The 40 best free web fonts

22. Tikal Sans

Free web fonts Tikal Sans

This free web font takes its name from the Mayans' main city

Taking its name from the Mayans' most prominent city, Tikal Sans' characterful sharp-ended strokes are influenced by glyphs that were used by the South American civilization. Foundry Latinotype gave this web font a large, contemporary-feeling x-height for both legibility and friendly appeal, while its multiple weights ensure maximum versatility.

Note: currently only medium and medium italic are available free.

23. Arvo

Free web fonts Arvo

Good arvo, mate! And a very good web font, too...

Equally suited to both print and web, Anton Koovit's geometric slab serif is available in Roman, Italic, Roman Bold, and Bold Italic. Although this free web font has an almost uniform stroke width, Arvo's very slight contrast adds to its character – and it's also carefully hinted to enhance its on-screen readability.

24. Bevan

Free web fonts Bevan

Ultra-bold web fonts don't always translate to screens, but this one does

This is Vernon Adams' reimagining of a traditional 1930s slab serif by Heinrich Jost. The letterforms have been digitised, reshaped and optimised for the web, with more open counters and stronger stems to ensure that Bevan functions as an ultra-bold display font that suits modern browsers.

25. Old Standard TT

Free web fonts Old Standard TT

This web font has a very 'scientific document' feel to it

Revisiting the Modern (classicist) serif style that was widespread in the late 19th and early 20th century but later abandoned, this style is well suited to giving style and heritage to particular types of content, such as scientific papers, or for setting Greek or Cyrillic type. The name counterbalances the 'New Standard' (Obyknovennaya Novaya) used in much Soviet typography.

26. Kreon

Free web fonts Kreon

This is a personality-packed web font which is great for blogs

Ideally suited to magazine and news websites, as well as blogs, this characterful serif by Julia Petretta has a slight slab feel to it, but its balanced, low-contrast letterforms convey considerably more personality than a more neutral typewriter-style web font might, making it ideal for headlines. Sans serif and italic versions are currently in development.

27. Droid Sans

Free web fonts Droid sans

Droid web font is ideal for mobile screens, hence the name

A digital-focused typeface by Ascender Corp's type director Steve Matteson, Droid Sans has been optimised for maximum readability at small sizes for user interfaces – particularly menus on mobile phone screens (hence the Android-referencing name). It has an upright stress with open letterforms, and balances a neutral feel with a friendly touch.

28. Italiana

Free web fonts Italiana

This elegant web font adds a touch of class to any site

Another web font geared up for setting newspaper or magazine headlines, which makes it useful for carrying a brand seamlessly across print and digital. Mexico-based designer Santiago Orozco was inspired by traditional Italian calligraphy, and accordingly is well suited to projects that need a touch of elegance and Continental style. Development is ongoing, and Orozco welcomes feedback.

29. Vollkorn

Free web fonts Vollkorn

Hardworking web font Vollkorn is its designer's first attempt as a typeface

Considering it's Friedrich Althausen's first attempt at typeface design, this hardworking, multi-purpose serif (the name is German for 'wholemeal') is a considerable accomplishment, and has been downloaded thousands of times. Its chunky, well-defined serifs give it confidence and energy that make it equally effective at large sizes for headlines or titles, or for larger passages of text.

30. Actor

Free web fonts Actor

The free web font Actor has very distinctive 6s and 9s

Like Poly, this free web font emerged from a university project - this time by Thomas Junold while he was studying at Aachen University of Applied Sciences at Karl-Friedrich (Kai) Oetzbach. It has a particularly high x-height that calls for generous line spacing, and also features old-style figures, with 6 and 9 particularly unique.

31. Lato

Free web fonts Lato

This free web font is published under the Open Font License

A sans serif family created by Polish designer Łukasz Dziedzic, Lato is published under the open-source Open Font License. Originally developed for a client project, which was later steered in a different direction, the face is relatively non-descript when used small, but reveals its character at larger sizes, where its semi-rounded characters add warmth.

32. Average Sans

Free web fonts Average

Average by name... This web font is neutral and no-nonsense

As its name implies, this typeface by Argentine designer Eduardo Tunni has relatively neutral letterforms in terms of structure and proportion, and comes in both sans serif and serif versions that complement each other nicely. It's best used as a text font, or for short, no-nonsense headlines. A serif version, simply called Average, is similarly clear and crisp.

33. EB Garamond

Free web fonts EB Garamond

This variation of the Garamond typeface is a great free web font

Since its roots in the 16th century, the humanist serif face Garamond has become a true typographic icon, and much copied. This particular open-source project by Georg Duffner seeks to bring the essence of Claude Garamond's masterpiece onto the web. 

The 'EB' stands for Egenolff-Berner, as the web font is based on a specimen created by Conrad Berner while at the Egenolff print office.

34. Ubuntu

Free web fonts Ubuntu

Ubuntu is a distinctive web font - and open source, of course

Created by leading London foundry Dalton Maag, this distinctive sans serif font was developed with funding from Canonical Ltd to benefit the wider free software community, and users are encouraged to modify, improve and share the web font. Ubuntu is designed to convey personality on both desktop and mobile screens.

35. Rosario

Free web fonts Rosario

Rosario is perfect for setting paragraph type

Rosario is described by publisher Omnibus as being a classic semi-serif typeface, featuring weak contrast and smooth endings. We think it's an excellent Humanist sans-serif addition to your type arsenal. Perfect for setting paragraph type, Rosario is named after the city where designer Héctor Gatti lives. The font has also benefited from TrueType hinting additions provided by Adobe via their Edge Web Fonts platform.

36. Roboto Slab

Free web fonts Roboto Slab

Roboto Slab provides a pleasant reading experience

Roboto Slab is one variant in the wider Roboto family designed by Christian Robertson. The slab version particularly catches the eye with its geometric shapes and open curves. It works equally well as a display font or for dense copy: the letterform rhythm feels natural, making for a pleasant reading experience.

37. Oswald

Free web fonts Oswald

Oswald is a fantastic display font for headlines

One of the first fonts to be featured in Google's Web Fonts library, Oswald has been updated more recently to include multiple weights, extended character sets and better kerning. The font is a reworking of the classic Alternate Gothic sans-serif typeface style, created by designer Vernon Adams, and is a fantastic display font for headlines and captions.

38. Stalemate

Free web fonts Stalemate

Stalemate works well as an accent font

A wonderfully quaint script design by Jim Lyles, and harking back to vintage origins. This font works well as an accent or display font, adding instant "personal" impact to your typography on the page.

39. Crimson Text

Free web fonts Crimson Text

Crimson Text is a solid, well proportioned serif

This wonderfully refined font makes an excellent choice for copy that requires the solidity and impact of a well proportioned serif. Designed by Sebastian Kosch in the best traditions of oldstyle typefaces such as Garamond, this features beautifully rendered ordinals and uppercase forms, making it a solid and reliable choice for many applications.

40. Ledger

Free web fonts Ledger

Free web font Ledger has excellent legibility even on low-resolution screens

A multi-purpose face with a large x-height, strong stroke contrast, and clearly defined serifs and terminals that all contribute to excellent readability, Denis Masharov's free web font Ledger is particularly effective for editorial use - working equally well on the printed page or on a low-resolution screen.

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