One thing the global design community is pretty good at is giving back to others. So there are a ton of tools and apps out there on the web, free for you to use to boost your typography prowess. Here are five we heartily recommend.
06. Type Zebra
Made by Chilean agency UX Ready, Type Zebra is a browser-based app that allows you to test out different fonts simply by typing on screen. Use the top nav to choose between local fonts, Google fonts and Edge fonts, write your text below (or just use the supplied dummy text) and then choose your font from the left-hand nav.
07. Font Pair
The brainchild of Hayden Mills, a design student at Indiana University, Font Pair aims to help designers pair Google Fonts together quickly and effectively. It basically aggregates a list of the most popular font pairs together in one place, and lets you try them out via editable dummy text.
The top menu handily groups all the pairs together in six combinations, such as Sans-Serif/Serif, Cursive/Serif, Serif/Serif, and so on. All in all, it’s a lot simpler and quicker than spending hours searching through Google Fonts manually.
Another font tester, this browser-based app comes from renowned type foundry Hoefler & Co. It basically lets you choose from H&C’s catalogue and see what each font looks like at different sizes, with different line spacing, using a handy set of sliders. You can also really start to drill down by turning on and off specific details such as ‘short-tailed Q’ and ‘unjoined % sign’.
09. Font Flame
It’s easy to spend your whole career relying on the same, safe font pairings. But Font Flame tries to prompt you to expand your horizons and experiment with new and different combinations. Dubbing itself ‘Tinder for font pairing’, it serves you up a continuous stream of font pairings you may not have considered, and asks you to ‘Love’ or ‘Hate’ them. All fonts come from Google Fonts, and you can review your favourites when you’re done.
Fontjoy steps things up a notch, by using deep machine learning to make things more methodical than Font Flame's random pairings. It’s still very easy to use, though.
Just use the slider to determine what level of contrast you want between the fonts, and click on the Generate button to create a new font pairing. You can also click the ‘lock’ icon to lock fonts you like, edit the text, and choose a font manually.
Next page: Free font identification services