Free typefaces are great, right? Well yes, when they don’t suck and haven’t been used a million times already.
I’ve heard the argument that with fonts you “get what you pay for” which in this case, is nothing. People have repeated that free is synonymous with low quality, which is a bit of a generalization. While some fonts are guilty of that (including my own early ones) there is an abundance of great type ripe for the picking.
The thing is, free fonts are everywhere. But for the purpose of this post I’m just looking at Font Squirrel, which is by no means unknown. But if you’re new to that site, one neat feature you can take advantage of is their webfont kits that are already made for you to use (legally!) on your site.
We’ve hand-picked many from Font Squirrel for our text on photo app Piction so I’ll list some type that is new to me, in that I haven’t used any of these (but would like to) and have yet to see them as popular as, say, Museo. Some of these are display faces, in that you probably shouldn’t use them for body/paragraph text, but they make for beautiful headlines and/or brand elements. And if you’re one of the lucky few like me who still does print design, they look great off the screen as well.
There you have it, five all-stars that haven’t been used to death. They are free. The website is also free. And there are way more available if you know where to look (dafont google). And as someone who also makes and distributes free fonts I’d like to point out a few things: type design is a labor of love, and it is often tedious, hard work. Support the creators, and the sites distributing them. Give a shoutout to whoever made the fonts you use, or if you’re feeling really generous, donate. Buy the paid/full versions if available when you can.
If you’re willing to do a little work (create an account, login, checkout) you can find many beautiful free styles on MyFonts. Nifty trick, right? And another sneaky place to find up-and-coming type is on Behance with a search for “free font.” We hope to incorporate some of these (and new fonts we find) into Piction, and probably another blog post here. Enjoy.