30 Sites For Fantastic, Free Fonts

Choosing the right font can make or break a design, but what do you do when you don’t already have the perfect font in your arsenal? One of the points raised in the discussion following Kevin’s recent post is that purchasing fonts can be insanely expensive, and even if you do buy one, are you sure it will be exactly what you were looking for? Luckily there are numerous sources on the Web for free fonts, and while not all of them allow for commercial use, a good number of them do.

What follows is a list of 30 sites where you can find free fonts, use a tool to make your own, or just have some fun with fonts after you’ve spent hours staring at them. Take a look through and get addicted to more fonts than you can shake a stick at!

Free Font Sites

1001freeFonts.com: Although their name only mentions 1,001 fonts, they actually have over 10,000 free ones that you can download. You can download them one at a time for free, or purchase the lot, all at once, for a fee of $19.95.
1001freefonts

AbstractFonts.com: Offers thousands of free true-type fonts with lots of information contained on the page for each. Click on a font to see information about it, a character map, similar fonts and leave comments about it. You can search fonts categories, languages, designers and alphabet.

abstractfonts

AcidFonts.com: Thousands of free fonts for PCs and Macs, with the ability to browse by category or alphabet. They do offer a subscription plan that will allow you to download more fonts in each zip file and also remove the pop-up and pop-under ads.

acidfonts

ActionFonts.com: Over 10,000 fonts in a fairly basic layout that is easy to navigate.

actionfonts

BetterFonts.com: BetterFonts offers a mixture of thousands of free fonts alongside premium fonts that they sell for $4.99. You can also download their 500 most popular fonts in one go in a file for $2.77. You can enter any text you want and see it previewed in the display area when you click on a font you’re interested in.

betterfonts

Chank.com: Chank is a font design firm that focuses on selling their in-house fonts, and even making custom fonts for companies that want to own all the rights, but they also offer a selection of their designs for free.

chank

Creamundo.com: A large selection of some very nice fonts in TrueType format. Creamundo does provide a box for you to enter sample text and see it presented for a range of specified fonts. The only problem is that all fonts are categorized by alphabet, so if you’re looking for a specific style, you’ll have to hunt through for them.

creamundo

Dafont.com: Probably one of the best known sites for free fonts, with thousands of free selections for both PCs and Macs. Dafont offers all of the usual ways to browse for different fonts, and also offers a nice selection of free and paid tools to manage your fonts, convert them, create your own and perform a few other miscellaneous tasks.

dafont

DiscoverFonts: A huge selection of fonts that is browsable by category or alphabet, or via a tag cloud. DiscoverFonts also offers a selection of tools for working with all of your new fonts that are both free and for purchase.

discoverfonts

Fonts101.com: Tens of thousands of free fonts divided into categories, searchable by name. You can check out a list of the most downloaded or viewed fonts, or even dive into the forums where you can discuss the various fonts with others.

fonts101

FontFace.com: Offers an assortment of free and paid fonts, with a Font of the Day, Top 25, an archive and more.

fontface

FontFreak.com: FontFreak offers over 5,000 free fonts to choose from both PCs and Macs. You can download them one at a time, or pay a $7.95 fee to download all of them as one huge file.

fontfreak

Fontica.com: Offers thousands of free fonts; some can be downloaded by anyone, while others require that you register first.

fontica

FontReactor.com: FontReactor has a nice selection of fonts with a handy “test area” beneath each font, so you can see how the font looks with text of your choice. Browse by categories, most commented, most voted and so on. The site is also available in Spanish.

fontreactor

FontShack.com: FontShack isn’t as big as some other font sites, but seems to be a bit more selective in what they post so you only find quality fonts to use. The site is available in multiple languages.

fontshack

FontSpace.com: This site is based on the idea of a community of designers and font addicts, and has around 10,000 fonts divided into over 3,000 categories. All fonts are free to download, and if you sign up for their free membership you can bookmark, rate and comment on the fonts you like.

fontspace

Neatfonts.com: Offers thousands of free fonts, but only categorized by alphabet and offers no other bells and whistles beyond downloading the fonts as zip files.

neatfonts

SearchFreeFonts.com: SearchFreeFonts offers well over 13,000 fonts that are well categorized, and breaks down the 50 most popular for easy browsing. The site includes articles about the history and use of fonts and a very handy guide to various paid and free tools for designing, organizing and managing your fonts.

searchfreefonts

Simply The Best Free Fonts: A part of SimplyTheBest.net which offers up a lot of different things. The font section is enormous, well categorized and easy on the eyes. There are lots of nice fonts — some of which you’ll have seen on other sites, but some you haven’t — but still a good resource.

simplythebest

UrbanFonts.com: One of the smaller sites out there, and a little heavy on the ads, but overall a nice selection that is easy to navigate.

urbanfonts

Tools for Fonts

Cfont Pro: Cfont Pro is a free download that allows you to manage, organize and view your font collection in multiple ways so you can make sense out of it and not spend hours searching for just the font you need for the job. PCs only on this one.

FontForge: A SourceForge project for creating your postscript, truetype, opentype, cid-keyed, multi-master, cff, svg and bitmap fonts.

fontforge

Fontomatic: Fontomatic allows you to activate and deactivate folders or collections of fonts as you want, so they don’t take up resources every time you start your computer.

fontomatic

FontStruct: If you’ve ever wanted to create your own font, FontStruct allows you to do it right online for free, and then share it with other users of the site. You can also browse through the original fonts that other users have created and download them for free (read our previous coverage of FontStruct).

fontstruct

Identifont.com: Answer some simple questions about a font, restrict your search to only certain letters, or get a clue as to which font it might be that you are looking for. Identifont will aid you in all of these tasks.

identifont

The Font Thing: A full-featured font management system that allows you to view installed and uninstalled fonts, view individual characters in different colors, filter fonts by type, install multiple fonts at once and more with this free download for PCs.

thefontthing

TypeNavigator: An interesting tool to help you figure out what font was used in a project by answering some simple questions about its appearance. Just mark the radio selections, click search and you’ll get a suggestion for which font it is.

typenav

Typetester.org: A quick tool for comparing up to three different fonts for how they will appear at different sizes, colors, decorations and more, so you can choose which one to use in a design.

typetester

Miscellaneous Font Sites

Fontpark: After a long day of working with fonts, you might start thinking you see faces in them. Well, Fontpark lets you play with fonts to turn them into faces, designs or whatever you can imagine. You can then share them with other users of the site to vote on to see what they think of them.

fontpark

Guide to Web 2.0 Fonts: Ever wondered what font Popurls used? This site identifies the fonts used in some of the most popular logos on the Web. The page hasn’t been updated in quite a while, but is still relevant as the logos haven’t really changed.

web20fonts

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  • dougoftheabaci

    How can you not have Fontsquirrel? That’s like listing great browsers and forgetting Chrome because it’s relatively new on the block, never mind that it’s one of the best out there.

    Also, all the fonts are free on that site and most of them are @font-face approved. Given the amount of talk that’s been going around about font embedding with commercial fonts that’s a big deal, especially if you’re like me and considering boycotting commercial fonts all together.

  • Jason

    This is a great resource for my designing my websites – thanks for putting this together!

  • pusle

    Thanks for the post.

    dougoftheabaci: Love that fontsquirrel site! Thanks! Never heard of it before, but instantly became my favorite :)

  • Anonymous

    also don’t forget http://www.pilo.me a private and exclusive font community that has the ultimate collection of fonts. membership is by approval only, but it is a completely stellar site where you can discuss typography and find rare and premium fonts.

  • molona

    Thanks for the post. There are quite a few links thatI will need to try. Unfortunately I have to confess that font use is one of my weaknesses but I am trying to change that… and I think that looking for the right font can help. Thank you… and welcome to SP, of course :D

  • Misty Beier

    This is great! Thanks for putting this together!

  • http://www.cafewebmaster.com/blogs/web2crawler web2crawler

    This list helped me to save hours while searching for free fonts. Thank you very much!

  • emina

    O my god! Today is my day! Thank you so much for posting these sites, I’ve been looking for so long for font sites and to have 30 right in one place is amazing. Thanks, Thanks, Thanks!
    Emina
    e.d.s.dezign

  • krues8dr

    Just a note to mention that there’s free and then there’s *free*. For many, if not most, of these fonts, you can only use them for free for personal use, and can’t redistribute them. Which means, no using them on professional websites, logos, etc, or with sIFR, etc. Make sure to read the EULA carefully.

  • http://www.viscaconsulting.com/ visca

    Elaborating on what krues8dr says…

    The issues I too have with such “free” font sites are that there’s often little to no real safeguards to protect you from actually using copyrighted fonts that are not in fact free. Or alternatively they are free fonts for PRIVATE use, but require licensing for COMMERICAL use, which is what a majority of the people on this site would be using them for. Many desigers are unware of how risky using any sites claiming free use of intellectual property really is.

    Just be sure to careful review the terms and conditions included with each font whenever aquiring them from such sites, because the included legal docs are often eye openers for anyone intending to use them for client deliverables. And using fonts with no included terms and conditions is really setting yourself up for legal issues, as they were most likely stripped away at some point.

    Make sure you maintain records of where fonts were aquired and keep the original arhcive file with the legal terms to prove permission of use.

    Fonts are no different than stock images, stock videos, etc — someone out there is the author and owner of the intellectual property and illegal use carries the same legal ramifications. Just make sure the fonts you get are in fact free for your specific usage.

  • Jen

    You can also find free downloadable fonts at http://www.beefont.com. Cheers. Hope that helps.

  • theken

    PurYel also has a collection of 21 free font resources, some are here some aren’t: http://www.puryel.com/fonts-and-typography/free-fonts. As well as commercial font editors, commercial fonts and free font editors in their directory.

  • YahyaAziz

    Hey Sean,
    Now that‘s the way to start out a new blog!
    Welcome, and thanks heaps for a great resource. This obviously represents hours (or just possibly, years) of research.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Regards,
    Yahya

  • Bill

    >purchasing fonts can be insanely expensive

    I won’t get into a debate about font prices, but one reason commercial fonts are priced at $20+ is that they include a 5 workstation license. My company (Ascender Corp) has created a website with fonts priced starting at $4.99 each with a 1 workstation license: http://www.fontmarketplace.com. All our fonts high quality TrueType with the complete Latin 1 (codepage 1252) character set. Further, the license allows for personal or commercial use. We’ve tried to create an affordable alternative for home & office users and creative enthusiasts looking for fonts they can trust.

  • Martin

    FreePremiumFonts.com should be part of this list: http://www.freepremiumfonts.com. This site has only free fonts and no commercial fonts intermixed within search results.

  • krendion

    Thanks for sharing these font websites. We provide a huge collection of free fonts too: DownloadAtoZ Free Fonts.

  • http://www.fastliondesign.com FastLionDesign

    Very helpful list. Thanks. I like the feature on betterfonts.com that allows you to type in your own text and then see how it looks in different fonts. Great feature.

    It also helps when a site organizes its fonts according to category. Fonts in alphabetical order only aren’t too helpful unless you have time to kill.

    I only wish there were more good script fonts available that are fancy but also readable. (I’m searching for one for an historic site I maintain). I’ll find it one of these days.

  • http://www.crearedesign.co.uk TomBradshaw

    Thanks, that’s a good selection, some i did’t know – I tend to just use dafont

  • http://www.cafewebmaster.com/blogs/web2crawler web2crawler

    Another list of best sites(sorted by popularity) with free fonts to download.

  • http://www.fontineed.com julia

    you should definitely add FontIneed.com as well