Free Fonts and Fonts Showcases

Every web project I work on includes choosing fonts. Choosing fonts is not an easy process to begin with. There are so many fonts available free. One thing to take into consideration when using a “free” font is that it may not be free for commercial use. Therefore, it will make a big difference if the website is for a client/product for sale or a personal website. We will walk you through using some of our favorite websites to help you find free fonts. We will also show you a website that is geared toward helping people like you choose free fonts for commercial use. Each of these sites also contains an awesome font showcase that allows you to view every letter and character a font contains.

The first free font website we will take a look at is called 1001 Free Fonts. Some of the links and search bars on this site will take you to sites where you have to pay for fonts. So watch where you are clicking!

When you arrive at the homepage, you will see something similar to this:

1001 Free fonts has thousands of free fonts available for download on both the PC and Mac platforms. To access the free fonts, you will need to use the box toward the top that is titled “Alphabetically Organized Free Fonts : A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z #.” 1001 Free fonts. From that box you may select a letter of the alphabet or any one of their many categories. In the screen shot below I chose the Sci-Fi category from their list and came up with this:

Let us say that I love the 5th Agent font and want to preview it. I can click on the magnifying glass that is titled “custom preview” and be taken to a screen that looks like this:

Feel free to type in whatever text you want to preview. Give the website a few seconds and it will update the font preview with the text of your choosing. You can see that I used my name.

If this is the font that you want to download all you need to do is click on the Mac or Windows icons on either side of the preview window. I choose the Windows version and downloaded this archive:

You will find various versions of the font and a text document with licensing information. When we open up the text file, we will see the following details:

5th Agent Truetype Font for Windows

2008 Iconian Fonts – Daniel Zadorozny

This font comes with the following 3 versions: Regular, Italic and Leftalic.

This font may be freely distributed and is free for all non-commercial uses.  Use of the fonts are at your own risk. This font is e-mailware; that is, if you like it, please e-mail the author at:

iconian AT aol dot com

So as you can see this font is strictly free for personal and non-commercial use. So be aware of what you are downloading.

The next site we will visit is called Urban Fonts Urban Fonts offers up more than 8,000 free fonts and free dingbats (Characters other then letters/numbers/punctuation). When you arrive at the Urban Fonts website you will see something similar to this:

The search bar at the top right hand corner of the website actually works. It will search through all of their free fonts. You can select fonts alphabetically or via categories just like 1001 fonts. I clicked on the category titled scary and returned these results:

The category returned 11 pages of 12 different fonts. For you math majors, that is 132 different scary fonts. This is not too shabby for all your upcoming Halloween projects! If you run your mouse over one of the fonts, you will see all of its character like this:

The downloads appear only to be TTF files and I could not find any licensing information in the downloaded file. By clicking on the font you will see a detailed breakdown of all included characters and the ability to view custom text in a variety of font sizes.

Last but certainly not least, we will show you our favorite free font and font showcase website. It is called Font Squirrel and lists “only the best commercial – use free fonts.” That means any font you find on here will be able to be used in any commercial project. Font Squirrel goes on to describe their service as follows:

Free fonts have met their match. We know how hard it is to find quality freeware that is licensed for commercial work. We’ve done the hard work, hand-selecting these typefaces and presenting them in an easy-to-use format.

When we arrive at the Font Squirrel website, we will see a homepage similar to this:

Font Squirrel is set up in a WordPress blog style. You can filter formats on the right hand side. This way you can select only TrueType or OpenType fonts. The styles are listed under that and can be clicked on. The main windows holds some of the author’s favorite free commercial fonts. I actually found a font I really like for an upcoming client’s project. It is called Sansation. It is available in OFF and TFF. You can see it here:

By clicking on the font, you are given a plethora of information including the license, what weights are available, samples, specimens, test drives, character maps, and more. You can see how many times the font has been downloaded, when it was uploaded and who create it.

If you are working on a commercial project, you will find some quality free fonts at Font Squirrel. If you are looking for fonts for a personal project you have a bunch more resources. Between the three sites we showed you above, you should be able to track down a font for any project! Do you have additional font and font showcase resources? If so, we would love to hear about them in the comments!

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