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78 best free fonts for designers

Free Fonts - Colus
(Image credit: Stan Partalev on FontFabric)

Searching for the best free fonts can be a massive time-suck. You find yourself scrolling through thousands of seemingly similar fonts before frustratingly realising that your perfect font is miles out of your price range.

Luckily, there are tonnes of free fonts out there, and we've cherry picked the best ones available for you to download right now. And even better, we've divided them intro eight useful categories so you can save your scrolling finger and spend more time using the new free fonts you've discovered. (For more fonts you'll really enjoy, head over to our fun font post). Our categories are:

  • Serif fonts – often found in projects involving lots of text, such as books, newspapers and magazines.
  • Sans serif fonts – commonly used for shorter text settings, such as captions and credits. Sans serifs are also a good choice for an audience of young children or anyone learning to read.
  • Handwriting fonts – lend an authentic handwritten feel to designs. Often used on invitations or cards.
  • Retro and vintage fonts – for transporting your designs back in time. These fonts also work really well in sci-fi-themed artwork. 
  • Brush fonts – like handwriting fonts, these are ideal for adding that handwritten touch, for example on invitations or greeting cards.
  • Tattoo fonts –  these free fonts can be just the thing for a tattoo design.
  • Graffiti fonts – for adding an urban, gritty edge to any project.
  • Unusual fonts – because some free fonts defy categorisation.

If you're after multiple fonts but aren't sure which typefaces will work together, our list of perfect font pairings should help. And if you don't know the difference between a font and a typeface, read our post on font vs typeface to find out. 

Note that at the time of writing, the typeface collections listed here can be used in your projects for free, but please be sure to check the terms of use before you download these free fonts, as some are only suitable for personal, not commercial, use.

So what are you waiting for? Find and download your perfect free font right here.

The best free fonts: Serif fonts

01. Colus

free fonts

Add a touch of sophistication to headlines with Colus

(Image credit: Stan Partalev on Font Fabric)

Colus is a free display font inspired by stone and wooden carved letter inscriptions. It has a classical, almost noble appearance and is great for creating imposing headlines, adding a touch of class to logos and introducing sophistication to poster designs. 

02. Amagro

Free font - Amagro

Amagro is a majestic all caps serif font

(Image credit: Behance)

Amagro is an all caps serif typeface brought to the design community by Fabio Servolo. It has strong angular serifs that make it perfect for imposing newspaper style headlines. A classy ampersand and neat easy-to-read numerics also mean it's ideal for getting your designs noticed. Additional weights are available on request if you want them.  

03. Woodland

best free fonts: Woodland

Woodland has an understated elegance

Woodland is an elegant sans font with six weights designed by Mathieu Desjardins for Pangram Pangram. Commercial licences start from $30 but you can try Woodland for personal use for free. It's a versatile font that would work in body copy as well as titles, and there's an understated elegance to it that we really like. 

  • Free for personal use (commercial licences available)
  • DOWNLOAD HERE

04. Giveny

Giveny free font

Add a touch of class to your designs with Giveny

This classy free font lends a sophisticated feel to your project. It looks good on arty magazines, posters, greetings cards or quotes, and was created by Craft Supply Co. Multi-lingual characters are available, as are a range of punctuation marks. To use the font in your commercial projects, you can buy it for $16.

05. Blacker

Blacker free font

Blacker is not your average serif font

Blacker is not your average serif font. And that's why we love it. A twist on a classic design, Blacker is a wedge serif font family, created by Cosimo Lorenzo Pancini and Andrea Tartarelli. The designers' Behance page states Blacker is a "take on the contemporary 'evil serif' genre: typefaces with high contrast, 1970s-evoking proportions and sharp wedge serifs".

Blacker is available in six weights, from light to heavy, with matching italics. Prices for Blacker start from $25, however you can currently get Blacker Text Light and Blacker Display Medium Italic completely free. 

06. Poly

Best free fonts: Poly

Poly is legible on the web even at smaller sizes

Poly is a medium contrast serif font for web use. It was designed by Nicolás Silva to give increased legibility than other web serifs even at smaller point sizes. It achieves this with a vertical emphasis, utilising short ascenders and a very high x-height to ensure clarity.

07. Coldiac

Coldiac free font

There's more than a touch of luxury to this free font

For a luxurious serif font, look no further than Coldiac. It works well for a small amount of body text, or for headlines, print ads and other marketing materials. What makes Coldiac stand out is "the relatively low contrast of strokes, the slightly squarish shapes of round characters and the emphasised businesslike nature", according to its creators. A commercial version of the font – which includes multilingual characters and illustrations is available for $15.

08. Bitter 

Best free fonts: Bitter

This serif font is designed to work well on screens

Sans-serif fonts tend to work better for screen use, but this free slab serif typeface has been specially designed to provide a comfortable reading experience on screens. Bitter was designed by Sol Matas, and is available through Argentinian type collaborative Huerta Tipográfica. It combines generous x-heights with minimal variation in stroke weight. 

09. Casa Stencil

free fonts: Casa Stencil

Add some elegance to your designs with Casa Stencil

(Image credit: Mathieu Desjardins)

Casa Stencil is an extremely elegant stencil font that you probably won't want to use in large quantities. It's great for headings and making a statement with your type, though. It comes with language support and accents, and if you did want to buy a commercial licence ($20), you get some rather pleasing posters of the font thrown in for free. It's by Mathieu Desjardins, the same designer who created Woodland (above).

10. Playfair Display

Best free fonts: Playfair display

This free font family is an open source project

This free serif display font takes inspiration from the late 18th century European Enlightenment and the work of type designer John Baskerville. The high-contract letterforms have delicate hairlines, relating to the rise in popularity of pointed steel pens, which took over from the previous broad nib quills during this period. The typeface design is a project led designed by Dutch designer Claus Eggers Sørensen.

11. Lora

Best free fonts: Lora

Brushed curves contrast with driving serifs in this free font

Lora is a free font that has its roots in calligraphy. It was originally designed for type foundry Cyreal in 2011, with a Cyrillic extension added in 2013, and comes in four styles: regular, bold, italic, and bold italic. 

Brushed curves contrast with driving serifs to give this free font a well-balanced, contemporary feel. Although Lora is technically optimised for use on the web, it also works well in print projects.

12. Butler

Image 1 of 2

Free font Butler brings a sense of modernism to the serif

Free font Butler brings a sense of modernism to the serif
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Inspired by both Dala Floda and the Bodoni family, Butler is a free font designed by Fabian De Smet. His aim was to bring a bit of modernism to serif fonts by working on the curves of classical serif fonts, and adding an extra stencil family.

The Butler family contains 334 characters, seven regular weights and seven stencil weights, and includes text figures, ligatures and fractions. It also suits many different languages with its added glyphs. De Smet suggests it would work well for “posters, very big titles, books and fancy stuff”.

13. Crimson Text

Best free fonts: Crimson text

Crimson Text is a free font family inspired by old-time book typefaces

Here’s a free font family created specifically for book production, 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 also 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."

14. Aleo

Best free fonts: Aleo

Aleo is one of those rare free fonts that manages to perfectly balance personality with legibility 

Aleo has semi-rounded details and a sleek structure, giving a sense of personality while maintaining a good level of legibility. This free font family comprises six styles: three weights (light, regular and bold), with corresponding true italics. Released under the SIL Open Font License, it was designed by Alessio Laiso, a designer at IBM Dublin, as the slab serif companion to Lato.

15. Brela

Best free fonts: Brela

Free font Brela works well in editorial designs, both for headlines and body text

Brela is a humanistic serif font designed exclusively for editorial design. With a generous x-height, it’s very legible, even at tiny sizes, yet it works equally well in bold, large headlines. This free font was designed by Spanish creative agency Makarska Studio and comes in regular and bold weights.

16. Libre Baskerville

Best free fonts: Libre Baskerville

Free font Libre Baskerville is optimised for reading body text on screen

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, a type design foundry based in Rosario, Argentina. 

"I like to keep my eye on the Libre fonts, like Libre Baskerville,” enthuses Taylor Palmer, a senior UX designer based in Utah, USA. He also recommends you check out its sister font, Libre Franklin, which is also free. “Libre Franklin hearkens back to strong, traditional typefaces, like Franklin Gothic, that have the declarative nature of something like a newspaper headline but are simple enough to set as paragraph text," he explains.

17. Slabo

Best free fonts: Slabo

A modern serif font tuned to pixel perfection

Slabo was designed by John Hudson, co-founder of Tiro Typeworks foundry. Slabo is a growing collection of size-specific web fonts, with Slabo 27px and Slabo 13px out so far, fine-tuned precisely for use at those specific pixel sizes. The blocky feel of its ligatures give a modern twist to the serif font, perfect for online designs.

18. Merriweather

Best free fonts: Merriweather

Merriweather is featured in more than 3,000,000 websites, according to Google Fonts

A truly open source free serif font, Merriweather has its own project on GitHub. It was designed by Sorkin Type to be easy to read on screens, particularly. "It features a very large x-height, slightly condensed letterforms, a mild diagonal stress, sturdy serifs and open forms," it says.

Next page: Free sans-serif fonts