9 places to find free (and almost free) fonts

Grab some beautiful fonts that won't break the bank, and learn how to use them on your Webflow sites.

John Moore Williams
January 12, 2016
Resources

When you’re kicking off a new website project, one of your most important decisions is what fonts to use. And while Webflow offers a host of typographic options via our Google Fonts and Typekit integrations, sometimes you might want something a little different.

For those moments, here are a few of my favorite places to find free (and low-cost) fonts that, despite their low price tags, offer both beauty and flexibility. I’ll kick the list off with places that let you download desktop and web fonts, then round it out with some cloud-based options.

1. Lost Type Co-op

Inspired by Webflow’s own hometown, San Francisco, Lost Type's Mission Gothic manages to be both elegant and functional.

Lost Type’s “collaborative digital type foundry” plays host to a wide variety of gorgeous, expressive fonts with a variety of price points (from free for “personal use” on up).

Like many of the smaller foundries, Lost Type offers a bunch of ornate, all-caps display fonts. But it balances that out with several more robust and flexible families that can stand up to editorial and UI use, including (my personal faves) Mission Gothic and Klinik.

2. Atipo

I just love Calendas' graceful lines.

This Spanish “graphic and type design studio” isn’t the most prolific of foundries out there, but what they lack in volume, they more than make up in quality.

To date, each font they’ve produced has a very different feel and intended use, from the Art Deco Cassannet to the super-friendly Bariol to the editorially refined Calendas. Best of all, all their non-bespoke fonts are free (for a weight or two) or pay what you want.

Thanks, Atipo!

3. Fontfabric

‍Fontfabric's Signika was built for wayfinding, which makes it a natural for UI use.

This independent type foundry boasts an impressive collection of free fonts suited for big, bold display use — and many include Cyrillic versions.

While it’ll probably never become your go-to for flexible body fonts, it’s worth bookmarking for those times when a project demands a impactful (or playful) hero section.

That said, the folks at Fontfabric seem to use free releases as a way to gauge demand, and often turn the more popular faces into full-fledged families you might find worth grabbing. (Especially during their introductory sales.)

That fact also demands a caveat: When browsing the site, read carefully—their “free” fonts often don’t remain that way after release.

4. The League of Moveable Type

Back when I was first discovering the joys of typography, I was a bit demoralized by the bank-busting prices. Until I discovered the League of Moveable Type, whose superheroic name seemed perfectly fitting.

(To be clear, I now know that the prices foundries charge for their work are 100% justifiable. I was just broke back then.)

While the League seems to be losing a bit of steam of late, the first open-source foundry boasts several lovely typefaces you can download for free, from the punchy League Gothic to the delicate Raleway.

5. Font Squirrel

Punchcut's Amble pulls off a modern professional feel without feeling coldly neutral.

Okay, so if you’re looking for an all-in-one, end-all-be-all for your free font hunt, Font Squirrel’s your jam. As they describe themselves:

“Free fonts have met their match. We know how hard it is to find quality freeware that is licensed for commercial work. We've done the hard work, hand-selecting these typefaces and presenting them in an easy-to-use format.”

And I, for one, can’t thank them enough for doing that hard work for me. Their curated collection boasts a ton of beautiful fonts, many featuring far more than 1 or 2 styles you’ll usually get in a free font. They’ve also got robust filters, tags, and categories to help you quickly find just what you want. Finally, their Generator tools helps you get desktop fonts ready for web usage, and their Matcherator is handy for identifying fonts from images.

6. Creative Market Free Goods of the Week

Who doesn't love a few good free resources?

Creative Market serves up a ton of (typically) affordable, high-quality design assets, including fonts. Plus, every week they share a bundle of assets that seems to always include a free face. (But don’t quote me on that.) While there’s a marked tendency for these typefaces to be of the limited use display variety, they’re still a ton of fun to play with. So sign up, maybe.

7. Behance

Just look at all those beautiful fonts Behance users have built for us.

Surely you all know—and probably use—Behance as a place to share work and get noticed. But it’s also a fantastic place to find new free fonts, and their creators, with a little creative filtering. Just be sure not to hit the back button while you’re browsing, or you’ll lose your filters. Have fun!

8. MyFonts

Really thinking about dropping some dollars on Nolan Next.

MyFonts is an amazing resource for finding incredible fonts—at the usual steep rates. But foundries who release on MyFonts often do so with very tempting discounts that make them much more obtainable. Check out the Hot New Fonts page regularly to build up your font library without breaking your bank. (Though I still refer it to as The Most Dangerous Place on the Internet.)

9. Adobe Typekit

While you can’t download and use Typekit fonts wherever you want like you can with other foundries, a free Typekit account does give you access to a limited range of fonts to use on your websites and in your Adobe design apps.

How to use custom fonts on your Webflow sites

Webflow offers a variety of fonts out of the box, and you can easily add fonts from Google Fonts and Typekit.

And, if you’ve found and downloaded a beautiful face from one of the websites above, it’s just as quick and easy to upload and use them in Webflow.

What’d we miss?

Surely there are other awesome places to find beautiful free and affordable fonts. If you know of any, be sure to let us know on Twitter!

John Moore Williams

Head of Content Strategy at Webflow. Nice to meet ya. Follow me @JohnAMWill.

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