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Summer is upon us, and at least in my neck of the woods, it’s downright hot – hot enough to peel paint off the walls. Inspired by the temperatures, I’ve decided to serve up five deliciously distressed typefaces this month. These carefully crafted creations only look half-baked or chipped off – this is stylish decay.

Slap these on some grunge background, and you’ve got the makings for an indie rock concert poster. Also, yes, there are fuzzy guinea pigs ahead.

Universal College Draft

To start things off, I’d like to introduce Universal College Draft, a freebie from Fonts Café. In fact, I liked this font so much, I’ve used it for a MakeUseOf-related design (a secret project I’ve been working on). It’s the perennial American college font, but with a slight hand-drawn twist to it, that makes it feel more spontaneous and alive than usual. The hollow spots make this ordinarily blocky typeface seem lighter, and while they reduce contrast, with the right colors this can make for quite a striking educational message.



Marcelle, from StereoType, is a font so comprehensive it actually comes on two files: One files contains the letters, and the other contains the huge, imposing swooshes. To make good use of Marcelle’s full capabilities, you will have to use something like Photoshop or CorelDRAW – a word processor won’t do this font justice. Its distressed appearance comes baked in – it reminds me of an old garage sign at an abandoned town.




Truskey comes to us from Dirt2, and has “wild party” written all over it. Truskey’s creator used shattered glass brushes and other Photoshop tricks to give this font an organic feel, and I think it works. I can almost reach out and feel Truskey’s roughly calloused texture. This font would look great on heavy recycled paper.

Alpha Echo


Alpha Echo comes to us from designer Vic Fieger, but to download it you’ll have to hop over to Dafont. It shares the same Sharpie-drawn look as Universal College Draft, and is offered in all-caps only – not a big issue, since it’s not designed as a body font anyway. Alpha Echo manages to be slightly distressed but without an attitude – it almost feels cheerful, and is less hard-hitting than our previous two fonts.



Cavia01 wins because it has guinea pigs! That’s right – these fluffy little critters are built right into the font, each as a separate glyph. I have no idea where creator Ward Zwart found these adorable line-art creations, or perhaps he drew them, but they are the essence of awesome. I would gladly buy a T-shirt with a line-art drawing of a guinea pig, coupled with a pithy saying written with Cacava01.

Your Call: What Should Be July’s Theme?

What’s July, for you? I know, for most people it means summer (unless you’re in Australia), but we’ve just done summer right now, so I’m looking for an interesting theme to tie together July’s Free Font Friday. Do you guys have any suggestions? Let me know below.

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  1. Thegreatvinay
    June 18, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    i like the first one very much...

  2. Xeon Shu
    June 16, 2012 at 7:24 am

    Alpha Echo looks awesome!

    • Erez Zukerman
      June 16, 2012 at 1:17 pm

      I'm glad you like it!

  3. Jon Smith
    June 16, 2012 at 4:07 am

    Some of these fonts look pretty nice-you should save the cavia01 for groundhog day (even if it isnt, it still looks nice)

    • Erez Zukerman
      June 16, 2012 at 1:16 pm

      LOL :)) Good idea, that one! Didn't think of it because we don't have Groundhog Day around my neck of the woods (or sands, actually).

  4. ryandigweed0
    June 15, 2012 at 11:52 pm

    I like the first three :)

    • Erez Zukerman
      June 16, 2012 at 1:16 pm

      Thank you, Ryan!

      • ryandigweed0
        June 16, 2012 at 1:49 pm

        You're most welcome. I'm always on a hunt for new and free fonts to use to design stuff :) Thanks for making it easier :)