Font Resources

17 Aug

Font and image resources are key components every designers toolbox. One of the biggest mistakes a DIY marketer can make it to limit themselves to the fonts that automatically appear in their drop menus in Word. Why? Because EVERYONE has those fonts. If you want to create an ad that jumps off the page and screams, “Hey, I’m not-your-ordinary ad, I’m worth reading!” Do you think you can do that with Helvetica or Tekton? Give yourself an edge by mixing it up. Only rockstars, morticians and goth teens can get away with wearing all-black, all the time. The rest of us could use a little variety.

So, where do fonts come from? And how much is this going to cost? I’m going to share my favorite font resource, and a new one I just discovered. Think you’ll appreciate them both.

Favorite font resource:

I love because it always have everything I need. They source fonts from hundreds of font foundrys (font designers), so you get variety and quantity. Their search engine is fantastic. Let’s say you’re looking for a font for a beer company. Type in the term “beer” and you’ll get dozens of fonts that fit that tag. You can also search by more common font terms like san-serif, gothic or script, but be forewarned: you’ll get thousands of responses to sort through. If you don’t know quite what you’re looking for though, that can be great.

Cool feature: WhatTheFont. Have you ever seen a font in an advertisement an thought, “that’s exactly what I’m looking for…but how am I supposed to find it?” WhatTheFont is the answer. Scan in an image of the font and WhatTheFont will search their database and come up with matches based on the shapes of each letter. It’s amazing!

File formats: They support Mac and PC and offer Open Type, PostScript and Truetype fonts.

Cost: Like most font websites, the cost varies depending on the font. Their are packages available that may run several hundred dollars, and there are also fonts for under $10 or even free. This is a resource for professional, quality, commercial use fonts. That doesn’t always mean they’re expensive, but it generally means they are worth it.

New Font Resource: Font Squirrel

I just discovered this new font resource today. Normally I would test these out and see what’s so great, or not, but there’s one feature I think everyone will love: The fonts are free!

Free fonts are offered all over the internet and typically I’d say, you get what you pay for. Sometimes they’re knock-offs of original fonts, sometimes they’re pirated, and in many cases they’re just not licensed for commercial work. Font Squirrel is a website that has done the searching for you. They’ve found free fonts that are quality products and are licensed for commercial designs, like logos, ads and websites. Their selection is limited, but at least you can relax knowing there’s no scarlet letter around your neck for copyright infringment.

I’ve also had some luck with Their fonts are identified as either “personal” or “for commercial use” so you’ll know before you download. And they’re free as well.

So, next time you’re working on an ad, or thinking of changing up your packaging with some new fonts, check out these websites. They’re also a great resource for inspiration when you’ve hit a design roadblock and need a new direction.

Have you discovered some great online font resources? Share them with me. You know I’m always looking for a good tip.

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Posted by on August 17, 2009 in Design, Marketing


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