Best Free Font Collections for Quantity and Quality

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Most web designers look at fonts with the same attitude most women look at shoes: you can’t have too many.

And why not?  A glowing blog or website with an excessively funky—or too toned down—array of fonts isn’t what it could be.  No wonder we spend so many hours scrolling down, clicking, scrolling down, and clicking for just the right look.

With that in mind, here are the top 6 free font websites in terms of quantity.

  1. Fontm. At Fontm, you’ll find hundreds of free fonts for download. Fonts are sorted by category and you can preview each font. Fonts are available for both Windows and Mac. New fonts are added there regularly.
  2. Dafont.  It’s simple and clean (although I admit that my eyes get sore with all the red).  Selection is very well unbeatable.
  3. 1001 Free Fonts.  This collection is on par with dafont and easier on the eyes.  Categories are slightly less intuitively organized.
  4. Abstract Fonts.  AF has a great selection of nicely categorized fonts—and you know just what you’re getting into when you choose your category thanks to the helpful icons next to the descriptions.
  5. Google Web Fonts.  Unlike most other sites, Google lets you preview your font in your own sample sentence before you download it.
  6. Font Squirrel.  Fonts are less well-categorized as previous selections but design is simple and attractive.  Best for general browsing or brainstorming, but less convenient if you’ve got a particular look in mind.  Plus, it’s a squirrel.  It’s cute.  Come on.

Okay, enough generic sites.  Here are few independent type foundries with smaller collections, but you’ll find unique, quirky designs—some of them worth paying for, some of them still free.  Here are the top 3 font foundries—in terms of quality.

  1. Font Fabric.  These guys launched in late 2008 and push out new fonts every week, many of them free, so keep posted.
  2. Practice Foundry.  PF showcases amateur Canadian designers’ work.
  3. Lost Type Co-op.  Rather than pricing their fonts, the Lost Type Co-op lets you pay what you want.  It prides itself in being the first of its kind, allowing users to download for free, half-price, or full price.  The good news is that 100% of the funds from sales go directly to the artists; the site takes 0% of the cut!  If any type foundry is worth supporting, it’s this one.

Curious which fonts are hottest in 2012?  Check out 1stwebdesigner’s list of 75 professional free fonts from 2012 list.  Awwwards listed 100 of their favorites.  Best of all?  They’re free.

In these two notable lists, you’ll see a few repeats.  Lavanderia and Forum are among them—for good reason.  Here are a few personal favorites.

Die Nasty font

die nasty font

Coamei font

Coamei font

Kerater font

Kerater font

World of Water font

world of water font

Peppermint font

peppermint font

Resagokr font

resagokr font

Nikodecs font

nikodecs font

Kimberley font

Kimberly font

Kim Willington is a freelance writer and researcher for Helpdesksoftware.org, where she has recently been researching customer help software. In her spare time, she enjoys antiquing and taking long walks with her retriever, Spencer.

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