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Flexible graphic artists arm themselves with a toolbox of various different typefaces to solve design problems. But where do designers go to get new fonts legitimately, quickly, and even free? As with other print, marketing, and design challenges, AlphaGraphics Omaha has creative solutions for this, too.
Fonts provide a constant concern for designers: Which typeface matches the tone of our message? What are the company’s brand-supported fonts? How broad should the text be so the sign is readable from the roadside? These are among the many common choices designers must make using fonts. Designers with a variety of font sources on-hand are better equipped for solving many different creative problems.
While graphic designers of old used computer-installed fonts or fonts on disc, the vast majority of professionals today rely on the Web to provide new typefaces. Included below is a list of Web-based font resources, along with pros and cons for each…
1. Google Fonts
Primarily considered a source for fonts for websites, Google Fonts’ resources actually allow for both Web/digital and print use. Google Fonts is one of the largest repositories for legitimate, free fonts on the Web.
- large selection of sturdy, multi-use fonts
- almost every font can be used for both websites and print
- web designers can copy links directly from Google Fonts to the heading of their web pages
- downloading fonts to your computer is not intuitive
- not a good selection of quality script fonts
FontSquirrel.com is a popular destination for those seeking new typefaces. The website’s deft font classification/tag system allows users to target the exact sort of font they are looking for. The layout for FontSquirrel’s website is also easy to use for designers of all experience level.
- great assortment of unique font designs (grunge, pixel, typewriter), some of which can be used for ornamentation in a design piece (dingbat)
- fonts can be used for print and websites
- some fonts must be downloaded off-site
- not all fonts featured there are free
Also a source for both Web and print typefaces, FontSpring is best used to find popular design fonts and typefaces that are used by graphic industry leaders. While nearly every font, weight, and style on FontSpring requires a purchase, some fonts have certain weights that are available for free download.
- significant source of cutting-edge design fonts (including Proxima Nova and Museo Sans)
- intuitive website layout allows for easy searching and purchasing of fonts
- impressive amount of handwriting fonts/fonts that resemble pen-and-ink writing
- many unique symbol/dingbat typefaces offered
- very few free font options available
Also worth mentioning is Adobe’s Typekit website. This powerful tool provides a small but well-considered selection of fonts that range from hard-to-find, quality script fonts to robust fonts specialized for large bodies of text. Adobe Typekit is included with Adobe’s Creative Cloud subscription package. While Typekit is a fantastic resource for those on the Creative Cloud, some fonts on Typekit are only available with certain levels of Creative Cloud subscription.
Key Points to Remember
Great designers only need a few typefaces to get the job done. However, even great designers must source their fonts from somewhere, and not all fonts included on the computer or in the design software will suffice for every project (particularly projects that require wide fonts).
Resources such as Google Fonts, FontSquirrel, and FontSpring provide legitimate, workable, and sometimes even free options that help even the most seasoned designer fit that occasional niche need.
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