TIP: Right font, right time

Here’s a meme that greatly illustrates this idea:

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Pick your fonts wisely!

Where to find fonts online

As a note ALWAYS be careful with downloading fonts from the internet. Also, if you are going to use a font for commercial use, always check the author’s TOU.

This is not an exhaustive list of places to find fonts. Doing a search in your favourite search engine for “free fonts” or “paid fonts” will offer more choices. Below are just some of the places where fonts are available.

FREE FONTS

dafont (dafont.com) – dafont has over 10,000 fonts on their site, sorted into a number of subcategories.

fontspace (fontspace.com) – fontspace has over 32,000 fonts contributed by over 2,000 designers.

font squirrel (fontsquirrel.com) – in addition to a number of great fonts, font squirrel also has a “font identifier” section, which requires only a graphic with the font in question.

LIMITED TIME FREE FONTS

Font Bundles (fontbundles.net)- sign up to receive information about a free font every week. Additionally, they offer discounts on paid fonts. Often they bundle fonts together into a collection and offer an additional discount (such as 96% off).

Creative Market (creativemarket.com)- sign up to receive information about free items. Creative Market not only offers fonts, but also handcrafted/digital graphics, brushes, and photos. They also offer discounts on font bundles.
The Hungry jpeg (thehungryjpeg.com) – sign up to receive information about a free font every week. Additionally they offer graphics, photos, and other items for anyone in the creative market.

PAID FONTS

In addition to Font Bundles, Creative Market, and The Hungry JPEG, the following sites offer paid fonts:

Font Spring (fontspring.com) – While their focus is making font licensing easier, they have a large collection of over 10,000 fonts. They have a number of “classic” fonts, but a number of beautiful scripts used in marketing pieces seen both online and in print. They created the font identification program used by Font Squirrel, but have their own version “The Matcherator” on their site.

Linotype (linotype.com) – Linotype has been around for seemingly forever. They are the classic site for clean and easy-to-read fonts.

Fonts: TTF or OTF?

Which version of a font is best to download?
It depends!

TTF stands for True Type Fonts.
This format was created in the 1980s by Apple and Microsoft.

OTF stands for Open Type Fonts.
This format was created in the 1990s by Adobe and Microsoft.

OTF fonts sometimes have additional characters not available with TTF fonts.

Some of these characters include ligatures (two or more connected letters), swashes (fancy swirls on letters), alternative characters, and more.

If you believe you will access the extra characters, download the OTF version of the font, if it is offered.

However – not all designers add extra characters and you may need Adobe Illustrator or Adobe Photoshop to access the extra characters.

Font Families

What is a font family?

A font family is different weights of the same font.

Examples of this might include light, italic, bold, condensed, regular, and extra-bold versions.

In this layout, the font Helvetica was used, but different weights of that font provide interest to the page. (kit credits: Spring Hope by Wisteria Moments)

The fonts used were Helvetica Bold, Helvetica Regular, and Helvetica Italic.

wm_springhope_lo4_fontexample

Fonts: Decorative Fonts

What is a Decorative font?
This is the “catch all” phrase for fonts that don’t fit into the previous categories.
This category includes graffiti, ornamental, and grunge fonts.
As decorative fonts can be difficult to read, it’s recommended they be used for titles and word art and not for body text.
Some decorative fonts are Rosewood, Cold Coffee, and dingbats.

decorative_fonts

Fonts: Script Fonts

What is a Script font?
As the name implies, script fonts mimic cursive, handwriting, or calligraphy.
Often wedding and birth announcements use script fonts.
As scripts fonts can be difficult to read, it’s recommended they be used for titles or word art and not for body text.
Some script fonts are Zaphino, Pacifico, and Scriptina.

script-fonts

Fonts: Sans Serifs

What is a Sans serif font?
A sans serif font is a font without the decorative elements on the letters.
In general, they are considered “cleaner” fonts.
A number of printed materials use sans serif fonts for headlines and captions.
Some sans serif fonts are Helvetica, Optima, and Futura.

sans-serif