Every now and then, we look around, select fresh free high-quality fonts and present them to you in a brief overview. The choice is enormous, so the time you need to find them is usually time you should be investing in your projects. We search for them and find them so that you don’t have to.
In this selection, we’re pleased to present Homestead, Bree Serif, Levanderia, Valencia, Nomed Font, Carton and other quality fonts. Please note that while most fonts are available for commercial projects, some are for personal use only and are clearly marked as such in their descriptions. Also, please read the licensing agreements carefully before using the fonts; they may change from time to time.
Homestead is a very distinctive Slab Serif typeface that leaves a lasting impression with its geometric forms and a modern, progressive look. The family is available in 6 weights: Regular, Inline Display, One, Two and Three. Released by the Lost Type foundry with the “name-your-price” pricing scheme. Homestead can be used freely for any personal or commercial use.
Bree Serif Regular
This typeface is the serif cousin of the playful, charming and versatile type family Bree which was designed by Veronika Burian and José Scaglione back in 2008. Actually, Bree is also the typeface used in the Smashing Cartoons. An italic font weight of Bree Serif should be available very soon. Released under the liberal OFL license (via Typografie.info).
Lavanderia is a script font based on lettering found on Laundromat windows of San Francisco’s Mission District. It features numerous OpenType features such as swashes, titling alternates, figures, stylistic alternates, ligatures. It is available in three weights, with Uppercase, Lowercase, Numerals and Punctuation sets. Designed by the talented type designer James T. Edmondson and released by the Lost Type Co-Op foundry. Free for personal and commercial use.
This new gothic sans serif font was inspired by the late 19th century industrial fonts that contained german roots regarding straightness and geometry. Combined with other sans serifs, slab serifs and serif fonts, it catches the eye when used in headlines and short copy texts. Alternate versions turn the font into a perfect partner for modern, technical and contemporary impressions as well as high-quality, luxury and timeless environments. Free to use in commercial and non-commercial projects. Designed by Rene Bieder.
Cassannet is a geometrical art deco typeface available in Regular, Bold and Outline weights, based on lettering seen on Cassandre posters. This typeface contains ligatures, capitals, numbers, small capitals and also titling alternates. You can pay a random amount of money or alternatively send out a tweet or a Facebook post to download the fonts for free.
Valencia is a condensed, art-deco inspired typeface that includes five weights, ranging from hairline to black, with matching obliques for each weight. The typeface has a nice corporate vintage look which makes it a great fit for large headlines and prints as well as any collateral or stationery. Valencia’s distinctive appearance stems from its low horizontal crossbars and its full-circle curves. Released by the Lost-Type Co-Op foundry with the “name-your-price” pricing scheme and hence freely available for personal and commercial use.
Jura is an elegant serif typeface with narrow proportions and distinguishing details. The rounded, wedge-shaped serifs offer a contemporary feel and also achieve to maintain legibility even with its range of small sizes. This typeface is available in four weights: Regular, Italic, Bold and Bold Italic and is available for free download and use.
Nomed Font is a free typeface that can help you achieve a modern and sophisticated look in your designs. The triangular geometric shapes may be a bit hard to read but that’s exactly the highlight of this particular style, and it makes the typography unique and original.
This typeface, designed by Nick McCosker, is a strong yet sensitive slab-serif inspired by letterpress. Its sturdy appearance makes it a perfect fit for posters, headings and taglines, in both classic and contemporary contexts. Released by the Lost Type Co-Op under the “name-your-price” pricing scheme.
Novecento (Registration on MyFonts is required!)
This typeface is an uppercase-only font family with some pretty impressive geometric forms that have been inspired by historical European typographic tendencies. It was designed to be used mostly for headlines, visual identities or short sentences — both in big and small sizes. The family contains 471 glyphs and 32 font weights whereas six of the font weights of the wide-version (Light, Book, Normal, Medium, Demibold and Bold) are available for free download and use.
Fjord is serif typeface that has specifically been designed for book publications. It is intended to be used in long texts and in relatively small print size. Fjord features sturdy construction, prominent serifs, low-contrast modulation and long elegant ascenders as well as descenders relative to the ‘x’ height. Fjord performs well in sizes starting from 12px and higher; nevertheless, it can also be a distinctive font choice for larger text headlines and in corporate design. This serif typeface include Cyrillic and Greek characters and is available at Google Web Fonts. It has been released under the SIL Open Font License, 1.1. Feel free to take a look at the designer’s free font Armata as well.
Hero is a crisp geometrical typeface applicable for any type of use: print, Web, logos, posters, booklets. This typeface contains 162 characters and is free for personal and commercial use. Available in the OpenType format for PC and Mac.
Here’s a quite confident typeface to use for expensive and fashionable designs. Strong steams and thin serifs shows similarities to the well-known traditional Didot typeface. This typeface is free for personal and commercial use.
This typeface is a geometric display face which includes OpenType features for an alternate alphabet. The family contains sets for Uppercase, Numerals and Punctuation. Released by the Lost Type Co-Op under the “name-your-price” pricing scheme and designed by Dan Gneiding. If you decide to buy the font for $30 or more, you will get a beautiful Ribbon Specimen Book as well.
Movavi is a sans serif font that is available only in the font weights Black and Black Italic. Obviously, the typeface wouldn’t work for body copy, but it might work nicely in short headings or “groovy” art works. Available for free download and use on PC and Mac.
Satellite is a geometric sans serif font designed by Matt Yow. The typeface can be a great fit for short headlines, short body copy or slogans. Released under the SIL Open Font License.
Open Sans is a very clean font family by Ascender Fonts. It includes ten styles (Light, Regular, Italic, Semibold, Bold, Bold Italic, Extrabold) and each one consists of more than 900 glyphs: Latin, Greek, Cyrillic, many of the regular diacrytic letters as well as “hanging” numbers. Also available at Google Web Fonts and released under the Apache License version 2.
The glyphs of this expressive typeface are built out of leaves of different sizes. Mosaic Leaf also contains numbers, punctuation and currency symbols. The .zip-package contains PDF, OTF and TTF files; the fonts support Western and Central European encoding, and also Baltic, Nordic and Turkish. The typeface is free to use in commercial and non-commercial projects. Designed and prepared by Lukasz Kulakowski and Zbyszek Czapnik.
Amaranth is a sans serif font family of four basic styles (regular, italic, bold, bold italic) with individually shaped letter forms that makes typeface more playful. Suitable for both Web and print, longer texts and headings. Available at Google Web Fonts and licensed under the SIT OpenType License. Image credit and source: dersven.
A pictogram open source font made as a part of Siruca signage system designed by Fabrizio Schiavi. The font contains many picograms related to sport, signage, home, social meetings, free time activities and business.
For the first time in the entire history of Unicode standard, the full encoding range for dingbats is now covered by a complete, contemporary quality font. FF Dingbats 2.0 features more than 800 glyphs and is mainly a tool for professional designers and has been created for everyday communication purposes. It includes a wide range of popular symbols and pictograms such as arrows, pens, phones, stars, crosses and checkmarks, plus three sets of cameo figures on round backgrounds. Free of charge. (via fontblog)
Further Free Fonts
SD Sansimillia is a playful, yet elegant typeface suitable for many different applications. Originally cut for a local advertising brand, SD Sansimillia is inspired by the Antenna Family built by Cyrus Highsmith in 2007 as well as Erik Spiekermann’s FF Din Family cut in 1994. It is issued in regular, bold and black weights.
Mimic Roman is a modern sans serif face with evenly balanced strokes and a counter on a slight angle, giving it a 1950s retro look.
Roboto Family is a linear sans serif font, available in 8 different styles of which each includes more than 900 glyphs — Greek and Cyrillic, too. This font was designed by Google for Andorid and is licensed under the Google Android License.
An elegant serif font designed by Eduardo Tunni. This typeface was primarily designed to be used in longer body copies in printed material. It is simple in structure and has sharp as well as generous counter-shapes which create a medium texture that calls for page color. It can also be used as display typography and is available at Google Web Fonts.
It is time for your favorite font to stand its ground. The idea is to build robots out of a type face, showcase them and hope others put together a potential opponent. Once there are two font-bots ready to compete against each other, only thing left would be to “let the battle begin!” Participating is not hard, the rules are clear: all robots must be built of type alone (letters A to Z). Let’s see if your font has what it takes to defend its corner. Fight!
- Lost Type Co-Op
The Lost Type Co-Op is a Pay-What-You-Want Type foundry. Users have the opportunity to pay whatever they like for a font; you can type in ‘$0′ for a free download. 100% of all funds from these sales go directly to the designers of the fonts themselves, respectively.
- The League of Moveable Type
The open-source type movement for bringing high-quality tyepfaces to the Web. The creators of the project keep releasing quality fonts every now and then so be sure to stay tuned!
- Google Web Fonts
A growing directory of hundreds of free, open-source fonts optimized for the Web. Google also provides ready-to-use snippets for integrating the fonts to your website.
- Typography and Free Fonts on Smashing Magazine
An overview of typography-related articles and free font round-ups on Smashing Magazine.
We sincerely appreciate the time and effort of all type designers featured in this post. Please keep in mind that type design is a time-consuming craft which truly deserves reward and support. Please consider supporting type designers who create and release amazing typefaces for all of us to use.
© Smashing Editorial Team for Smashing Magazine, 2012.