular basis (Ostrich Sans and Raleway).
A note on free fonts vs paid fonts…
So with the huge amount of free fonts available, why would you pay for fonts?
Well firstly, and most importantly, paid fonts are created by professional typographers. This is their livelihood. How would you feel if you spent months on a project and then people downloaded it illegally because they didn’t want to stretch for the extra $50?
Secondly, paid fonts are a superior option to free fonts. Broadly speaking, you really do get what you pay for – a full font family (ie range of weights, the upper and lower case letters, numbers, symbols, glyphs etc), legibility and the legal right to use the font. It’s also worth knowing that most free fonts are “free for personal, non-commercial use”. This means that if you use the font in a professional capacity you need to purchase a license for commercial use.
I hope this list helps and I would love to hear if you know of any other great free font site resources. Oh and last year I wrote a list of my favourite free fonts, so check that out too!