If you have ever wondered “Where is the best place to get free fonts?” or “Why would I pay for a font when there are so many free ones available?” then keep reading! I am sharing all about my favorite places to find Free Fonts, Good Deals on Fonts, and Fonts with Glyphs.
I have always considered myself crafty. Since I was a tiny girl, I was mixing and matching and gluing things together, but much later in life, as an adult I came to have a real passion for design and more specifically digital design. This is when I became what you might call a font hoarder.
I have tried my hand at all sorts of programs and regularly use Adobe Photoshop Elements (an affordable consumer version of their powerhouse program,) Adobe Illustrator (I am learning this right now and am in LOVE,) and Silhouette Studio (the design software for my Silhouette CAMEO machine.) All of these programs use fonts that are installed on your computer to allow you to make your own designs and artwork.
Adding additional fonts onto your computer is VERY EASY and it opens up a whole new world of all of the beautiful things you can create! I am sharing some of my go to resources for building my font library. Please know that there are tons of places out there to get fonts. I am sharing a few that I have found to be the most:
- Reputable– Not filled with spam, junk, and viruses. Widely used by crafters and/or design professionals, the resources I detail below are ones that I have used personally and in most cases often, and can recommend with confidence.
- Affordable– It is built into my DNA to find the best value on things so I have done tons of research and. Just because things are free, doesn’t mean they are a good deal (for example if they contain a virus or malware, it isn’t worth it!) and some fonts that are more expensive are very worth it because of everything they give you with the font, the quality of the font, and the ways in which you can use it.
- Beautiful– It makes no sense to just fill up your computer memory with fonts you won’t love and use, so over the years as I have refined my addiction with fonts, I have narrowed down my sources to only the ones with the highest quality and most beautiful fonts. This includes having the most in style designs like brushed fonts, hand drawn fonts, and script fonts with lots of swirls and swashes.
If you have other resources you love feel free to let me know in the comments at the very bottom of the post. I love to hear from readers!
Where to find Free Fonts
Free fonts are GREAT and widely available on the internet but be warned and very careful as they are a very common way to spread computer viruses and other malware. Make sure you only download free fonts from HIGHLY reputable sources. Getting one computer virus removed is MUCH more expensive than buying MANY (possibly even hundreds of) high quality font files. (I tell you this from personal experience… it was rough.)
In general a free font from a website that primarily sells paid versions of fonts is much safer than a website that hosts all free fonts. This is because a website that is selling fonts is giving away some so that you will have a great experience, fall in love, come back, and buy something. If they gave you a virus, chances are you would never be back and warn everyone else too so they have a vested interest in making sure that everything they provide would ever harm your computer. Here are some of my favorite sources for the best free fonts.
**Disclaimer: The fonts and resources listed were offered free at the time of writing this post. Although, I don’t anticipate changes unless noted, I have no control over freebies offered on these sites and they can be changed at any time without notice.
- The Hungry Jpeg – This is a market place with a wide variety of design tools but has a nice freebie section as well, often including commercial license even with freebies! Also, many of their freebies come with glyphs and extras which most others don’t offer. They update it regularly, so make sure you pin this post so you can keep it on hand to check for new freebies! Since Hungry Jpeg runs a paid marketplace and has a vested interest in each shop on it’s platform you can be as sure as possible that what you are downloading is vetted and safe which makes this one of my favorite stops for freebies. You can see one of my recent favs, Free Rissa Font below, which is free including a commercial license (which is very rare for a FREE font!)
- Creative Market– This is also a market place with weekly free files including fonts offered. Most free files offered here are for personal use only. New freebies including usually one or more fonts, are added each Monday, and ones from the week before are removed so make sure you grab them while they are available! You also get the benefit of feeling safe with these downloads since they are limited time free versions of paid products.
- My Design Deals – This is a website that primarily sells bundles, but when you sign up for their email list you get a “Designer Toolbox” with a bunch of freebies in it. What is included changes but there are sometimes fonts, along with other graphics and fun design freebies.
- Mighty Deals– Mighty deals sells limited time deals and always features a free section of deals which are also available for a limited time.
- Fontspace – Another really popular place to find a huge selection of free fonts. Fontspace tends to be well run and a good resource for finding a huge variety of fonts. Like Dafont, it is a free forum for creators to list downloads, so always exercise caution in downloading things to your computer. Some of my favorites on Fontspace are the Kimberly Geswein fonts. She has a fantastic collection of hand drawn fonts including Strawberry Limeade which I used to label all of my daughter’s cups. So cute! All of her fonts are free for personal use and have just a small fee for commercial use. You can find more info on a commercial license on the Kimberly Geswein Fonts website.
- Dafont is a really popular source for free fonts. It is reputable, but there is a massive quantity and they have a LOT of designers sharing them. These fonts are primarily free for personal use, or demo versions of paid fonts, although you may find some commercial use as well mixed in. I personally use the sources above first because it is less risky downloading free versions from a paid source than out of a free forum, so to be safest, I would only download ones that have a high number of downloads and good feedback.
Important note! Make sure you know what kind of license the font you are downloading provides. If you are creating for your own personal use you should be okay with any license offered. If you plan to use the fonts to make designs to place on items you sell (even to a friend or neighbor) you need to buy a commercial license to operate legally. If you have more questions about how this works checkout this great post on Copyright 101. Most fonts are either provided with a personal license and an option to upgrade to an extended license or with an extended license for everyone. If you don’t see what you want, you can always personally reach out to the font designer and ask!
Where to find Great Deals on Fonts
If there are so many free fonts, why on earth would you want to buy fonts? There are a few really good reasons! First, and most importantly, if you are buying something you can be about 99.9% sure that it is legitimate and you are not downloading a bunch of junk that will mess up your computer. Second, many (not all) paid fonts offer much more than a free download does. It can have the regular characters, glyphs, and sometimes even be coded so that you can access all of the special characters outside of any special software. A lot of fonts also come with a huge bundle of extras that also come with your purchase like graphics, catch phrases, textures etc. Some fonts even come as a family giving you multiple font files within the family that all follow the style and coordinate perfectly or sometimes even layer together to create very cool effects. Third is support and customer service. Beyond the wealth of resources these sites offer to help you get the most out of using all of the features of your fonts, if you have any question or issues as you are using them I have had some of the best customer service of my life from some of the companies below.
And as a bonus, you can feel good about supporting small business, because in most cases designers are someone who loves design and has worked hard to start their own business doing it! Spending a few dollars on something really awesome helps them support their family and allows them to spend their time creating MORE things you will absolutely love.
Just because you have to pay doesn’t mean that it will be expensive. There are some fonts out there that are very expensive BUT if you know where to look you can often find the same, or very similar fonts for an extremely good deal. I have bought some of my favorites as part of a package making them as low as even $0.30. That to me is definitely worth paying for!!
- The Hungry Jpeg – This is my go to place to buy fonts, and where I have accumulated the bulk of my library. The combination of quality and price simply can’t be beat. Each month they have a monthly font bundle with usually between 30-70 fonts included, as well as a whole slew of extras, freebies, and design elements. The bundles come with a limited commercial license pretty much good for all small business needs and even if you don’t plan to use it to sell, the elements usually come out to just pennies each at the package price so it is still the most cost effective way to buy. They also do special crafter’s font bundles every once in awhile which are highly coveted by Silhouette users since you can access all of the glyphs without any special software! Each monthly bundle offers unique fonts so I usually get them every month. A girl can never have too many shoes or fonts! Plus, at the super discounted prices it is worth it just to know you are getting high quality fonts that are 100% free of viruses and malware. This is one of the companies I referenced above with the AMAZING customer service. You are 100% taken care of when you work with them. You can see an example of what you might find in a Hungry Jpeg below.
- Creative Market– Creative Market often offers a bundle as well and is a favorite of design professionals. They almost always have a bundle and various sales going on. They are one of my go to’s for individual fonts because you can find everything there! Plus, they are really dedicated to design so the things you find there are always extremely high quality, well done, and beautiful! I also love that anytime a font I have bought is updated I get emailed and can log into my account to download the newest features!
- My Design Deals– My Design Deals always has a font heavy bundle available although the cycles aren’t quite as predicable as others so you don’t know when to expect a new bundle necessarily. They do usually load their bundle full of really great fonts though!
- Mighty Deals– Mighty Deals is great because they always have a TON of deals going on. They also have smaller packages where you can get 5 fonts or so instead of the huge bundles offered by others if you are looking for a little less. This is also the best place to get a deal on the coveted Samantha font.
Where to find Fonts with Glyphs
You might be asking, “What the heck does ancient Egyptian art have to do with fonts?” Some fonts come with fancy extra characters called glyphs or alternate characters. These are usually another version of the letter that has extra decorative parts like the swirls you see in the examples below. These are SO fun to design with and you will really love using them. These glyphs mostly come in paid fonts although you can every once in awhile find them in free fonts also.
One important note on glyphs- Depending on how the font is coded the glyphs could be accessible by any program, OR only accessible with special software like Adobe Illustrator. It will say something like “Hello Sunshine is coded with PUA Unicode, which allows full access to all the extra characters without having special designing software.” Many font creators are recognizing the demand for these fancy characters outside of just being used with more advanced programs like Illustrator so you will also see them include the extra characters as one or multiple font files so you have access to every character no matter what program you use. Make sure you know how the font is coded or provided before you buy!
- Samantha Font– The Samantha font is probably the number one coveted font by crafters. It has a great balance of delicate script and perfect swirls and swashes, and it is thick enough to cut really well. The font comes loaded with glyphs and is simply one of the most popular and well designed fonts out there. The font is also coded for crafters so that all of the glyphs are accessible with just the Silhouette Studio software and font book on your computer. You can get it directly from the the Samantha font designer (link above) or almost always find a special on it on Mighty Deals (just type Samantha in the search box to see if they are running a current special.)
- Hungry Jpeg– One of the reasons I love The Hungry Jpeg so much is that they work hard to make sure as many of their font designers as possible code their fonts for crafters. Their bundles vary from month to month but seem to have an increasing number of 100% accessible fonts which we love. Also they periodically offer crafter’s bundles with ALL glyphs available in your Silhouette software. If you don’t want a bundle, you can find tons of individual fonts in their marketplace. See an example of a crafter’s bundle from Hungry Jpeg below:
- Creative Market– Another wealth of gorgeous fonts in this massive digital design marketplace and many of them. Some of my favorite fonts with Glyphs there are Pretty Script, which is a super trendy brush script with all sorts of glyphs and alternate characters to customize to your hearts content. It offers the majority of them in separate font files so you can access them super easily no matter what software you are using. Zelda Script an elegant script font full of design potential with all of it’s gorgeous swashes and alternate characters. This font is coded with PUA Unicode when downloaded on Creative Market, which allows full access to all the extra characters with your Silhouette CAMEO, photoshop or other programs, although the description hasn’t been updated to reflect the update.
- Hello Sunshine which has a lot of alternate characters as well as a bonus font filled with adorable bonus ornaments. See a glimpse at all the extras below.
Hopefully this posts has covered all the details and maybe everything you wanted to know plus a little little bit more in regards to fonts and using them with other software like Silhouette CAMEO software, Photoshop Elements, Microsoft Word and other design programs. As you can see, I have tried a lot of things and settled on a few main resources for free fonts and finding the best values and deals on fonts! Please let me know if you have other questions or suggestions in the comments and I will do my best to help!