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101 essential free fonts for web designers

By Melody Weister | Resources | May 5, 2014

Every designer knows that free fonts are a godsend when working on a project, but truly valuable free fonts can be tough to find.

With this list we’ve endeavoured to bring you as many full font families as possible; fonts that are genuinely free (not just one style or weight free), a balance of fonts that work well for body text as well as display, and a full collection of fonts that are pleasing to the eye.

Everyone can find something new and useful among these amazing free fonts.

 

Fonts love chunk

We’re kicking off our list with fonts that have some serious weight to throw around!

ChunkFive is a classic, but there are some other heavy contenders in this batch as well. Check out Troika for an edgier, paper-cutting inspired display font.

Bemio

bemio

 

Chunk

chunk 

 

Troika

troika

 

Abril Fatface

abrilFatface

 

Governor

governor

 

Vast Shadow

vastShadow

 

Komika Title

komikaTitle

 

PassionOne

passionOne

 

Poetsen

poetsen

 

Tall and slender

If you’re trying to fit a lot of text into a small area, these narrow fonts can help you get the job done.

Bebas Neue and League Gothic will be familiar names to some, but check out Valencia and Simplifica for new and interesting variations on the theme.

Bebas Neue

bebasneue

 

League Gothic

leaguegothic

 

Oswald

oswald

 

Langdon

langdon

 

Ostrich Sans

ostrich

 

Simplifica

simplifica

 

Valencia

valencia

 

Mohave

mohave

 

Yanone Kaffeesatz

yanonekaffeesatz

 

Happy families

Nothing makes a perfect pairing quite like fonts with sans and serif versions, so in this section we’ve found some of the best free couples out there – and a trio, too!

Names like Merriweather and Merriweather Sans might be familiar to many, but check out Mission Gothic/Mission Script or the Permian trio for a fresh update.

Quaver

quaver

 

Merriweather

merriweather

 

Merriweather Sans

merriweather-sans

 

Afta Sans

afta sans

 

Afta Serif

aftaserif

 

Mission Gothic

missiongothic

 

Mission Script

missionscript

 

Permian Sans

permiansans

 

Permian Serif

permianserif

 

Permian Slab

permianslab

 

Curves are in

We love scripts for so many things, and the faces we’ve gathered below celebrate the best and most diverse free script typefaces available.

Dancing Script is a longtime favorite for many, but be sure to check out fresh faces like Yellowtail and Grand Hotel.

Condiment

condiment

 

Cylburn

cylburn

 

Dancing Script OT

dancingscript

 

Euphoria Script

euphoriascript

 

Genica

genica

 

Grand Hotel

grandhotel

 

Kaushan Script

kaushan

 

Lavanderia

lavenderia

 

Nautilus Pompilius

nautiluspompilus

 

Sonsie One

sonsieone

 

Yellowtail

yellowtail

 

Show-offs

Great-looking display fonts can be tough to come by; as the most popular category of free fonts, one has to sift through a haystack of options just to find the few needles worth keeping.

We’ve made that process a little simpler by gathering up some of the best free display and experimental typefaces out there.

Adam

adam

 

Amaranth

amaranth

 

Bree Serif

BreeSerif

 

Barkentina

barkentina

 

Boogaloo

boogaloo

 

Cinzel

cinzel

 

Glamor

glamor

 

High Tide

hightide

 

Lovelo

lovelo

 

Odin Rounded

odinrounded

 

Oil Can

oilcan

 

Playfair Display

playfairdisplay

 

Slabs with style

A necessity for any designer’s collection, the slab serif remains one of our favorite styles.

From the traditionally appealing Aleo to the architecturally inspired Korneuburg, this assortment of slab serifs is sure to delight any designer.

Aleo

aleo

 

Crete Round

creteround

 

Flagship 1997

flagship

 

Gaspar

gaspar

 

Klinic Slab

klinic_banner

 

Korneuburg Slab

korneuburgslab

 

Nixie One

nixieone

 

Rokkitt

rokkitt

 

Trocchi

trocchi

 

Pretty and playful

This group of fonts embodies the whimsical side of design, not quite display fonts, not entirely traditional, but each in its own way fun and unique.

Check out Bellota and Overlock for more delicate designs, or Rawengulk and Exo 2.0 for sans-serifs with an angular style.

ABeeZee

abeezee

 

Bellota

bellota

 

Delicious

delicious

 

Dosis

dosis

 

Edmondsans

edmondsans

 

Exo 2.0

exo2

 

Fontin Sans

fontin

 

Hallo Sans

hallosans

 

Junction

junction

 

Overlock

overlock

 

Raleway

raleway

 

Rawengulk

rawengulk

 

Titillium

titillium

 

Tuffy

tuffy

 

Seriffic

Standard serif fonts tend to be easily dismissed, so with this collection, we aim to revive the classification and remind ourselves that fonts which are excellent for body copy or headlines need not be boring.

Check out the gorgeous Playfair Display or lovely ligatures of Valentina and then repeat this mantra: “I’m never going back to Times New Roman.”

Bitter

bitter

 

Fénix Std.

fenix

 

Goudy Bookletter 1911

goudybookletter

 

Heuristica

heuristica

 

Judson

judson

 

Libre Baskerville

librebaskerville

 

Linden Hill

lindenhill

 

Poly

poly

 

Seshat

seshat

 

Valentina

valentina

 

Volkhov

volkhov

 

Sansational

For those of you with a preference for sans-serif fonts, we have collected our favorites below.

Versatile and easy on the eyes, check out Neris, which looks fantastic at any size, Fira Sans, from the good people at Mozilla, or Encode Sans, the newest project from the folks at Impallari Type.

Aileron

aileron

 

Arsenal

arsenal

 

Asap

asap

 

Cabin

cabin

 

Encode Sans

encodesans

 

Fengardo Neue

fengardo

 

Fira Sans

firasans

 

Gudea

gudea

 

Linux Biolinum

linuxbiolinum

 

Muli

muli

 

Neris

neris

 

Oxygen

oxygen

 

Quattrocento Sans

quattrocentosans

 

Rambla

rambla

 

Rosario

rosario

 

Signika

signika
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  • Reece

    Are these free for commercial use with no required link back?

  • Kodi

    Wish there was a DL All Button.

  • Robert

    Pretty awesome list, but where’s open sans?

  • Joe Nicklo

    “essential”? You’re pushing it.

  • http://www.toolinfy.com/ Toolinfy

    Yesss! Free fonts are always great :)

  • http://www.freewebtrends.iblogger.org/ Ardream – FreeWebTrends

    What I don’t like about the word “free” are the licences behind that. Free for personal use are not the same as free for commercial use.

  • Scott

    LOL!
    The Gaspar Font got away with one!
    It’s and eight year-old joke, but a good one.