The best free fonts: 88 quality type options for creatives

A sample image of Editorial New, one of the best free fonts
(Image credit: Pangram Pangram)

The best free fonts offer plenty of options for your designs without costing anything. Whether you're looking for a classy serif, a clean sans-serif, vintage fonts or something completely different, there's no shortage of choice. 

In fact there, are so many free fonts out there that it can be hard to know where to start looking. Some font libraries offer free fonts and many individual type designers also offer their own creations for free on their websites or portfolios. To make it easier for you to find what you're looking for, we've gathered together the best free fonts that we've found in our regular searches of the web – a massive 88 of them.

All these are fonts that are available free for personal use, and some can be used freely for commercial use too (always check, because in some cases you will need to buy a licence for commercial use – we've stated the conditions at the time of writing, but these can change). 

We've divided the mammoth list into eight categories to make it easier to navigate: classic serifs and sans-serifs, stylish vintage fonts for a nostalgia hit, brush and graffiti fonts for a painterly look, handwriting fonts and finally some wild cards for something a bit different. You can click the headings in the box if you want to jump to a particular section.

One good resource for fonts, including free fonts, is MyFonts. This library offers a mix of free and paid-for typefaces. Check that out via the link below, or scroll on for our picks of the best free fonts available now. 

Buy fonts from myfonts.com (opens in new tab)

Buy fonts from myfonts.com (opens in new tab)
Browse a huge range of fonts and find inspiration for projects of all kinds. Myfonts.com by Monotype features over 130,000 fonts, from brush fonts to display fonts, and more than 900 of them are completely free.

If you're not sure how to use your font once you've got it, see our handy tutorial on how to add fonts in Photoshop. And for even more options, see our guides to the best free retro fonts and free script fonts

We also have a beginner's guide to font design and advice on the best font pairings for harmonious typography. And finally, if you've never been sure of the difference between a font and a typeface, our piece on font vs typeface aims to clear up that confusion once and for all. 

The best free fonts: Serif fonts

01. Editorial New

Sample of Editorial New, one of the best free fonts

Editorial New has a retro 90s editorial look (Image credit: Pangram Pangram)

We're kicking off our list of the best free fonts with serif font options. First up is the offering from Pangram and Pangram. Editorial New is described as a precise narrow serif designed for long-form copy but with a big-enough personality to be used for titles too. It has a 90s editorial feel but still comes across as rich and contemporary. It comes in seven weights, from ultralight to heavy. Just note that you'll need to buy a licence if you want to use this one for commercial use.

02. Young Serif

best free fonts: Young Serif

Young Serif offers heavy old-style letterforms with bracketed serifs (Image credit: Uplaod)

Young Serif consists of heavy, old-style letterforms that call to mind vintage books of yesteryear, It takes inspiration from fonts like Plantin Infant and ITC Italian Old Style, but adds a few flourishes of its own. For instance, some of the letters in Young Serif have interesting axis tilts (you can see in the lowercase 'e', above), and others have generously rounded curves – see the lowercase 'b' and 'f'. In total, the font consists of 348 glyphs. 

Created by Bastien Sozeau, the free font was originally distributed by the creative studio Uplaod. It's open-source, licensed under the SIL Open Font License, meaning it can be used, modified and redistributed freely – as long as you aren't selling it.

03. Cormorant

Best free fonts: Photo of cormorant

Add a touch of class to your design with this most elegant of free fonts (Image credit: Catharsis Fonts)

This is one of the most elegantly formal of the free fonts we've seen – an open source display font that consists of 45 font files spanning nine visual styles and five weights. Cormorant was developed by Christian Thalmann of Catharsis Fonts, and most of its glyphs have been drawn from scratch, giving it a gorgeous distinctiveness. For us, it treads a really neat line between expressiveness and formality, making it an excellent choice for all sorts of applications. There are echoes of the 16th-century typefaces of Claude Garamont in there, though Cormorant has enough of its own personality to not feel derivative.

04. Alegreya

Best free fonts: Alegreya

Alegreya is one of the best fonts for long text passages (Image credit: Juan Pablo del Peral )

Looking to design your own book cover? This is an excellent choice of free font – it was crafted by Argentinian designer Juan Pablo del Peral expressly for the purposes of book design. As such, it's an eminently readable font, with a rhythm to it that facilitates the absorption of long texts. It's won awards for its simple elegance, as you can see in the image above, and we love it for its fresh, approachable take on a calligraphic style. 

There aren't so many great free fonts created for specific purposes, but here's a strong exception. Alegreya is an award-winning typeface by Argentinian designer Juan Pablo del Peral crafted with book design in mind. With a dynamic and varied rhythm aimed at facilitating the reading of long texts, it provides a fresh and approachable take on the calligraphic style.

05. Restora

Best free fonts: Sample of Restora

Restora is one of the best free fonts for bringing your editorial designs to life (Image credit: Nasir Udin)

We love this twist on a classic style – Restora is a fantastic combination of bright, friendly letterforms with an embellishment that feels vintage and classic. It's designed by Nasir Udin, and in its free version it also includes Restora Extra Light and Restora Thin Italic, giving you a good deal of versatility. Whether you want to use it for general editorial text, a book cover or just a simple bit of branding, Restora will fit the bill really well. 

06. Emberly

Best free fonts: Sample of Emberly

Emberly is ideally suited to fashion-related design projects (Image credit: Rajesh Rajput)

One for the fashionistas, Emberly is a free font that evokes a classic magazine feel. It was created by Rajesh Rajput, taking a few cues from the Didone style, and is also available as a variable font. If you're putting together a magazine cover or a poster, Emberly will give it a feel that's both modern and classic.

07. Rude

Best free fonts: Sample of Rude

Rude is one of the most beautiful free fonts we've seen in a long while (Image credit: Masha Chuprova)

We love Rude – an immediately striking font created by Masha Chuprova. This serif was painstakingly handcrafted, and is especially good for short, striking headers, slogans and statements. We can see it fitting well into a logo, or making for a good visual pop on an item of clothing, or running across the top of a poster.

08. Grenze

Best free fonts: Sample of Grenze

Grenze is as punchy as it is readable (Image credit: Renata Polastri/Omnibus-Type)

We love the visual punch of Grenze, but what's even more impressive is how it manages to make so much impact without sacrificing readability. Created by Renata Polastri and Omnibus-Type, Grenze was originally designed for magazines, but it's versatile enough to potentially work for pretty much anything. 

09. Libertinus Serif

Best free fonts: Sample of Libertinus

Libertinus is a classic-looking free font that can really lift your projects (Image credit: Font Squirrel)

Now here's a classic-looking serif. Libertinus is a free font that comes in 14 styles, and is useful when you want to add a bit of simple class to a design. It's another font that's available under the SIL Open Font Licence, so you can do pretty much whatever you like with it. A fork of the Linux Libertine and Linux Biolinum font, it also addresses some of the bugs in those designs.

10. Free Saint George Stencil Font

Best free fonts: Sample of Free Saint George stencil font

Free fonts needn’t be boring! Check out this fun and playful serif based on Georgia (Image credit: Vedran Vaskovic)

Fans of the classic font Georgia will appreciate this experimental tribute by Vedran Vaskovic. Apparently, it's inspired by the Christian legend of Saint George the dragon-slayer – but more important, it's made up of a collection of cheeky, playful stencil shapes that are perfect for adding a little flair to your designs. 

11. Colus

Best free fonts: Sample of Colus

Colus is one of the best free fonts for headlines (Image credit: Stan Partalev on Font Fabric)

With an imposing, classical feel, Colus is great for when you want your designs to feel a little more sombre. It's inspired by carved letter inscriptions in wood and stone, and as such, it hearkens back to the classical ages. An excellent choice of free font for making posters that have a little more sophistication to them. 

12. Amagro

Best free fonts: Amagro

If you're looking for all-caps serifs, check out Amagro (Image credit: Fabio Servolo)

For making a big impact (no pun intended), check out this all-caps serif typeface from Fabio Servolo. Amagro consists of strong, angular serifs that are especially good for making imposing headlines, but it's also got some nice touches like a stylish ampersand, and easy-to-read numerals.

13. Poly

Best free fonts: Sample of Poly

Poly is legible on the web even at smaller sizes (Image credit: Nicolás Silva)

Writing on the web? Poly is a good choice of free font – it's a medium-contrast serif designed specifically to offer better legibility than other web serifs, even when used at small point sizes. The trick is its vertical emphasis – with short ascenders and a high x-height, it offers tremendous clarity.

14. Bitter 

Best free fonts: Sample of Bitter

Bitter is a serif font designed to work well on screens (Image credit: Huerta Tipográfica)

Sans-serif fonts tend to work better for screen use, but this free slab serif typeface has been designed specifically to provide a comfortable reading experience on screens. Bitter was designed by Sol Matas. It's available through Argentinian type collaborative Huerta Tipográfica.

15. Playfair Display

Best free fonts: Sample of Playfair

This free font family is an open source project  (Image credit: Claus Eggers Sørensen/Font Squirrel)

Designed by Claus Eggers Sørensen, this free display font takes inspiration from the 18th century Enlightenment and the work of John Baskerville. Its high-contrast letterforms have delicate hairlines, reflecting the rise of pointed steel pens, which took over from broad nib quills during the period. Functionally and stylistically it can be accompanied by Georgia for body text.

16. Lora

Best free fonts: Sample of Lora

Brushed curves contrast with driving serifs in this free font (Image credit: Cyreal/Font Squirrel)

Lora was originally designed for type foundry Cyreal in 2011, with a Cyrillic extension added in 2013. Brushed curves contrast with driving serifs for a well-balanced, contemporary feel. Although technically optimised for use on the web, it's one of the best fonts for print projects too. It comes in four styles.

17. Butler

Inspired by both Dala Floda and the Bodoni family, Butler is a popular free font designed by Fabian De Smet. His aim was to add some modernism by working on the curves of classical serif fonts and adding an extra stencil family. He suggests Butler would work well for “posters, very big titles, books and fancy stuff”.

18. Crimson Text

Best free fonts: Sample of Crimson

Crimson Text is a free font family inspired by old-time book typefaces  (Image credit: Sebastian Kosch)

Not many free fonts are created specifically for book production, but here's a great exception, inspired by old-time, Garamond-esque book typefaces. Crimson Text is the work of German-born, Toronto-based designer Sebastian Kosch, who says he was influenced by the work of Jan Tschichold, Robert Slimbach and Jonathan Hoefler. It’s a favourite free font of Taylor Palmer, a senior UX designer based in Utah, USA. "Crimson is a sophisticated serif that makes a nice alternative to traditional Garamond-esque typefaces,” he says. “It also has a very expressive italic, which pairs nicely with strong, geometric sans-serifs like Futura or Avenir."

19. Aleo

Best free fonts: Sample of Aleo

Aleo is one of those rare free fonts that perfectly balances personality with legibility (Image credit: Graphic Pear)

Aleo has semi-rounded details and a sleek structure, creating a strong sense of personality while maintaining balance with a good level of legibility. This family of free fonts was designed by Alessio Laiso, a designer at IBM Dublin, as the slab serif companion to Lato (opens in new tab).

20. Libre Baskerville

Best free fonts: Sample of Libre Baskerville

Free font Libre Baskerville is optimised for body text on screen  (Image credit: Impallari Type)

Libre Baskerville is a web font optimised for body text (typically 16px). It’s based on the American Type Founder's Baskerville from 1941, but it has a taller x-height, wider counters and a little less contrast, allowing it to work well for reading on screen. This open source project is led by Impallari Type. Taylor Palmer also recommends its sister font, Libre Franklin (opens in new tab), which is also free.

21. Slabo

Best free fonts: Sample of Slabo

A modern serif font tuned to pixel perfection (Image credit: Google Fonts)

Designed by John Hudson, Slabo is a growing collection of size-specific free fonts for the web, fine-tuned precisely for use at those specific pixel sizes. The blocky feel of its ligatures gives a modern twist to the serif font, making Slabo perfect for online designs.

22. Merriweather

Best free fonts: Sample of Merriweather

Merriweather is featured on more than 3,000,000 websites, according to Google Fonts (Image credit: Google Fonts)

A hugely popular open-source serif font, Merriweather has its own project on GitHub (opens in new tab). It was designed by Sorkin Type to be easy to read on screens. It features a very large x-height, slightly condensed letterforms, a mild diagonal stress, sturdy serifs and open forms.

23. Woodland 

best free fonts: Woodland

(Image credit: Pangram Pangram Foundry)

This beautiful curvy serif typeface has six weights, and the bold and ultralight versions are offered for free for personal use. It features strong, squared serifs and wide terminals. Touches like the rounded crossbar in the lowercase E give a soft quirkiness to its personality. You'll need a licence if you want to use the other weights or if you want to use it in work for clients.

24. Streusel Kuchen

Best free fonts: Streusel Kuchen

(Image credit: Kellie Jane Studio)

Serif fonts aren't all serious. Kellie Jane Studio injects a lot of fun into this cute serif font that creates a natural handwritten look. It's a nice addition for crafty projects or for the branding of homemade produce.

Next page: Free sans-serif fonts

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Tom May is an award-winning journalist and editor specialising in design, photography and technology. Author of the Amazon #1 bestseller Great TED Talks: Creativity (opens in new tab), published by Pavilion Books, Tom was previously editor of Professional Photography magazine, associate editor at Creative Bloq, and deputy editor at net magazine. Today, he is a regular contributor to Creative Bloq and its sister sites Digital Camera World, T3.com and Tech Radar. He also writes for Creative Boom and works on content marketing projects. 

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