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7 Free Tools to Identify A Font

By Walter Apai | Typography | Dec 4, 2008

So you’re browsing through your favorite website and found a site that uses a font you love. You want that font too, (and must be as quickly as possible!)… so how do we go about finding out what that font is called? Sounds familiar? Yes… we’ve all been there before!

One easy option is to simply email the webmaster and ask for the name of the font and where to get it.

This can take some time and not all webmasters will reply. So, I’ve decided to compile a list of free online tools to speed up the identification process.

 

1. What The Font

Developed by one of the largest font providers, WhatTheFont is your number one spot for identifying your fonts. Simply upload an image of the font that you want to ID and upload it to their servers (or add a link to the image on the WTF interface), and the system will show you multiple font results. If unable to find it, it will prompt you to go to their Font Forum where you can post the image and wait for feedback from font experts as to what that font may be called. I’ve used both systems and this usually solved most of my font questions.

 

 

2. Identifont

This service takes a different approach and finds your fonts by asking a number of questions about the font. This one can be useful if you do not have an image of the font you’re looking for. I’ve never managed to find any fonts using this service to be honest, but maybe I’m the exception! The service claims to be ‘the largest independent directory of typefaces on the Internet, with information about fonts from 534 publishers and 143 vendors’.

 

 

3. Message Boards: Typophile

This is probably the greatest and largest community of font experts. You get your answers simply by posting an image of the font you’re looking for in their forum. If unsuccessful there, most font sites have message boards where you can post questions and images about the fonts that you’re looking for.

 

 

4. Bowfin Printworks

This site offers a ton of information as well as multiple online tools to help you find your font, by answering questions on the shape of the glyphs of the font in question. Similar to Identifont, but seems to be quicker to input all the data as it’s all in one page while Identifont goes through multiple pages and can get tedious. Includes guides for Script Fonts, Bauhaus-style Fonts, Sans Serif and Serif Fonts and Lined Fonts. The owner of the site is also willing to answer any font ID questions for free via email.

 

 

5. TypeNavigator

Developed by Fontshop, this one uses the same principles as the Bowfint system by asking questions about the shape of each character.

 

 

6. Flickr Typeface Identification

flickr has a group dedicated to identifying fonts and another group that showcases fonts used in different images called Fonts in Use which can be useful for quick reference.

 

 

7. Lists of Fonts

Sometimes the best way to find a font is just by looking at lists of fonts already created with the most widely used fonts. Here are a few popular lists that you can use for quick reference.

Feature image by Shutterstock

Have we missed your favorite resource? Which one do you use? Share your experiences below…

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  • http://www.dileepsharma.blogspot.com/ Dileep K Sharma

    Thanks for sharing this useful piece of information.

  • http://www.j12media.com jacob

    WHAT THE FONT!

    I love that. I didn’t know there were so many. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.sumitrampal.com Sumit Rampal

    Really useful list. i just knew about What the font, but now with your list the horizon expands. Thank you for sharing this list

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  • http://www.aldrinponce.com weblizzer

    this is very useful what i’ve usually used is the whatthefont but you need to upload a better ang bigger image type of font so that you can get what’s the correct font for it.

  • MattT

    Awesome! 5 more chances to find out what font they used for they MacGyver title!

    • C.O.T.

      What is the MacGyver title font…?

      I’m helping my sister with a graduation slideshow and we were going with a MacGyver theme, complete with explosion and her name. (it’ll be GREAT!) But I don’t know where I can find what font it is or if there is a MacGyver Font Generator anywhere. Help, anyone?

      • ap

        Did you ever find the MacGyver font? Looking for it also. Thnx.

  • http://www.toputop.com kiran

    Great tip for font lovers.Thanks.

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  • http://www.ways2earn.com moinuddin14

    Fantastic site. i really love the simple look of your site.Since long time i am looking for this font kinda and atlast through your blog i could find it. Thanks a tonne.

  • http://www.yesyes.dk Henriko

    So nice of you to share these… I didn’t know that many identifiers :-)

    Cheers,

    /H

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  • Jeremie

    great article, really helpful

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  • http://blog.insicdesigns.com/ insic

    nice stuff, im using what the font before.

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  • http://www.foxman.net/ Diseño

    Useful post and excellent blog. Bookmarked. I only knew the first three. Thanks.

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  • http://www.homeforeclosureblocker.com Michael

    Nice font info……..thanks guys

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  • http://www.paitadesign.com/ Giacomo

    In my opinion the one resource that really (really!) works is WhatTheFonts. Thanks to share the other links.

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  • http://www.productivedreams.com Gopal Raju

    Wow! I never realized, there were these many tools for detecting fonts.

    Gopal Raju,
    http://www.productivedreams.com
    http://twitter.com/gopalraju

  • http://www.homeforeclosureblocker.com Home

    These font resources will help me in my website design………thanks guys.

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  • Antoine

    Thank you for these links ;)
    I found a new application named WhatTheFont from MyFont.com on the iPhone

  • http://disordereddesign.com Krystian

    Thank you for collecting these sites.

  • http://www.freemobilecontents.com onyoyy

    nice font info… thanks for these links..

    freebiesup

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  • Keith

    This was very interesting did realize that these sources were out there. Huh learn something new ever day.

  • http://www.gabrieldimartino.com Gabriel

    I like it!

  • http://www.marocplus.net Directory marocplus

    waw it’s very free fonts
    thanks

  • http://www.platinummango.com Jordan Foutz

    It’s cool to see new resources like this to help identify the many types out there. Any suggestions if something is a custom font? That could get tricky. Thanks for the list, lists are awesome.

  • http://www.manynetworks.com Many

    thanks guys

  • http://new.myfonts.com/WhatTheFont/iPhone/ Steve

    WhatTheFont also has an iPhone app. Snap a photo of something with your phone and it’ll tell you the scoop. http://new.myfonts.com/WhatTheFont/iPhone/

  • http://www.accountingtutor.org accounting homework

    Good post. I like how you’ve illustrated each font – it makes it easy to see the differences between the fonts

  • http://www.mindscreen.co.in Film School

    great list. i didn’t know most of them before.

  • http://www.accountinghomeworkhelp.9f.com accountinghomework help

    Wow!!!
    I have view your article and this is interesting and very useful. I need any more articles. Thanks for knowledge.

  • http://www.all-maroc.com/vb abdelah

    waw it’s very free fonts
    thanks

  • http://www.dineshchopra.20m.com Accounting Homework

    Your article is a nice post. I like the most of Identifont

  • http://www.jupitercatering.com Jupiter

    Good post. I like how you’ve illustrated each font – it makes it easy to see the differences between the fonts.

  • http://www.excel-help.org excel help

    Just what I’ve been looking for! Thanks for this great list of fonts. I’m always looking for new sites to find free fonts and I will have to bookmark this because I will come back to visit each site.

  • Liz

    THANK YOU!!

  • http://www.idesigntutorials.com NIFT

    Usually I’m a little scared of free fonts because of all the tweaking they require but this is a solid little collection. Thanks so much!

  • http://www.manynetworks.com Many

    Thanks a lot!

  • http://visionarybutterfly.blogspot.com ThevisionaryButterfly

    Great advice thanks!

  • http://www.pfrcivf.com Prashanth

    Great list.Thanks for your information…

  • http://www.msgenset.com M.S.ENGINEERING

    A very great list……. Thanks for sharing this useful piece of information…… Very heplful to find what kind of a font….

  • http://www.harinitourstravels.com/ gayathri

    Really useful for me…..thanks for sharing

  • http://www.anna-OM-line.com anna maria lopez lopez

    Most people already know What the font service, the resources you added to this list are really useful too, thanks for sharing, great article!

  • http://www.strokeofabrush.com Ashley

    Very cool tools that will definitely come in handy! Just came across this post and love it!

  • http://www.everestwarehouse.com Everest

    Just what I’ve been looking for! Thanks for this great list of fonts. I’m always looking for new sites to find free fonts and I will have to bookmark this because I will come back to visit each site.

  • http://what-what.net shoaib hussain

    thx a lot for such nice tools,i knew of WTF ,but the remaining are new for me.

  • _ANI_

    Really Helping Stuff thanks for sharing…

  • KenyanPhoenix

    I stumbled upon your website just when I needed to dl’d a certain font for some graphics and was searching for free Font Explorer. Thought you would have mentioned it.

  • http://www.holisticinteriors.in holisticinteriors

    Thank you for this good list!

  • http://howtotweak.com How to tweak

    thnx a lot ,i was having problems with font as it was in image ,finally used typenavigator n hooray I got it.

  • http://www.fontozzi.com Sergey Basharov

    There is a new community driven free service growing – fontozzi.com. There you can easily post an image with a font you need to identify and community will quickly give you an answer! It’s still in the progress now but will be done shortly. It works just perfect!

  • http://www.brettwidmann.com Brett Widmann

    Very nice resource for fonts. Thanks for sharing.

  • s

    What about…LOOKING AT THE SOURCE FILE?
    You’d think that would be an easy start.

    If it’s in HTML, why should I take a screenshot of the website and load it into one of those font image recog app? Seems totally a waste of time, when you can just look at the source.

  • http://www.whatfontis.com Alex

    Hello
    A new tool to identify fonts:
    http://www.whatfontis.com
    Alex

  • antofa

    I agree with Alex. WhatFontIs.com is really useful and it works with free fonts too.

  • http://www.clickwebdesign.com.au Chris

    I just discovered what the font today when doing a redesign of a small business logo. The image didn’t get it, not supprised as it was complex. But 48min after posting to their forum I had the answer!