Web Fonts Cheat Sheet: Free Google Fonts Alternatives to Futura and the Like
We know that trying to find the perfect web font for your website can get quite challenging. Especially when you’re tight on budget and buying commonly used typefaces like Proxima Nova or Futura is not an option. Luckily, there are decent free typefaces that actually match up pretty nicely.
Google Fonts — A Perfect Replacement for Futura and Other Commercial Fonts
Google fonts is a catalog of free-to-use typefaces that anyone can add to their site. It places typography ‘front and center.’ The collection has been carefully curated by designers, open-source community, and engineers. It’s available for exploring in over 135 languages.
Among the Google fonts, you can find a free alternative to almost every premium typeface, such as Futura font or similar. The fonts available in the catalog also increase web page speed. This is achieved thanks to cross-site caching. Just load a font once and it will be accessible to any website that uses Google fonts.
To help you save loads of time, we’ve put together a quick guide to popular premium fonts and their best Google font substitutes. Enjoy!
10 Best Google Font Alternatives for Popular Fonts
Here’s a full list of the web fonts we explored:
- Helvetica → Open Sans
- Frutiger → Hind
- Futura → Nunito
- Baskerville → Libre Baskerville
- Proxima Nova → Montserrat
- Adobe Caslon → Lusitana
- Neo Sans → Armata
- FF Meta Web Pro → Source Sans Pro
- FF DIN → Roboto
- Poster Bodoni → Abril Fatface
Open Sans as a Free Alternative to Helvetica Font
Helvetica is a Sans Serif font, with a quite old history dating back to the year 1961, available for up to 80 languages. Open Sans is a free font alternative from Google that you can use instead of Helvetica. It was designed by Steve Matteson and contains about 900 characters, including Cyrillic and Greek.
Another option you might consider as a replacement for Helvetica is Bebas Neue Google font. It was designed by Ryoichi Tsunekawa and is the best fit for captions and headlines.
Hind as an Open-Source Substitute for Frutiger
Frutiger is a Sans Serif typeface designed by Adrian Frutiger in 1968. Originally intended for airport signage, it’s now widely used in booklets and magazines. Hind is a free alternative font from Google similar to Frutiger. This free typeface created by Manushi Parikh supports Latin and Devanagari scripts.
Nunito — a Google Font Close to Futura
Designed by Paul Renner, Futura has an ancient form and is the full-fledged prototype of the 20th century Geometric Sans Serif. Nunito is a Google font similar to Futura. It’s a Sans Serif typeface available in 2 versions.
Libre Baskerville as a Free Replacement for Baskerville
Monotype Baskerville was designed by John Baskerville. It includes 12 styles along with package family options. Libre Baskerville is a Google font similar to Baskerville. It’s a web font intended for use in body text.
Proxima Nova and Its Alternative Google Font Montserrat
Proxima Nova is a premium typeface created by Mark Simonson in 2005. It is supposed to bring closer together such fonts as Akzidenz Grotesk and Futura. One of the Proxima Nova alternative Google fonts is Montserrat. Julieta Ulanovsky designed this family to ‘rescue the beauty of urban typography that emerged in the first half of the twentieth century.’
Lusitana — a Google Font Similar to Adobe Caslon
Adobe Caslon was designed by Carol Twombly in 1990 based on the legacy of William Caslon. It can be applied to text from 6 pt to 15-point. For larger font sizes from 18 point or higher, Big Caslon font is used. It was created by Matthew Carter in 1994.
If you are looking for free fonts like Gaslon, Lusitana is probably the best option. Designed by Ana Paula Megda, this typeface is best suited for long texts in small print.
Armata to Replace Neo Sans for Free
Neo Sans is the brainchild of Sebastian Lester, a designer from Britain. It’s a universal, futuristic typeface. Neo Sans has a corresponding Google font — Armata. Designed by Viktoriya Grabowska, Armata is a Sans Serif typeface that can be found in texts of almost all sizes.
Free Source Sans Pro Instead of FF Meta Web Pro
The FF Meta is a Sans Serif typeface created by Erik Spiekermann. It’s normally used in signage and a wide range of product labeling. If you need a free font alternative from Google that’s similar to FF Meta, consider Source Sans Pro. This Sans Serif typeface designed by Paul D. Hunt is a great choice for user interfaces.
Roboto as an Alternative Google Font for FF DIN
FF DIN is a best-selling typeface created by Dutch type designer Albert-Jan Pool, and includes almost 60 styles. Roboto is a Google alternative that can replace the DIN font. Designed by Christian Robertson, Roboto has mostly geometric forms.
Premium Poster Bodoni VS Free Abril Fatface
Poster Bodoni is the creation of Chauncey Griffith. This typeface has traits of the fonts used in ads from the beginning to the 50’s of the past century. The free Google font Abril Fatface can adequately replace Poster Bodoni. It includes 18 styles for a variety of use cases.
We hope this quick reference helps save you hours of searching, comparing, and struggling. If you have any font suggestions or comments, we’re all ears! We love hearing from you!
Last updated: September 10, 2020