“Copy, art, and typography should be seen as a living entity; each element integrally related, in harmony with the whole, and essential to the execution of an idea.” – Paul Rand
2013 was a great year for typography. Designers have experimented more and more with typography, truly integrating it in their design. We have seen the advent of handmade type, slab serif in headlines, and whitespace to make the text look more readable and less crowded.
In fact, 2013 was such a good year for typography, that we have even seen typography replacing image in some places. The answer to why this is, is simple: Typography is image. It is a marvelous blending of writing and drawing, and they really do go hand in hand. It makes sense once you think about it.
Weather designing a website, or a print, you have to keep in mind that, even though it may be the image that captures people’s attention, it’s the text that holds on to it. So it really does only seem natural that typography should really be on your mind.
What font do you use for the headline? What about the text itself? You can not have the same font in both text and headline. Or can you? This is why type is exciting. Mastering it, or at least properly playing around with it can give you an edge, and keep your design fresh, if not visionary.
There is no reason to believe that typography will be slowing down in 2014, as we have already stated in our hot trends for 2014 article. Last year the foundation was laid, now it is time to start building. We think you should keep an eye out for some really cool trends this year, such as:
- Handwritten fonts: Social media is hot, and people are using written communication more than ever before. Since communicating means expressing yourself, it stands to reason that handwritten fonts will be used more and more, to add just that little extra bit of personality.
- Flat design typography: Everything is inter-connected, and since flat design is taking the web design world by storm, you will also be seeing a lot of fonts especially designed just for that purpose.
- Mix and match typography: You’ve probably already seen your fair-share of this trend in wallpapers and several website hero areas. This is a neat little trick that makes every world in the text stand out.
- Large type: Simply put, let the words do the talking.
You can’t have typography without fonts, so we’ve prepared a list of 20 fresh free fonts for you to play with. Some of the fonts on this list are only for personal use, so be sure to check the license before using them in your projects.
This font is absolutely gorgeous, especially with burgundy font color and the yellow paper. It really just gives off an air of class and distinction, and it’s excellent if you want to give your that lovely vintage feel. The free version comes with 1 weight and the extended Latin characters.
Completely free and, as they say themselves, solid, serious and dependable. This is a very basic font, that’s very easy on the eye. It can work great as either a headline font, or a content text font; and, best of all, you can use it in any way you like, both for personal and commercial purposes.
Remember the old Batman cartoon? The first one where everything was a bit more dark, gritty and gothic? Well this font kind of looks like the font the makers used for the title sequence. It’s a bold, old-school New York newspaper kind of font. It’s got basic Latin characters, so it’s not of much use if you plan on using it with any exotic words, but it is simply stunning and you can confidently use it with any words in the English dictionary.
This is what calligraphy is all about. You could go as far as saying that every character in this font pack is a painting in of itself. This lovely font simply oozes personality. It doesn’t really remind of anything in particular, but that all the more a statement to just how cool it is.
Another really experimental font, the Bouh font is designed for posters and logos, obviously, being an eye catcher, but definitely not being easy to read.
If you want to give your design a bit of a Californian vibe to it, than this is the font for you. It’s an all caps typeface, that also includes large points settings, and has regular, bold and semi bold heights. It also includes italics, so you can experiment quite a bit with it.
Rose is a romantic and quirky font. It really shines when used with bright colors, but of course your imagination is really the limit. Go ahead and see if you can maybe find this fonts dark side.
All caps, yet again. Canter is designed with posters, headlines and titles in mind, and it’s really versatile. It includes six heights, and also additional Latin characters.
9. Vast Shadow
Advertising during it’s initial inception was a very classy affair. This font is a throw-back to those days. You could definitely see this font in and old newspaper, mentioning the Coca-Cola company for the very first time.
This font feels like it can’t make up it’s mind if it looks a bit 60’s, or 70’s, or even 80’s; and that’s exactly why it’s so cool. It’s timelessly retro, has lots of personality, and you can spend hours exploring all the different kinds of design that it looks good with
11. ATF Lorem
Originally designed for a stencil competition, this font can give a bit of an urban edge to your design. It also includes additional Latin characters, and for added coolness it also includes Greek writing.
12. Miley Twerk
Usually you see all caps fonts, but this playful font covers a different niche. You can call it an “all non-caps” font, seeing as all the letters are lower-case letters. It’s childish, but in a good way, and just staring at it can bring a smile to your face, so it’s a real pleasure to work with this font.
13. Guitar Acoustic
It’s a fairly straight-forward fond, just a bit stylized were it counts. A rounded corner here, a smoother line there, and you’ve got yourself a pretty little font to goof around with.
14. Sketch Gothic
Since personality is the name of the game in design, here is a font with attitude. Made to look as if the letters are sketched calligraphy, this bold (and light) type goes really good with a more down-to-earth kind of design.
It’s not often you see a typeface that can work as both headline and content text. That’s why Barketina really stands out in a crowd. Elegant with a dash of art-deco, it also comes equipped with a full set of Bulgarian Cyrillic letters.
16. Cheap Wine
Cheap Wine is a really cool mix of punk rock and early 20th century proletariat. It’s got a calculated disorder about it that really catches the eye, and it also doesn’t seem to be to hard to read. You can definitely use this on a more whimsical, dynamic design.
17. Look Up
Quirky, indeed. The letters are made out of hand drawn arrows, each arrow being bent in such a way as to form a letter. The lines also aren’t straight at all, essentially humanizing the type. Although not easy to read, this font would look great on posters, headlines etc.
Minimalistic, quiet, discreet. Those are all words that describe this type perfectly. In contrast to the more quirky entries on this list, Dense makes your design look serious and professional. It’s also another example of a font that can be used for both headlines and content text.
360 stunning art-deco inspired glyphs. A must have in your font library.
Our final entry on this list is another lovely, all-purpose typeface. It’s modern in aspect, and wonderfully minimalistic, making sure that it will work excellently with either poster, website, t-shirt or logo.
That concludes our list of free fonts. We hope you enjoy using them, and that they’ll be useful for you. Be sure to let us know which are your favorites, and share any fonts you think we missed.