Where are the best places to go to download gratis fonts? Justin He of medleyweb.com reveals websites where you can find quality typography that won't cost a penny.
There are plenty of places to download fonts on the web. But which of them contain the best free typefaces?
There's a lot of noise and clutter on the web, and it's easy to end up falling down the rabbit hole of poorly structured sites and low quality fonts. So we've taken on ourselves to find you the gems in the rough.
Besides the obvious places to get hold of free fonts, we've also unearthed some less known sources - including personal portfolios, agency sites and type projects. So next time you want to download fonts, start discovering a world of typographical inspiration!
It can be difficult to find that perfect font. Font Cab aims to make it easier for you to find great fonts without wasting time. The simple layout of the website makes it easy to navigate through the fonts without much effort.
The Open Font Library showcases fonts that are free to use, study, share and rework for personal creative work. There's plenty to choose from with their extensive catalogue that also includes a wide range of web fonts.
Commercial transaction attorney by day, by night Dan Zadorozny creates fonts that are free for non-commercial use (if you want to use them commercially, that'll cost you pretty reasonable $20 donation). There are hundreds to choose from; they're ordered alphabetically, so your best bet's just to sift through them until you find something you like the look of.
A small but growing number of designers and institutions are creating typefaces for the public domain. Free Font Manifesto provides information and airs ideas about the concept of free fonts.
Fontellium is rather unique - a font site that brings together a collection of historical style fonts. With categories including everything from Egypta to Art Nouveau, this is the perfect place to find free fonts for your historical projects.
This list of the 20 best free quality fonts from Vitaly Friedman are more likely to be used for official, serious presentations (such as business sites) than a colourful teenager’s homepage.
Fonstruct is a place where the community can design fonts and share them with others for free. Obviously that means there are a lot of fonts to search through, and more are added every day. The site's easy to navigate and the best fonts are picked for the Fonstruct gallery.
Edge Web Fonts gives you access to a vast web font library made possible by contributions from Adobe, Google, and designers around the world. The fonts are served by Typekit, so you can be sure of high performance and stability. Plus, it's free!
09. The Fell Types
Igino Marini runs iKern: a service for autospacing and autokerning digital typefaces based on a mathematical model and programmes he developed since 2002. When he's not doing that, he set up a site devoted to the Fell Types with some modern revival fonts.
The Fell Types take their name from John Fell, a Bishop of Oxford in the seventeenth century, who created a unique collection of printing types. Here, you'll find digitalised versions of them for use in your design projects.
10. 1001 Free Fonts
Misnomer alert! We're certain that 1001 Free Fonts doesn't feature exactly 1001 free fonts; we reckon that it's actually a lot more than that - probably something more in the region of 10,001 - and all of them handily organised across 64 categories, along with the option to browse by designer.
11. Abstract fonts
Abstract Fonts has one of the cleaner interfaces in this arena, and it's very easy to navigate. There's a custom font preview option and it's updated regularly, with about 14,000 fonts for you to choose from.
12. Jeff Schreiber
Jeff Schreiber is a designer, illustrator and typographer from Eindhoven, The Netherlands. Although he doesn't have too many fonts available on his site, it's all about quality and not quantity here. His 'Razor' creation is brilliant for print and poster work, with his 'Fat Frank' font offers a more playful approach.
Neogrey is the portfolio of Ivan Filipov. Working as a graphic and web designer, he's created some stunning fonts that he's very generously made available for free download. We particularly love his latest font, a multicolore vector font that was released just over two weeks ago.
14. Urban Fonts
The free fonts available at Urban Fonts are variable, but if you delve into their expansive library, you're bound to find something to suit your latest project. If you just want to get a taster of what they've got on offer, check out their top 100, which showcases the most popular fonts on the site.
Smashing Magazine provide a wide range of tutorials, inspiration and helpful advise for creatives on a daily basis. The site also has a great series of articles collating quality free fonts for you to choose from. These guys know what they're talking about, so it's a reliable place to download free fonts from.
16. The Oatmeal
If you're looking for free comic fonts, The Oatmeal has provided this handly list of the free fonts used on its site.
17. Filiz Sahin
Filiz Sahin, an interactive designer and illustrator based in New York, has created a number of cute and well-designed free fonts, including DropType, Muscle and Ant. If you’re looking to download free fonts that will truly inspire you, her site is a great place to head.
18. Zozu Edzech
Zozu is a graphic designer and illustrator based in Spain whose website is quite spectacular. And that imaginative and unique approach is also reflected on the fonts, like Nina, available to download here.
Created by Lukas Bischoff, a designer based in Germany, Artill is a nice little website that's aimed purely at people wishing to download free fonts. Minimalism at its best, and some great typography to be sampled.
TypeDepot is a nifty little type-design studio website that offers a number of free fonts for visitors to download. There are also great commercial fonts to buy.
There are many ongoing typography projects to be found on Wetecacahuete.com. Wete is a Spanish graphic designer who loves typography and editorial design. Head here to download free fonts such as Favela.
22. Josip Kelava
Check out this gallery of design works created by Josip Kelava, a Melbourne-based designer. You’ll find elements of typographical inspiration in each of his projects, and you can download free fonts such as Metropolis into the bargain.
A massive collection of free fonts is being shared by type designers as part of this project curated by Jovanny Lemonad. They’re totally free and everyone can take part in the project. If you like what you download, you may consider making a donation.
Glukfonts is the site of Polish designer Gluksza, which offers some nicely designed typography. You can download free fonts and other design resources too, including PHP scripts.
An independent type foundry launched by Bulgarian designer Svetoslav Simov, FontFabric includes a lot of paid fonts but its freebie section is also a great place to download free fonts.
Founded by Riley Cran and Tyler Galpin, LostType is a type foundry that offers you the chance to pay whatever you like for a font (and yes, it's possible to type in '$0' for a free download).
Dafont.com is a massive archive of freely downloadable fonts. Browse by alphabetical listing, by style, by author or by popularity. A lot of it is on the unprofessional side but you can find some choice stuff here. It's also a good place if you're looking to download free fonts with a novelty theme, like the Pacman font featured above.
28. Font Squirrel
Want to download free fonts for commercial use? Then Font Squirrel is the place to head. The quality of the fonts is high, they're mostly @font-face compatible, plus it's got a very nicely designed website into the bargain.
29. Ten by Twenty
Ten by Twenty is the impressive creation of Ed Merritt, a designer at UK web design agency Headscape. You can download free fonts from his site, as well as templates, themes and icons, for your web design projects - all of high quality.
30. Kevin and Amanda
If you want to download free fonts for a craft or scrapbook-themed project, then head to Kevin and Amanda. It offers over 500 handwriting and scrapbooking fonts to download for free and they're adored by fans of cute across the world.
31. Google Web Fonts
Google Web Fonts makes it quick and easy for everyone to use web fonts on their site. All of the fonts are open source, so you're free to share and customise them for your own use, or collaborate with the original designer to improve them. And you can use them in every way you want, privately or commercially: in print, on your computer, or in your websites.
32. James Edmondson
A student at California College of the Arts in San Francisco,
James Edmondson's online gallery is staggeringly well put together. Designed in a fluid grid, it features both his own personal projects and those of friends. A great place to download free fonts: not only are James's creations stunning but they're presented in an attractive and innovative way too.
Github project The League of Movable Type is a typographical revolution in the making and anyone looking to download free fonts should make a beeline for it. The very first free and open-source type foundry, it's a hand-selected group of typographers who've created an amazing set of high-quality free fonts for all to download, such as the popular League Gothic.
"I think that typefaces are living beings," says Pablo Impallari, "they continue to evolve over time. Even if the original designer died over 500 years ago, contemporary designers push their ideas forward, keeping up keeping up with the always-shifting way we perceive the alphabet." You can find some incredible fonts at his site, Impallari. There's a lot of detail in updates too, which gives a helpful insight in how they're put together.
35. The best free fonts for designers
You'll find some amazing free fonts to download listed in our own popular article, 'The 100 best free fonts for designers'. If you haven't already, check it out now for a burst of typographic inspiration, and keep visiting Creative Bloq every day as we bring you more free fonts and design resources the moment they appear!
Words: Justin He and the Creative Bloq team
Melbourne-based web designer and developer Justin He is the editor of design blog MedleyWeb.com, which offers articles, inspiration and free design resources to the web community.
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Have you found an awesome typeface resource? Tell us about it in the comments!