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Fonts are essential for creating web designs and graphic designs. There are several websites that give you access to to free and premium fonts. However, not all are the same, and choosing a font may not be that straightforward as it seems.
Because font licensing can be quite confusing for a normal user.
Some fonts are free to use on desktop computers but may not be available for use on websites or embedding in applications. Always check the allowed uses in the license agreement, whether it is a desktop font or a web font.
So in this post, I am not going to list all the available font websites. Instead, I have listed only the ones that have tried to bring some clarity on the licenses of the fonts that it sells.
You might also want to check:
1. Google Fonts
Currently, Google Fonts has a collection of over 1300 families. Not just fonts, you can also find icons on the same website.
Google Fonts is one of the best places to find free fonts for websites. All the fonts available on this site are free and open-source. You can use them for commercial projects.
Roboto, Open Sans, Noto Sans, Merriweather, etc are some of the most popular fonts available on Google fonts.
- See also: 12 Best Google Font Combinations
The site has such a great user interface that you will not find any difficulty in finding the desired font. You can search by categories such as serif, sans serif, script, language type, and font properties. There is also a text box where you can enter your custom text to see how the font looks. You can even adjust the font size for testing.
Google Fonts allows downloading the entire font families in a zip folder. That’s great if you want to host the font files locally.
But in addition to that, Google Fonts also provides a CDN, which takes care of the web font delivery. It makes sure the visitors receive the most appropriate font format, such as WOFF, WOFF2, etc. You get the link to a CSS file that you can embed into the head section of your site’s HTML.
2. Adobe Fonts
Adobe Fonts is a great place to find premium and high-quality typefaces designed by well-known type foundries around the world.
Their collection has over 20,000 fonts from around 2600+ families. All these fonts are available as part of the Adobe Creative Cloud subscription.
There are several plans available, starting from $9.9/mo for the Photography Plan that gives access to Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. It allows you to integrate any of the fonts with the Creative Cloud Desktop Application or to your websites.
If you want to add a font to your website, you have to create a project for that website. Then add the desired fonts to that project. Then you will get the link to a CSS file that you can insert into your website HTML code.
All the font files are served via typekit.net, which is Adobe’s font CDN. Unlike Google Fonts, there isn’t a direct way to download any of the font files. So if you want to self-host a web font, then you may have to get the font directly from the foundry.
Unlike some other premium font providers, there aren’t any page view limits. You can use the fonts on any number of websites, personal or commercial.
For desktop use, you can just activate any font from Adobe’s website and it will instantly get synced with your desktop application. No need to download any file or manually install anything.
The user interface is also great. You can filter the font by properties, classification, and language. You can also filter the fonts based on tags such as clean, calligraphic, modern, rounded, geometric, etc.
3. Font Squirrel
Font Squirrel is another great place where you can find thousands of free fonts for commercial use.
Alongside each font family, you can find four icons indicating the types of usage that specific font allows. Whether you can use it for commercial desktop use, embed it on websites, use it on PDF documents, and use it on mobile applications,
Some fonts allow all four use cases while some allow only one or two. For example, you can use certain fonts on your websites but you cannot use them on mobile applications or ebooks.
Since all the fonts are free, you can find many Google Fonts on Font Squirrel as well. For most of the font families, you can directly download the files from fontsquirrel.com itself. But for certain families that don’t allow redistribution, you may have to visit the original website to get the font files.
The font files are available in OTF for TTF formats that you can download to your computer or upload to your website.
Although free, not all font families are open-source. So it’s wise to check the original font license to get a better understanding of what’s allowed and not allowed.
Font Squirrel also has a sister website called Fontspring from where you can purchase font licenses.
Fontspring has a collection of over 18000 fonts. The majority of these fonts are premium. However, there are almost a thousand of them that are available for free.
Fontspring’s highlight is its worry-free licensing.
It checks the end-user license agreement of each font family and makes sure that they don’t include any unusual usage restrictions. This gives peace of mind for the user when they use the font families on commercial projects.
There are mainly five types of licenses: desktop, web font, application, digital advertisements, and ebooks. Fontspring makes sure that none of these licenses contain any tricky clause.
Being a sister website of Font Squirrel, the user interface looks very much similar albeit a bit more modern. You can sort the list of fonts based on price, alphabetical order, popularity, and recentness.
As I am writing this post, Proxima Nova, Adobe, Gibson, and Sofia Pro are some of the most popular fonts available on Fontspring.
There is also a font generator that allows you to download your purchased fonts in a kit and then install it on your website.
Their FAQ page does mention pageview limitations, usually starting at around half a million page views per month. However, they do not track the page views on your website. Instead, they expect you to respect the limits and play fairly. If you find that you are exceeding the limits, then you should contact them and ask for an upgraded license.
Dafont is a great place for finding free fonts. The site has a collection of over 60,000 fonts.
However, it may not be a great place for finding web fonts or fonts for commercial purposes. because most of the fonts are free for personal use only.
Many of the Dafont contributors sell the full premium versions of the fonts on other sites like myfonts.com, Adobe Fonts, or on their websites. You can find the links to the respective sites from the contributor’s profile.
Some fonts are also sold as donationware. You can donate to the contributor using your PayPal account.
The licenses mentioned on Dafont are just indications of whether they are free or not. So you have to check the respective owner’s website for more information.
It’s also worth mentioning that you can find a variety of font styles such as calligraphy, dingbats, fancy, etc. However, the website’s user interface is a bit outdated.
I hope this post helped you to meet some of the best font websites out there. There are a lot more, like:
- Fonts Arena
- Font Library
Out of these, MyFonts is probably the most popular with a collection of over 130k fonts. Most foundries sell their fonts with more than one distributor.