Adding in unique fonts gives your work personality it otherwise wouldn’t have. Typography can bring a design to life, evoking emotion and showing an attitude. Some fonts go better together than others, and create a sort of smooth flow to the work and keeps the reader engaged and moving through a website page or advertisement in a glossy magazine.
It’s impossible to give a set number for how many fonts there are. There are hundreds of thousands of variations based on style and size, and every day font designers make new renditions of old favorites, adding to the selection. Some of these fonts are free and some charge a small fee for commercial use.
Gone are the days when designers had to use a printing press to get the look they wanted. Almost any font today has some customizable options. You can find free fonts in almost any style, from serif to sans serif to decorative. Because there are so many choices, we’ve looked at what we think are the top free fonts for designers and narrowed the choices. If you need something new for a project, try one of these selections.
There are many fonts available free for personal use, but they charge a small fee for commercial purposes. We’ve thrown out any font not 100% free for all uses and chosen only those available without a charge for both businesses and individuals. We’ve also tried to vary the font types, so you have a nice selection and offer some suggestions for pairings where it makes sense.
Runy Tunes Revisited is a beautiful script font perfect for use as a logo, website header or to draw attention to a word or two. The bowls of the letters are partially open on the capital “R” and the tails swirl out into enhancements giving the script a handwritten appeal. Created by Nick Curtis, the font pairs well with either a serif or sans serif for body text.
All Google fonts are released under open source licenses and are free for both commercial and personal use. If you’re designing for internet use, a Google font pairs well with Chrome and other browsers. It’s an excellent choice for a seamless experience.
Commissioner is a gorgeous sans serif font that works well for body text or headings. Note the straight, almost perfect symmetry of the letters. However, the dots over letters like “i” have an almost hand drawn look.
Kostas Bartsokas designed Commissioner. as a “low-contrast humanist sans-serif.” The stems are straight but the terminals vary. The font changes appearance if you go with italics versus thin. It pairs with Roboto and Montserrat.
3. Cherry AI
Cherry AI offers a beautiful decorative style best suited for restaurants or food stores. The cherries apparel throughout the letters, creating interest and engaging the user. Because there are graphics built into the letters, Cherry AI works best as a header or for logos. It is a little too much for body text or subheadings.
Aisyah created the font and allows its free use for any purpose, but does request a donation if you enjoy the design. You can choose to give one or not. It’s completely up to you. Because the font is so unique, it’s best to stick with a simple sans serif for any competing text.
4. Bodina Moda
Also free for commercial or personal use, Bodina Moda is a serif font with thin stems on one outside edge and straight serifs. The design has a very classical feel for serious businesses, such as financial institutions or medical professionals. The look is reminiscent of a magazine cover for The New Yorker or a newspaper headline.
Indestructible Type designed the font with high contrast between the bold strokes and thin, faint ones. It translates well in different sizes, making it scalable to mobile devices. Pair Bodina with common serif choices such as Garamond or Georgia.
If you’re looking for a simple sans serif font, Lavigne is an excellent choice. The stems and spines of the letters are uniform, giving the font a formal look. The lack of terminals adds to the serious tone of the design. Lavigne works equally well for headers and paragraphs.
Emylia Marratta is the font’s designer, and she made it free for commercial use. Because the font is simple, you can pair it with nearly anything. If you want to keep the look formal, go with another sans serif. To add a bit of contrast, choose a serif pairing. If you want to bring in some lighthearted fun, go with a script or decorative font for your headers and pair with Lavigne. The attention will go to the headlines.
If you’re looking for a Google font that is also a script, this beautiful font takes on a handwritten, cursive look. Note the way the letters connect together with additional stylistic swirls around the bowls of the letters and swooping down into the tails and terminals. The font works well for invitations because it has a calligraphy feel.
Impallari Type is the listed designer and allows for free use in products and projects, commercial and personal. The only limitation for all of these fonts is that you can’t list the font for resell and profit. You can, however, use it in any of your designs without a charge. Dancing Script pairs with Lato, Roboto and Raleway.
If you’re looking for something out of the ordinary, with a modern edge, Misto is a very unusual looking font. The contrast between thin stems and thick arms gives the font the look of a futuristic movie title or novel. If you’re looking for something cutting edge, this might be an excellent option.
Because it is unpredictable, it is best used for logos and headlines and not as body text. Katerina Korolevtseva created the font and made it free for commercial use. It pairs best with serif or sans serif fonts, such as Helvetica or Times New Roman.
Finding Free Fonts for Designers
Figuring out which free font for designers isn’t an easy task. Make sure the commercial license is free for any you find and like. Although the seven above are unique enough to fit almost any project type, they are just a drop in the bucket of all the available options. Start with those and then expand into other searches until you find just the right font for your project.