We all love a pretty font.
The problem? They’re not all free. And sometimes free means ‘free for personal use’ – so use them all you want for personal party invitations, but if you start to use them on your blog (that sells advertising or promotes your business) you’re heading for murky waters. Use them to sell art (like those pretty typography prints going wild right now) and you’re outright abusing the license.
So what’s a font addict to do? You could either buy some expensive licenses or you can be clever and use free fonts. Here are some of my favourites.
The specifics of the licenses may vary, so be sure to read them. One ‘free for commercial use’ font may allow you to use it in commercial websites, but not in an iPhone application. Or maybe allow it in eBooks and PDFs but not in a physical publication. I love using FontSquirrel to find free commercial fonts because it highlights the font restrictions really simply.
There’s Always Google Fonts
If you’re only using fonts for your blog or site it can be a bit overwhelming to try to check every font license. In that case, use Google Web Fonts. You don’t have to install anything, and there’s over 600 fonts to choose from. Best bit is that every font is licensed to be used online, so you don’t have to worry. (It’s what a lot of professional web developers use!)
If you use Blogger or WordPress.org, try these tutorials to get started with Google Fonts:
For wordpress.com users: you’ll have to check out Typekit. It’s more restrictive than Google Fonts. Get a self-hosted blog for more freedom!
- Typography Guidelines and References (Smashing Magazine)
A massive collection of the best typography resources found on Smashing Magazine. Look through this if you want to learn more about type design, history, and using fonts effectively in design.
- What Type Are You?
Just for fun, take the quiz and see what typeface you are.
- ‘So you need a typeface’ chart
Good for another giggle, follow this chart to find a suitable typeface.
In other news, calligraphy has been filling quiet moments as we settle in after our move. I’m still focusing on Foundational Hand, and slowly gaining confidence. Maybe I’ll be ready to make BBQ invites this season!
Who’s gearing up for Easter?
If you like browsing yummy examples of typography, be sure to follow
my Typography & Calligraphy Pinterest board.