|Typography by Jennifer Wick|
Still using those dinosaur old stock fonts that came with your computer? Have you ever downloaded a font? If you answered no: then we need to talk! For those of you who have ever created something that went out into the world using either the ebola equivalent comic sans or bleeding cowboys (font) send me your address, I'm coming to smack you. Computer fonts are like the free wax crayons you are given at a restaurant to entertain yourself with. No one really wants to color with them....they make you look infantil by leaving glob's of wax all over your picture but it's all you were given, so you make do, I get it. But there's more to life people! Don't accept those poopy crayons any longer & don't use the horrible fonts found in the depths of your word program, ask for more out of life!
Font hunting seems like a simple task, one that I now know well. But I do remember a time of confusion & error. So if figuring out how to do it all is what's holding you back, fear no more, I'll post some links below on how to install them. But we will think about that later, let's get to the fun stuff for now. Which is to ask, do you need a font for something specific or are you wanting to have some for fun? For specific projects I recommend going to a site that let's you preview the font with your text. This is helpful because sometimes at first glance a font looks awesome but then
like a first date that went well so you commit to more but a few dates later you realize they have this really weird character flaw like moaning everytime they takes a bite of something tasty it has a weird swirl on some of the letter's or it might not include a symbol you need...all this to say....do your homework before you download a ton of fonts you never use. I've listed the top free font sites below & put an asterisk by the ones that let you preview the font with your own text.
Here are some trendy fonts that I love, that are free for personal use to get you started. You can click the fonts below to go to the site:
But maybe you saw a font somewhere you loved & you can't live without it? Fear not. You have two options, probably more, but I only know two so don't be so greedy. First option: use an internet plugin for finding fonts
although I have found this to be not so useful as a lot of times it can't identify the web fonts but it does sometimes work so it won't hurt to give it a try. I use Chrome & the plugin for Chrome is called What font?. You can also use this online tool called the Matcherator, that asks you to upload an image of the font & it's suppose to detect it.
Here are the rest of the sites where you can find fonts for free. Some of these sites also have fonts available for sale. Note that if you are designing things for sale you cannot include the font with the product even if it was free, so you'll want to give them the links to where you found these fonts online so they can download them.
3. Fontsquirrel (best for pro projects/some fonts for purchase but comes with commercial license)
4. Font Garden
5. Urban Fonts*
6. Font Struct (you can even create your own font on this site)
8. Fonts O*
Now if you're like me & you get/got too carried away downloading fonts or you foresee this happening I highly recommend organizing your fonts. It's not fun scrolling through every font to see which you want when you have thousands of fonts, especially in cases where you just want to see all of one style like "Handwritten" or "Sans Serif". Font Explorer is just one program you can use to organize but feel free to check out others (or if you have one you use & love share it in comments, we'd love to know why you love it).
So now you have tons of fonts or maybe you're a connoisseur of sorts & not just any old font will do anymore. You want to make a mark. You need to make your own font, to leave a legacy. Well you can. There's lots of places includinng My Script Font or Fonts Ark. I'll admit I haven't made one yet but I'm going to. My scribbly, barely-legible font deserves to be seen & it will make a great font for those wishing to say something cryptic or rude where you can type it but there's a 50% chance they won't even be able to read it.
So once you have some fonts downloaded you'll need to understand pairing them up. Finding a mate you might say. Here's a nice little picture below of a few complementing fonts put together by andreathedesigner. And you'll notice, as with most design, that opposites attract. Isn't that who you ended up marrying? Your complete opposite? And then when you get dressed to go on a date with said husband we all know that (faux)leather & lace outfit combos are as sultry as it gets...& see that there? Leather=tough/boyish mixed with the opposite Lace= soft/feminine & you have a winner. Have fun with that whole mentality as you choose colors for your fonts too. Try grey (colorless) with something bright & bold (opposite of grey!):
Now, I promised to link to some font installing tutorials. I gotta get back to work to make some money so I'm not going to take the time to make ones myself but here's some other people made that get the job done & since these people did take the time to make them show them some love with a like click on the video if it helped you because that helps them. And (starts shameless promotion) if you found my stuff helpful too don't be shisty, share it & comment so I know I'm not writing this stuff to myself!
THE TECHNICAL STUFF ABOUT DONWLOADING:
You will need something to unzip most of the files. Winrar, Winzip, B1 Archiver. Google it, find it, download it. Don't get a virus, pay attention when you're clicking things. Secondly, I recommend backing up your fonts by taking the font file after its installed & moving it a folder thats for all your downloaded fonts. I have mine in my dropbox.
This video gets detailed but I have Mountain Lion & I literally just double click the font file & then click install on the popup.
I chose this tutorial because I was drawn to the bokeh & pretty colors. It also explains stuff pretty well so there's that.
Nevermind the guy who made this sounds like the Terminator, it was the most thorough video I found.