Design & Development

20 Free Fonts for Commercial Projects

The letters on this page, each one, was the work of an artist, defining the serif or lack thereof, and the length and breadth of each stroke. In many cases, that workmanship is copyright protected and may not be used on a website without specific permission.

The “perfect” font face can drive a logo or website design, transforming it from good to great. Unfortunately, it may be fairly common for businesses — especially small businesses — to unintentionally violate the font designer’s copyright.

Many of the fonts installed on computers are licensed for viewing and printing on or from a single computer, and may not be used in logos, banner advertising, or on a website.

The American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) has four guidelines for using fonts. Although these AIGA guidelines are aimed at graphic designers, they may serve to help marketers at small companies.

  1. “If you are using a font, whether it’s on your computer or that of someone else, make sure you have a license to use the font.”
  2. “If you want to use a font that is not installed on your computer, you must ensure that you or your employer has a license to install the font on your computer, or else acquire a license to use it.”
  3. “If you have any questions about your font license, contact the foundry or supplier of the font.”
  4. “Don’t lend or give a font to others to use. Your friends, clients and colleagues need to acquire the rights to use them. When it comes to licensing fonts, ethical practice makes sense legally and financially. Violating the terms of a license agreement puts the designer, the client and future business relationships at risk. An ethical approach to font use and font licenses is therefore both good business practice and good business.”

Free Fonts

Fonts, even paid ones, are not terribly expensive. Often a few hundred dollars — at most — can secure a premium font for use on a website. There are even subscription services for web fonts. Fortunately, there are also many free, commercial use fonts. What follows are 20 examples of free fonts for commercial projects, including for websites.

It is worth noting that at least of few of the font foundries that publish these fonts accept donations.

RBNo2 Free Font

RBNo2 Free Font is from Rene Bieder for Fontfabric.

RBNo2 Free Font is from Rene Bieder for Fontfabric.

Jura

Jura is from Ten by Twenty.

Jura is from Ten by Twenty.

Roboto

Roboto is from The Android Open Source Project.

Roboto is from The Android Open Source Project.

Stroke

Stroke is from the Kinetic.

Stroke is from the Kinetic.

Maven

Maven is from designer Joe Prince and available from Lost Type.

Maven is from designer Joe Prince and available from Lost Type.

Bree Serif

Bree Serif is from designers Veronika Burian and Jose Scaglione and is available from Type Together.

Bree Serif is from designers Veronika Burian and Jose Scaglione and is available from Type Together.

Neuton

Neuton is from designer Brian Zick and is available from the Google Font Directory.

Neuton is from designer Brian Zick and is available from the Google Font Directory.

Thunderball

Thunderball is from Afrojet and may be downloaded from Fontstruct.

Thunderball is from Afrojet and may be downloaded from Fontstruct.

Weston

Weston is from Pavel Pavlov and is available from Fontfabric.

Weston is from Pavel Pavlov and is available from Fontfabric.

Infinity

Infinity is from designer Tarin Yuangtrakul. It may be downloaded from Free Typography.

Infinity is from designer Tarin Yuangtrakul. It may be downloaded from Free Typography.

Code

Code is available at Font Squirrel from Fontfabric.

Code is available at Font Squirrel from Fontfabric.

Highlands

Highlands is available on a name-your-price basis from the Lost Type Co-op.

Highlands is available on a name-your-price basis from the Lost Type Co-op.

Collator

Vince Lo designed Collator, which is available from Practice Foundry.

Vince Lo designed Collator, which is available from Practice Foundry.

Dock11

Lukas Bischoff make Dock11 and offers it for free.

Lukas Bischoff make Dock11 and offers it for free.

Ubuntu San Serif

The Ubuntu font family, which is a mainstay of the popular Linux distribution, is now available free.

The Ubuntu font family, which is a mainstay of the popular Linux distribution, is now available free.

Cabin Font

Cabin Font is from Impallari.

Cabin Font is from Impallari.

Logisoso

Logisoso is from the OSP Foundry.

Logisoso is from the OSP Foundry.

Quicksand

Quicksand is from Andrew Paglinawan Fonts.

Quicksand is from Andrew Paglinawan Fonts.

Bebas

Bebas from Flat-it Fonts is available on Font Squirrel.

Bebas from Flat-it Fonts is available on Font Squirrel.

Droid Sans

Designed for Android phones, Droid Sans is available from Font Squirrel.

Designed for Android phones, Droid Sans is available from Font Squirrel.

Summing Up

“Fonts are creative, intellectual property, similar to designers’ creative work or a proprietary business product,” AIGA said in its paper, Use of Fonts. “Since type seems so ubiquitous and fonts are so easy to share among computer users, the legal and moral issues of the simple process of using a font are often overlooked.”

Armando Roggio

Armando Roggio

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