Skip to main content

85 best free fonts for designers

best free fonts: Borsok
(Image credit: Dastan Miraj)

The best free fonts can be fantastic additions to a creative's resources. Of course, there are less fantastic options out there too, and it takes time and effort to sift through them all to find the best fonts. That's why we've done the work for you and put together this extensive list of the best free fonts you can find. The fonts listed below are all available to download immediately without paying a penny (in some cases you might need to provide your email address). 

We've divided the fonts into eight categories to make it easier to find what you're looking through. You can follow the links on the right to jump straight to the style you're after, from retro fonts to graffiti. Just note that while many of these fonts are free for both personal and commercial use, some are free for personal use only. We've specified the conditions for each one at the time of publication, but you should always double-check the terms of use because permissions are subject to change.

For a great range of fonts available online, we recommend checking out MyFonts, which has both paid for and free fonts. See the box below for a direct link to the site, or scroll down for our full list of the best free fonts. If you're sure how to use your font once you've got it, see our post on how to add fonts in Photoshop. We also have lists of the best free retro fonts and free script fonts, while our guide to font design offers tips for how to create your own. We also have advice on font pairings and on how to use font terminology accurately in our piece on font vs typeface.

The best free fonts: Serif fonts

01. Young Serif

best free fonts: Young Serif

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

Available in a single, medium weight, Young Serif consists of 348 glyphs, supporting many different languages. It offers heavy old-style letterforms with bracketed serifs, taking its initial inspiration from fonts like Plantin Infant or ITC Italian Old Style. It features interesting axis tilts for some of the letters – see the lowercase E, and it has tender, generous rounded curves on lowercase b and f. This free font was created by Bastien Sozeau and originally distributed by creative studio Uplaod. It's open source, licensed under the SIL Open Font License, which allows the fonts to be used, modified and redistributed freely as long as they're not sold by themselves.

02. 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)

Developed by Christian Thalmann of Catharsis Fonts, Cormorant is one of the most elegantly formal of free fonts. It’s inspired by the 16th-century typefaces of Claude Garamont, but it’s by no means derivative. Indeed, most glyphs have been drawn from scratch, and strike a lovely balance between formality and expressiveness. This open source display font comprises 45 font files spanning nine visual styles and five weights.

03. Alegreya

Best free fonts: Alegreya

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

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.

04. 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)

In our experience, the best free fonts take a classic style and give it a twist, and here’s a great example. Designed by Nasir Udin, Restora offers a masterful combination of bright and friendly letterforms and old-style embellishment. This versatile font is suitable for book covers, editorial text, branding and more. The free version includes Restora Extra Light & Restora Thin Italic.

05. Emberly

Best free fonts: Sample of Emberly

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

Emberly is another free font that feels both modern and classic. Inspired by the Didone style, this display font was created by Rajesh Rajput. It’s also available as a variable font, and would be a great option for a wide range of design projects, including logos, headlines, magazine covers and posters. 

06. 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)

The best fonts feel both familiar and original, and this beautifully handcrafted serif achieves that. Created by Masha Chuprova, Rude is ideal for logos, titles, magazines, headlines, apparel, posters and more. 

07. Grenze

Best free fonts: Sample of Grenze

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

Inspired by Roman and blackletter font styles, Grenze offers serious visual punch without sacrificing readability. It was created by Renata Polastri and Omnibus-Type as a font for magazines, but it would work for a far wider range of design uses too.

08. 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)

Looking for the best free font to add a touch of class to your project? Libertinus is a classic-looking serif that comes in 14 styles. It’s a fork of the Linux Libertine and Linux Biolinum fonts that address some of the bugs in those designs. It's available under the SIL Open Font Licence.

09. 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)

Free Saint George Stencil Font is an experimental font by Vedran Vaskovic inspired by the Christian story of Saint George, and based on the classic font Georgia. It’s one of the best free fonts to add a sense of energy and fun to your designs thanks to its wild and playful stencil shapes.

10. Colus

Best free fonts: Sample of Colus

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

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

11. Amagro

Best free fonts: Amagro

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

Amagro is an all caps serif typeface from Fabio Servolo. It has strong angular serifs that lend themselves to imposing headlines. A classy ampersand and neat easy-to-read numerics make it ideal for designs that need to get noticed.

12. Poly

Best free fonts: Sample of Poly

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

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

13. 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.

14. 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.

15. 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.

16. 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
Image 2 of 2

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”.

17. 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."

18. 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.

19. 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, which is also free.

20. 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.

21. 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. 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.

22. 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.

Next page: Free sans-serif fonts

Tom May

Tom May is a freelance writer and editor specialising in design, photography and tech. He is author of Great TED Talks: Creativity, published by Pavilion Books. He has previously been editor of Professional Photography magazine, associate editor at Creative Bloq, and deputy editor at net magazine.