Dec. 6, 2022 • 5 min read

Why Fonts Matter And Where To Download Them Online Completely Free

Don't stick to the defaults - improve the look of your lettering with these website suggestions.

Why Fonts Matter And Where To Download Them Online Completely Free

How many typefaces have you come across today? We bet you've come across quite a few without even noticing!

While many of us consider typefaces and fonts to be the same, they refer to different things. A typeface refers to a distinct series of glyphs that characterise a particular style of lettering, while fonts are variations of that typeface, like italics or bold. A typeface needs to:

  • Convey a clear message
  • Elicit emotion
  • Signify intent
  • Ensure text is legible
  • Influence the overall reading experience

In the early days of printing, print houses had typefaces made from metal blocks, each representing a character or glyph. However, the invention of digital printing allowed more and more styles and sizes to become available, including online. Simply put, a typeface refers to what you see, and a font refers to what you use. A typeface can have many fonts, but a font has a specific set of values, such as weight, style and width.

Comprehensive guides like this one give you an in-depth understanding of what to consider. However, if you want to get a broader range of type, we know some safe, reliable websites that will provide all the inspiration you need. But before you send your files to print, you must embed any font you download first. Embedding a font means all the font information your print files contain is secured and ready to be uploaded. 

 

Here's what you need to know:

Every design program has a different font embedding method. To maintain the colour and clarity of text throughout your print work, do not rasterise any fonts you download, as your letters will lose their sharpness. Alternatively, you can convert all fonts to Outlines or Shapes, making it a vector/shape, but note that once you have converted a font, you cannot edit it further, so remember to save a copy beforehand. You can learn how to embed fonts quickly and easily here on AdobeAffinity and Microsoft. If you're selling your print work and want to use a free font, you must choose a free font for commercial use - but we'll get to that later.

 

Now you have the tools, let's talk about the websites...

 

Google Fonts

Google Fonts makes professional typefaces accessible to everyone for free for personal and commercial use. Also available for products and logo designs, you'll find a broad range of categories, including sizes, styles and icons, making this website a simple and easy-to-use platform. Check out Google's Fonts Knowledge and the FAQ section to learn more about usage.

 

Adobe Fonts

For Creative Cloud subscribers, Adobe Fonts is an intuitive, inspiring tool that boasts a range of free typefaces for personal and commercial use. If you have a Book or Magazine project, for example, this site is a great go-to. 

You can even upload an image of a style you like, and Adobe will scan it to find your perfect match. This website really breaks down the features of type and splits them into 'families' so you can narrow your search. You can also refer to Adobe's licencing support page for further guidance. 

 

TIP: If you don't have text available, you can use placeholder text Lorem Ipsum to give you a visual before you decide whether to apply it to your final design. Alternatively, the sentence 'the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog' is useful as it uses every letter in the alphabet.

 

Font Bundles

For those wanting to let their creative flag fly, Font Bundles is definitely worth a look. While you need to open an account to access the free typefaces, this website also offers paid options at no cost for a limited time. Like Google and Adobe, typefaces are available for personal and commercial use, but please read their license page, which has a straightforward traffic light system to explain what is and isn't allowed.

 

DaFont

DaFont is another well-known website that offers downloadable typefaces for free. Select a theme from the table > Click 'More options' below > Select '100% free' > Fill out the remaining fields > Click 'Submit'. These steps will ensure you only see options for personal and commercial use.

Unlike Adobe and Font Bundles, DaFont regularly updates typefaces, and you don't need an account. And while some typefaces are available for non-commercial use, you should check their 'profile' page for all licensing information before downloading.

 

1001 Free Fonts

Ideal for personal print projects, 1001 Free Fonts showcases a diverse and extensive range of typefaces for your print projects. Each listing explains how you can use the typeface, and previews are available. You can also bring your text to life by entering specific colour codes - this is especially helpful if you're a brand with a colour scheme you need to follow. 

 

1001 Fonts

High-quality and easy to download, the options from 1001 Fonts are great contenders. With over 500 pages of free typefaces and a broad range of categories with names like 'Decade' and 'Attitude', you won't be short of choice! This website is great for personal work, but you only need to click the red price tag icon next to the text preview box on the left-hand side of your screen to view typefaces for commercial purposes.

 

FontSpace

FontSpace 'only provide[s] fonts that are licensed and fully authorised for use' with customisable previews and hundreds of appealing fonts made by real typographic designers. This site is great for those wanting a more modern approach to type, and FontSpace moderates every font before it becomes available on the website. You can view free fonts for commercial use here.

 

For more news and inspiration, check out the array of posts on Mixam's Blog and visit our Support section for helpful guidance and advice on all things print.

 

Image Credit: Unsplash