Inappropriate typography can completely change the appearance of a project. No matter how good the design is, if the appropriate typeface is not used then everything can go in the wrong direction.
Just as with free stock photos, where we can often get excellent results, the same way we can make wonderful things with free fonts.
Although paid fonts are very likely to include a much more complete set of glyphs to meet your needs, these days there are a lot of absolutely free fonts to choose from. There are quite a few websites that offer free fonts, but losing plenty of time searching among countless websites it’s not very efficient.
I will list only the best 5 of them (at least for the moment) that have the largest collection of fonts, nicely arranged, uncluttered and easy to navigate. Preferred ones are those that are completely free or if not, at least those that can be filtered by the license type and also those that have other useful functions like for example the font preview function.
Very popular website with a large collection of quality fonts and also with a great community. Besides the list of useful categories, the biggest advantage is their very efficient and clean interface that makes searching very easy.
Not to mention that we can find more than 10.000 typefaces free for commercial use and much more to choose from for personal use.
2. 1001 Fonts
With much more fonts than what the name inspires, this is another website that stands out with its clean and functional interface. Many useful categories and a color selector are also available. The link above is to search for “commercial use” license only.
Here we can find more than 4.400 free typefaces for commercial use. For personal use there are much more to choose from.
3. Font Space
Another well-known website with a large community and an impressive collection of fonts. Beside the nice color selector there is also a very generous categorization system which can be extremely useful or even overwhelming if you try searching through all categories.
There are more than 8.100 free typefaces for commercial use and much more to choose from for personal use.
4. Google Fonts
Worry-free, fast and uncluttered with possibility to invert the colors but most important with all the fonts 100% free, no matter what you use them for. Some additional categories would have been useful but let’s not forget that for web projects we can also use their free, powerful and reliable CDN.
Fewer fonts you can choose from, but with exceptional quality. More than 850 high quality typefaces that you can rest assured that are 100% free.
5. Font Squirrel
Another source of great quality fonts which are also easy to find thanks to a list of useful tags. Most important, you don’t have to worry about the license type because they claim that all their fonts are free for commercial use, but 100% just for desktop use. So you can use them on a t-shirt or on a logo design but for example for web pages or applications you should check the license filter.
More than 1.200 hand-picked, high quality typefaces that are free to use regardless of whether they are used for personal or commercial purposes.
Like I said, there are a few more out there that I did not include, although they also deserve all our appreciation like for example urbanfonts, abstractfonts, 1001freefonts etc.. Even if these have many fonts available, you can’t search by the license type which makes it quite hard to look through thousands of free fonts for personal use if you just need for example a font that is free for commercial use.
Also because it’s better to be safe than sorry, for all of these websites (except google fonts) even if it’s displayed on the desired font page or near the download button that can be used for “commercial use”, but without mentioning the exact license type, then you should check the readme/license file found inside the downloaded zip. If you can’t find anything regarding the license type, then you should check the indicated author’s website for more details, just to be sure.
It’s better to know exactly the license type as even if it’s free for commercial use it may require attribution or may have certain limitation of use. You can make an idea about license types on FontSpace Help.