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Web Fonts Cheat Sheet: Free Google Fonts Alternatives to Futura and the Like

web font alternatives

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

font alternatives

Here’s a full list of the web fonts we explored:

  1. HelveticaOpen Sans
  2. FrutigerHind
  3. FuturaNunito
  4. BaskervilleLibre Baskerville
  5. Proxima NovaMontserrat
  6. Adobe CaslonLusitana
  7. Neo SansArmata
  8. FF Meta Web ProSource Sans Pro
  9. FF DINRoboto
  10. Poster BodoniAbril 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 alternative for Helvetica, designed by Steve Matteson, that contains about 900 characters, including Cyrillic and Greek.

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 Google font 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 one among the Google fonts collection that closely resembles the premium typeface. 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. You can replace Proxima Nova with a similar Google font — 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. It can be used for text from 6 pt to 15-point. 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 Google font 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 font similar to DIN. 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!

Happy designing!

Last updated: September 10, 2020

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