Stencil artwork uses a template to create an outline for a specific design. It's a familar technique in the design world, from its use by military and government to quickly and clearly label objects, to industrial and commercial settings, to its use in street art by the likes of Banksy (for some great free graffiti fonts, see our roundup post).
When it comes to typography, there's a wealth of stencil fonts online for creatives to use in their designs. Here, we've scoured the internet to find free fonts in the stencil style that will help give your designs an authentic, handcrafted feel.
01. VAL Stencil
This bold stencil font is available as free download from independent type foundry Fontfabric. This inspirational, fun design comes complete with 215 characters and is great for posters, logos, packaging and more.
02. Toy Soldiers
This army-style inspired font was created by type designer Billy Argel. Like many of Argel's cool designs, Toy Soldiers is free for personal use. A single weight font made up of purely uppercase letters, this free stencil typeface will add serious attitude to your designs.
03. AG Stencil
AG Stencil was created by creative director Yong of visual communications company Somewhere Else. The design was originally created for an unfulfilled identity project, and Yong now offers the typeface free, for both personal and commercial use.
04. Unconform Round
Want to replicate those old school plastic letter stencils? Then Unconform Round may be just what you're looking for. Featuring a full set of uppercase letters and numbers, this typeface is great for giving your designs that retro feel.
05. Capture it
A single weight, free stencil font, Capture it was designed by Koczman Balint. Operating under Magique Fonts, this is one of many type designs created by Balint. Complete with a full set of uppercase letters, numbers and special characters, Capture it is available as a free download, with donations to the author, as always, gratefully received.
06. Stela UT
Stela UT is a layered font influenced by the stencil form. It was designed by independent Spanish graphic design studio Wete, who love all things typography and editorial, and comes in a number of layers. The studio is offering up the regular weight as a free download.
Scriber Stencil is a single weight, free stencil font consisting of 250 characters, manual kerning and a Euro symbol. Designed by Newcastle creative director Jonathan Hill, Scriber is a gorgeous take on the stencil format. Hill also has a wide range of other fonts on his website.
Butcher is a new modern serif, stencil typeface that's available to download for free if you're using it for personal use. This free stencil font was designed by graphic design student William Bayley Suckling, who specialises in a wide range of fun fonts.
The Playtime Typeface is a font with five different styles - regular, bold, rounded, rounded bold, and cutouts. It works like a puzzle: you can seamlessly slide the the type together and experiment with some truly unique figures. This free stencil font was designed by John Skelton.
Kaine is a bold slab-serif typeface influenced by spaghetti western posters of the 1960s. The grid template is based on Welt Extra Bold from Letraset with detailed changes, additional characters and new style variations. This free stencil font is ideal for use on print, web, motion, T-shirts and apparel; details include 250 characters, manual kerning and a Euro symbol.
This bold, free stencil font was created by type designer Ray Larabie of Typodermic Fonts. Larabie explains: "Gunplay is a hard-nosed stencil font inspired by the poster for the 1972 Steve McQueen and Ali MacGraw film, The Getaway."
12. DOCK 51
Free for personal use only, this cool DOCK 51 font was created by Imagex Fonts. One of over 200 designs by the company, this font includes a full set of uppercase letters, numbers 0-9 and various special characters.
Developed by typeface designer Otto Maurer, this free stencil font includes a full set of uppercase letters, numbers and special characters. Maurer has also made this download free for both personal and commercial use.
14. Boston Traffic
Designer Vic Fieger is the man behind this free stencil font. The busy artist has over 60 designs available for download on the archive of free fonts Dafont. This Boston Traffic design is available for both personal and commercial use.
15. Due Date
Typeface designer Dieter Steffman has over 120 fonts available to download on Font Space and many more on his website. This particular free stencil font, created in 2003, is available for both personal and commercial use.
Next page: more top free stencil posts...