Do you use Windows supplied fonts? If so, stop right there because you don’t have to. These fonts are – and have always been – pretty basic and uninspiring. They’re supposed to be as they’re designed for general use like writing emails, word processor packages and so on. But if you want something a bit more punchy, sexy, or eyecatching, you’re going to have to do some digging around.
Whether you’re designing a poster, book cover, Instagram banners or photographic captions, the following sites should give you everything you need. The best thing is, they’re all free*
- Note, these sites also contain premium fonts that require payment so make sure you check what you’re downloading.
Click the headings to go to each respective site.
This is my first port of call when I need new fonts – and believe me, I download a lot! It has a simple search function, fonts have keywords so you can be pretty generic like “horror” and “romance.” Often though if it can’t find what you’re looking for, the designer’s name will come up, which isn’t all that helpful.
They have a “hottest fonts of the day” and a “new fonts” list to help you keep on top of trends. Also, a great forum to help you identify fonts you found around the web so you can find out whether they’re safe to use, licensed, or not even available for license.
Font Squirrel has a small number of premium fonts but these tend to be off-site. You can’t download them accidentally, not realising you actually needed to pay for them.
DaFont has some pretty amazing fonts. There are more than at Font Squirrel and it’s usually my second port of call. Not all of them are free. In fact, I’d say there are far fewer free fonts than those requiring payment.
But before you bypass Da Font altogether, these are not expensive. Each font listing has a donation button – even the free ones – above which is a quick explanation about what you need to do. Free for personal use means if you intend to use it in a book cover, you need to donate to the creator. I purchased one font from there and gave the creator $5 for it.
I often spend more time looking at Da Font than at Font Squirrel because of how many choices there are.
I’d be amazed if you couldn’t find what you were looking for at Font Squirrel or Da Font. However, in the unlikely even that you’re still stuck, go to Font Zone. Whether you want something elegant or functional, with a horror theme, something for a romance cover or a bit thriller, there are many to choose from.
The great thing is the top of the page has a list of font groups so if you know the style you want, you can narrow down that search to a simple click.
Again, always check the license. Most are completely free while some are free for personal use and others require a donation to download them at all.
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