When I was doing a piece of design work recently I had a conversation with one of my colleagues who was adamant that you shouldn’t use more than one font per design. Now I respect the views of others greatly, in fact, the whole point of the design is to delight others whilst communicating key messaging. But this way of thinking, can be very rigid and lacks room for creative freedom which is important when designing anything. How many fonts can you use in your designs? I believe, sometimes, more than two!
Free fonts for use on web are quite useful for the professional or student web/graphic designer using font face css and knowing where to find free fonts to use in your designs is even better! As a man who believes sharing in knowledge with others I have compiled a list of websites with varying free fonts for use on web below. I have also added a few where you have to pay and a couple of other tools for those who are wanting to develop websites to the latest html5 and css3 standard. If you know of any others please feel free to include it in the comment box below the post.
Free fonts websites
Please check that the fonts you are downloading are suitable for web before you use them, I know most of you will understand this but for those just starting to learn about web design check that the font will be a) compatible with all browsers and b) not slow down your site considerably.
So you want to download fonts for free, well then fontsquirrel.com is a great starting point! A font on this site range from the fancy fonts, handwritten fonts to sans serif fonts. You can type in some text to their website and see font examples with each type face.
Google web fonts are totally free and really gaining in popularity. When choosing a font from the google fonts website make sure that its size isn’t going to effect the performance loading speed of your site. Google have also gone to the trouble of comparing different fonts with the google fonts making it easier to see google font combinations as not every font will match easily and it might look quite strange if too different but also if they are too similar this can be a problem also. google fonts google fonts download google fonts
NOT free fonts for use on web
Although its great getting free fonts sometimes paying a little fee can help you get fonts that really perfect the look and feel of your website’s brand image. Obviously there is is only so far free fonts can go and sometimes paying just a small fee for a custom font may not be so bad especially if you have many clients. The following websites are fee based but still worth a look.
Webtype is another place where you can download fonts for a fee.
Other things to consider when selecting fonts for use on web
There are several things you must think about when selecting the fonts you use in your design and these are as follows : –
The mood the fonts give
Readability is all about how easy it is to read the font. At the end of the day it is important that the user feels that they can read the font easily, if they can’t then its kind of defeating the object of the task at hand. Make sure the free font you choose is easy to read.
The mood that the font gives
Even though readability should always be the number one reason for choosing a font ( in my opinion ) different types of typography give a mood or feel. Ask yourself is the font you have chosen given the appropriate mood or should you keep on looking for an appropriate typeface?
Font compatibility is also an issue, the modern way of typography expects two or even three different fonts to sometimes be used on a website. Making sure these fonts are compatible is really important. When I talk about compatibility I am talking about how they blend together. It is said that two font types shouldn’t be too different but at the same time they musn’t be identical either, there needs to be a good balance and on the likes of the Google Fonts website they give some suggestions of how you can pair certain fonts together.
Tracking or letter spacing of a font is also important, if it is too close together it can look too cluttered and if it is too exposed it can be hard to read. I suggest that having a large space between each letter should only be used in titles if possible.
Vertical Rhythm is the hidden lines that make up a composition in a piece of writing. By using a vertical rhythm you will create a better UX and more likely to get the user to read your text. To find out if your website has vertical rhythm you can use a free bit of code from this website basehold.it
Earlier last year I did make another blog post about free fonts for web. Please visit the blog post here for more suggestions. I hope you find this post useful, please do share it and feel free to leave a comment in the box below.
Getting the right typography for your graphic design work is really important, the standard fonts that come with a computer isn’t great for creatives and so sites where you can download free fonts and typography ( if you don’t or can’t design your own ) is really important. In this post I give you 10 links to free fonts websites. I recommend you bookmark the page so you always have this resource available to you.
dafont.com is a great little website that regularly updates with free fonts that can be used in many creative projects. Before you go ahead with downloading a font make sure you have read the license in case you are not allowed to use the font in commercial work or you could land yourself in trouble from the creator.
Typekit is a website from Adobe that provides fonts for use on websites. It is free, technically, for only one website using 2 of the fonts otherwise it costs some cash but it s a good place to get some really well designed typefaces for your web designs.
This site probably started with 1001 free fonts when it was launched because I believe it has more than 1001 fonts nowadays! Check it out, you are spoilt for choice, be warned though, some links ( particularly on the menu bar ) open new links to fonts to purchase! Cheeky sneeky sales technique 😉
Font Squirrel is another great little website that regularly updates with free fonts that can be downloaded for free but again check that the typeface you are downloading has a license for free use before considering using them in commercial works.
Warning! Not all fonts on this website are free fonts. The owner of the site has been a good chap ( or chapess! ) and shown a little red free icon in the corner of the image to not confuse things. That is always useful for the free seeker in us.
This website has a very similar layout and design to dafont.com so shouldn’t be a problem when you are looking for free fonts that work with your design work. Not only this but there are so many fonts! A great resource of fantastic typography this is.
Are you the owner of a wordpress CMS website? You are going to love this site then! Not only are these fonts free but they are also compatible with a plugin made for WordPress sites to make applying the fonts to your pages simple. I haven’t actually tried it out yet but it sounds like a great concept to add that extra bit of personality to your site.
On this site there is no messing! It clearly stats that you will find 100% free fonts, very useful if you want to make sure you aren’t breaking copyright laws.
The typography you decide to use in any part of your graphic design work has incredible psychological effects on the viewer. Whatever the message is you are portrating the typography can re-enforce the feeling of the product or service you are trying to advertise so make sure you either a) find a typeface that works well with the message you want to communicate or b) sit down and design your very own font, probably the best way of getting a free font and adds a truly personal touch to your work.
What is your favourite font and what is your least favourite? Please leave a comment in the box below.