Where are the best places to go to download free fonts? Justin He of medleyweb.com reveals 25 websites where you can find quality typography that won't cost a penny.
There are plenty of places to download free fonts on the web. But which of them contain the best free fonts?
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 download free fonts, we've also unearthed some less known sources - including personal portfolios, agency sites and type projects. So read on, and start discovering a world of typographical inspiration!
Words: Justin He
01. 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.
02. 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.
04. 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.
05. Smashing Magazine
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.
06. Thrift and Thistle
If you're looking to download free fonts, you may not have thought of Thrift and Thistle. But this excellent website created by Matt Hull offers a ton of free type and design resources. There's a nice vintage feeling to the site and we fell in love with Matt's handwriting and freestyle fonts at first sight.
07. 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.
08. The League of Movable Type
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.
10. 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.
11. 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.
15. 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.
16. Freeware Fonts Project
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.
21. 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.
22. 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.
23. 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.
24. 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.
25. Creative Bloq
You'll find some amazing free fonts to download listed in our popular article - 'The 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!
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.
Like this? Read these!
Have you found an awesome free font? Tell us about it in the Comments!