I could easily spend all day playing around with typography. When I art directed magazines, I’d spend hours finding just the right font combinations to make the headlines sing. You can see what I mean about my font obsessions here, here, and here. And I don’t even want to confess to how many fonts I’ve purchased in my lifetime.
With so many free fonts available, there’s no excuse for using lackluster fonts in your branding. Here are a few resources to get you started with your own font obsession.
Start Your Font Exploration with These Sites
Behance showcases the work of all kinds of creatives, including font designers. Some fonts designers offer their work for free. Search for “free fonts” and check licensing information to make sure they are approved for commercial use.
Font Squirrel searches the web for free for commercial use fonts and compiles them for you. This is one of my favorite resources for free fonts.
Google Fonts offers more than 600 open source font families that you can use for branding and on your website.
Dafont offers more than 20,000 free fonts. To find the ones you can use in commercial projects, first click on the category of font you’re interested in finding. Then in the area of the site where you can preview the fonts, look for a link to “more options” there you can check a box for “public domain” fonts. You’ll still want to check the font’s Read-Me files to verify license.
Font Space offers more than 20,000 free fonts. To find the ones you can use in commercial projects, first browse and choose a category of fonts. Then click on the “filter options” link. There you will be able to choose the “only show commercial-use fonts” option. You’ll still want to check the font’s Read-Me files to verify license.
Font Licensing Information
!!! When you purchase or source any fonts (free or paid) always check the font licensing agreements to see how you can legally use the fonts. For branding uses, like creating logos, you want to use fonts that are licensed for commercial use, open source, or freeware.
Most font sites will list this kind of information alongside the font. But you should check the “Read-Me” file that comes along with the font when you download it, for the exact usage details. Pay close attention to these licenses and follow them.
Pros and Cons of Using Free For Commercial Use Fonts
Pros of Using Free For Commercial Use Fonts
2) Lots of different typefaces to choose from.
Cons of Using Free For Commercial Use Fonts
1) Limited weights of fonts. They may not include a bold, italic, or light version.
2) Limited set of characters/glyphs. They may not include all the fancy characters you need, like letters with accents, small caps, etc.
Have fun becoming a font addict like me!
If you’re ready to take your brand up a notch, or two, and learn more about which fonts would best tell your brand story, come join The Polish Your Online Brand Workshop. It’s FREE!