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Bookmark this blog: The ultimate guide to font resources

by Martin Stewart on 19-Oct-2016 15:12:00

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Fonts help make up a designer’s arsenal. It can sometimes be hard to find the right font, but fear not, that's why we have compiled this large font resource for you, showcasing libraries, foundries and a whole range of other things you will find useful.

We’ve done the leg work so you don’t have to.Without further ado, here's all the font resources you will ever need:

FREE font resources

Like anything that’s free, you sometimes doubt the quality and fonts are no different. A lot of them are great, but the ones from the darker corners of the internet are perhaps not the best; as they only come with one weight, no alternatives or the kerning hasn’t been considered. That’s why with all free fonts comes great responsibility. Use them wisely or look for more reputable sources…

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Font Squirrel

Whilst looking for free fonts I’m sure you’ve realised that they’re for personal use only. This is what makes Font Squirrel such an amazing resource...Their focus is on fonts that have a commercial use license; meaning they’ve done half the work for you! The fonts are sorted by type (Serif, sans, slab etc.) They also have a web font generator should you need to use them for a web project.

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Google Fonts

Google Fonts is a brilliant place to find fonts for both print and web design alike. All the fonts are open-source meaning you can customise, share and publish them; using them on any commercial project freely. For the web designers, using their library of over 800 font families couldn’t be easier with their easy to use API. You can browse by category, popularity and even compare fonts to help you find the perfect font for your project.

 

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Typecast (web)

Typecast doesn’t really take much explaining. Sign up for FREE and gain access to thousands of fonts, for FREE. “Typecast works just like the web, with an infinite canvas. Design a working prototype using our simple visual controls then export production-ready HTML & CSS or share by URL”.

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Behance

Everyone knows that Behance is where you go to upload your work, showcasing it amongst their ever growing community. Something that a lot of people overlook is the thousands of free fonts posted by fellow creatives. There's a large collection of commercial fonts available. 


Font foundries, type designers and font retailers

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Fontsmith

"Fontsmith is a leading boutique type foundry with a complete font design and production service. Founded in 1997 by Jason Smith and known for creating fonts with a distinctively human character."

Fontsmith have developed a new way of buying font licenses too, allowing you to buy Studio, SME, Digital and Brandfont® licenses. So you can pay for the license more tailored to your project. As well as creating fonts for some large clients such as BBC, Channel 4 and Nike, Fontsmith are responsible for fonts such as FS Albert and FS Pimlico.


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Lost Type Co.

Lost Type is a collaborative digital type foundry and is the first to offer a pay-what-you-want structure for their fonts, meaning that they can offer fonts to those who need them for a low price.

Just keep in mind how much time went into these fonts. Lost Type have an ever growing list of contributors, now sporting over 50 type designers. Lost Type fonts have been used across the globe, working for Nike, Starbucks and even the President of the United States. Responsible for fonts such as Tofino, Klinic Slab and Fairview.

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FontFont

FontFont was created by Erik Spiekermann and Neville Brody back in 1990 as a type foundry by designers for designers. "We want to offer the broadest possible range of typefaces that are technically robust, ground-breaking and of the highest quality." Their library is now home to over 2800 'FontFonts', such as FF Meta, FF DIN, and FF Dax.

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Fontshop

Fontshop act as a reseller for Fontfont but also to a host over 120 other foundries. "FontShop Germany organises the annual European design conferences TYPO Berlin since 1995 and since 2011 TYPO London. Since 2012, FontShop USA organises an annual TYPO conference in San Francisco."

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My Fonts

Another of the largest resellers, offering the largest font library with fonts from over 1100 foundries. MyFonts offers a new-way to search for fonts, using any descriptive word such as poster or invitation, searching by font name, designer or foundry. My fonts also has its very popular WhatTheFont! feature on their website, which allows users to search for a font by uploading an image and specifying characters.

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HypeForType

HypeForType was founded by designer and art director, Alex Haigh, from AKQA fame. Alex would often work on "typographic side projects" which later blossomed into HypeForType. Now featuring work from over 300 type foundries from 58 different countries HypeForType "offer iconic, hand-crafted typefaces that can take a piece of work from good to, well quite frankly, great." Offering foundry fonts such as F37 Bella and Adria Slab.


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exljbris (Jos Buivenga)

Jos Buivenga first started designing typefaces back in 1994 and started his one-man exljbris font foundry in 2004 which allowed users to download fonts for no cost. His first commercial font extended font family, Museo, (offering the more common weights for free) took off, he soon gained the recognition he deserved and released Museo Sans, which proved more popular than its predecessor. Although he is most known for his Museo font family, he is also accredited to creating fonts such as Anivers and Fontin.


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The Northern Block

The Northern Block foundry was founded in 2006 by Jonathan Hill. Their aim is to design original typefaces that will appeal to the masses. Some good fonts to check out would be Kylo Sans and also Regan Alt, both of which are available in multiple weights. Overall some really nice clean, geometric fonts on offer that aren't to be scoffed at. 

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Frere-Jones Type

Tobias Frere-Jones created Frere Jones Type after the parting from Jonathon Hoefler over a legal dispute. With over 25 years of experience, it's clear as to why he's one of the world's leading type designers. Creating fonts such as Interstate, Poynter Oldstyle, Whitney, Gotham, Surveyor, Tungsten and Retina, to name a few. A very established foundry to say the least.

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Hoefler&Co

Hoefler&Co, an established type foundry in New York ran by Jonathon Hoefler. "The company has been know for developing comprehensive fonts with a wide range of styles: the Gotham typeface which was developed for GQ has 74 styles, and its Surveyor family has 100. Past clients include Nike, Visa, Penguin, Sony, The New York Times and The Guardian, clearly a client-base to boast about

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Dalton Maag

The Dalton Maag studio worked for 8 months on the Rio 2016 Olympics brand font, which comprised of the 5448 characters needed to cover the vast amount of languages. Other clients included Nokia, Intel, HP, BMW, Samsung, Toyota, Puma, Burberry, and McDonalds. A type foundry that should really be considered.

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Creative Market

As the name suggests it's a marketplace for community-created creative assets, which includes fonts too. If you're looking for hand drawn, brush script, or calligraphy fonts then Creative Market is a go-to source.


Font identification

WhatTheFont!

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WhatTheFont! allows you to upload an image, it then recognises type within the image. Once you have finished marking off each letter, the intuitive site will then tell you what the font, with surprisingly accurate results.

Font Matcherator

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Font Matcherator is Font Squirrel’s identification tool and works a lot like WhatTheFont. It does however have a somewhat limited font library it picks from.

Identifont

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Indentifont will ask you questions about the font you want to know. The more questions you answer, the fewer the results you get until you’re hopefully left with the font you need.

 

Type Sample (web)

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Type Sample is an amazing Chrome plugin/ bookmarklet, identifying fonts by clicking on them; showing you details such as size and the type foundry that created the sampled font. What sets it apart from other silmilar plugins is that it allows you to live preview text in that font and then save out a sample image for reference later on. Definitely a must in your designer toolkit.

 

 


Font management

For those of you that use a lot of fonts it would be a good idea to get a font management program. There are both free and paid options.

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Font Base (Windows – Free)

Font Base is probably the nicest looking of the Windows font managers, sporting an aesthetically pleasing interface, allowing you to easily style, preview and compare your fonts.

NexusFont (Windows – Free)

NexusFont is simple freeware that gives you the option to activate, sort and search your collection.

AMP Font Viewer (Windows – Free)

AMP Font Viewer allows you to temporarily activate fonts whilst a program is open and then it will automatically deactivate them again when the program closes.

Fontyou (Mac – Free)

Fontyou doesn’t work like a conventional font manager, it’s a cloud based manager. Upload all of your fonts to the cloud and then sort and organise them all through your their app or through your browser.

RightFont (Mac - $49.95)

RightFont has a great set of tools that allows it to integrate with your other programs and sync your collection across different devices.

Suitcase Fusion (Windows/Mac - $119.95)

Suitcase Fusion allows you to easily sync with the cloud, meaning you always have a backup of your fonts between devices. With easy integration with design applications, Suitcase Fusion is definitely not a font manager to look over.

FontExplorer X Pro (Windows/Mac - $99.00)

FontExplorer X Pro is another professional font package that will cater for both individuals and businesses alike. It can also connect to FontExplorer X Server, providing a shared font collection between a whole team. Meaning that it’s a great choice for larger teams to avoid those conflicts in versions of fonts.


Font inspiration

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Fonts in Use

Fonts in Use is a gallery of collated gallery of… do I really need to say it? A very extensive collection indeed where you can browse by industry format or search for an individual typeface. The site is also good for seeing examples of other fonts that have been paired with each other.

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Typewolf

Typewolf has a gallery that showcases visually interesting font combinations on the web. Not only this, but it also has a great blog, useful guides and it’s own font resources list. Definitely worth checking out.

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Type Worship

Type Worship is the official blog of 8 Faces magazine. Featuring inspirational typography, beautiful lettering, reviews, interviews with leading designers. Curated by Jamie Clarke with Elliot Jay Stocks.

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Just My Type

Just My Type is a collection of font pairings from Typekit and Hoefler & Co. There are three categories; H&C (formally h&FJ) pairings, Typekit pairings and Typekit twins (fonts with both a serif and sans serif version that work well together).

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Fontshop Blog

The Fontshop blog has lots of informative blog posts when it comes to fonts and how to use them. Well worth a read.

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Incredible Types

Incredible Types has an amazing showcase of typography and design from designers all over the globe, with a focus on print design.


Hopefully you now have everything you need to create and organise your font arsenal for your designs. If you find any good font resources that aren’t featured on this page, tweet us at @_Katapult so we can check them out and add them to our list.

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This post was written by Martin Stewart

Martin has a keen eye for typography, experienced in artworking and developing creative layouts for various communications materials.

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