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When starting a new creative project, the first thing you probably search for are the fonts. Now, not everyone can afford the license for a popular paid font. If you’re looking for a font to use in a new branding project, a poster, or even for a new blog, you might be on the lookout for a font that you can use commercially, and preferably for free.
Thankfully, the internet is filled with such free font websites. Check out the following websites that will help you find the perfect free font for your next project.
1. Google Fonts
Google Fonts has one of the largest collections of web-ready fonts. It offers more than 900 different font families. Since its redesign, the Google Fonts website has become much more intuitive to use.
From the right-hand side of the website, you can narrow down your searches by category, language, popularity, and even attributes like thickness or width. Click on the font preview to change the preview text (you can apply it to all fonts on the page as well).
The best thing about Google Fonts is its versatile font preview tool. From the website’s home page, you can choose to preview a paragraph or a sentence with any given font. You can increase the font size or switch to a different version of the font as well.
After opening a font page, you get even more options. You’ll be able to view all versions of the font together and even see how a font pairs with 5 other different fonts (this is a very useful tool if you’re looking for new free fonts for a blog or a website).
When you like a font, just click on the download button. It will be instantly downloaded to your computer (if you’re on the Mac, you can then use Font Book to manage your font collection).
Fonts.com sells a huge variety of fonts. But what you should know about this site is its integration with Google Fonts and SkyFonts. SkyFonts is a desktop application for downloading and managing fonts. If you want a one-click option for downloading and installing Google Fonts, this is the app you should be using.
Open Font.com’s Google Fonts page and click on the Install SkyFonts button.
Once the app is installed, come back to the page and click on Browse Google Fonts and search for a Google font. Once you’ve selected a font family or multiple font families, click on the SkyFonts drop-down and check the Add Entire Family option. Then click on Add. The SkyFonts app on your computer will spring into action, downloading and installing the entire font family.
FontBundles helps designers save a couple of bucks by curating font bundles. The website also features a Free Fonts section which lists hundreds of free fonts that you can download and use for free once you sign up for an account.
Unlike some of the other websites on this list, the collection on FontBundles keeps changing dynamically. Fonts from the library are featured exclusively in the free download for a week section. If you’re a budding typographer, you should bookmark this page and keep coming back to it every week.
As FontBundles is giving you a premium font for free, they come with a Premium Font License which allows you to use them commercially for free.
Behance is the place where some of the world’s best designers showcase their creative work. Some designers even use it as a portfolio website while others use it to display and share their work, be it design assets or fonts.
If you like to experiment with fonts, just search for “free fonts” on Behance. You won’t find a complete font set with nine different versions. But you’ll definitely find something that will pique your interest.
Behance is a good place to explore if you’re looking for fonts to use in a graphic design project. Anything to do with logos, social media banners, and posters will get you good results. But if you’re looking for a new typeface for a branding project, something that will be displayed on a website or a blog, this is probably not the right place.
Dribbble is a similar platform to Behance, though not as popular. Dribbble is popular among UI Designers, however, so you’ll find a sizable selection of fonts on the website. Just search for “free fonts” to get started. Although the collection is not as sizable as Behance, you’ll find plenty of modern, script and serif fonts here.
Dafont is one of the oldest and the best sources for downloading fonts. Dafont features more than 40,000 fonts on its website. In comparison, Google Fonts features less than a thousand.
Filtering through such a huge collection can be challenging. Therefore, Dafont has a category system right at the top. This is the best place to start. Explore a sub-category like Cartoon, or Handwritten. You can also sort through the list using themes like Halloween, Rustic, Horror and so on.
Click on the Recently Added Fonts or the Top Fonts button to see the preview tool. Type what you want in the preview box and it will show up in the results below. Use the advanced search tool to narrow down your results further. If you know what you’re looking for, jump to the Search bar at the top of the page.
When you like a font, just click on the Download button to save it offline (there’s no need to create an account).
Think of Urbanfonts as the modern, polished version of Dafont. The website is easier to use and more pleasing to the eye. But the fundamental structure is the same. You’ll find a list of fonts that you can sort through based on a category, recently uploaded, or by popularity.
Urbanfont’s preview feature is also better. You can preview fonts using custom text on a black background. When you hover over the preview you’ll see the entire alphabet in the preview box.
Fontspace is a font directory with more than 45,000 fonts listed. It takes a visual approach to display fonts. Along with the usual editable font preview, you’ll also find an image from the designer that showcases the font. If you’re looking for fonts for a graphic design project, seeing it used in an image is certainly helpful.
By default, Fontspace shows all fonts. If you want to only see fonts which are available for free commercial use, you’ll have to click the Gear icon and select the “Only show commercial-use fonts” option.
The free font websites above make it easy to pick an aesthetically pleasing font using the preview feature. Even if you don’t know the technical terminologies, you can still eye-ball it and find a good font.
But using a font to the best effect is a different question altogether. This is where knowledge of typography comes in handy. Once you know things like kerning, or the difference between types of fonts, and how to pair fonts, you’ll be on your way to being a better designer.
Read our guide on typography terms to understand how to use fonts to your benefit.