Where can I get good fonts?

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This article is part of the FAQ series.
Installation Usage PDF issues Fonts DTP Other

Where can I get good fonts?

  • There are some great freely licensed URW fonts from Artifex (makers of GhostScript and GhostPCL) that are well worth grabbing. There are some good quality fonts in there, like Clarendon, URW Bookman, and Antique Olive. See Web Links on www.scribus.net for those and several other sources of fonts and font information.
  • Google Fonts offers some very well done fonts under Open Source licenses. Previews are available here.
  • The Fedora project continues to build a collection of high-quality fonts for different purposes, like non-Latin scripts or formulas. The collection also contains some fonts that can be used for Latin-based scripts.
  • The very prolific and very gifted type designer Manfred Klein has put a huge collection of high-quality TrueType fonts on the web at his Fonteria. Perhaps the best thing about Klein's selection is the large number of good text fonts that take off in subtle ways from classical serif faces. He offers the fonts "free for private and charity use. They are even free for commercial use – but if there’s any profit, pls make a donation to organizations like 'Doctors Without Borders.'"
  • Arkandis Digital Foundry is an Open Source font foundry that offers an impressive collection of fonts especially designed for print publishing. All fonts are at least available in the OpenType format.
  • TypeOasis, the site that hosts the Fonteria, has nice work by other designers, too.
  • Linux Libertine offers two free (GPL) fonts: Linux Libertine (Serif, a bit like Times) and Linux Biolinum (Organic Grotesque (non-linear Sans-Serif).
  • Valery Friedman hosts a list of his Free Quality Font Top 25 with some excellent fonts. Updates in Smashing Magazine.
  • Gerrit van Aken (also these) offers links to some excellent fonts and also provides reviews (German).
  • Pedro Reina has listed 189 freely available fonts, all of them Type 1, TrueType, PC/Mac. *Identifont also listed some good fonts, some of which are already mentioned elsewhere in this article (e. g. Gentium).
  • Luc Devroye has regularly updated list of font foundries and desginers, including those offering free quality fonts.
  • Fry Fonts offers some popular fonts like Apple Garamond or Coca Cola in TrueType format for free download.
  • Corel WP has the TTF fonts and Corel Draw has the TTF plus PS fonts. At least this is true for WP 8/9 and Draw 8/9. The fonts are in their own folders and can be copied WITHOUT installing the product anywhere. Despite rumours to the contrary, CorelDraw fonts are high quality Bitstream fonts which have been used by pre-press folks for years without incident.
  • If you can get hold of an older printer driver CD from c. 2000, you may find a collection of high quality Adobe Type 1 fonts, including "classics" like Garamond on it. I recently discovered this, when I was given an old Lexmark LaserPrinter as a "present". While the printer itself wasn't too interesting (it prints OK, but that's it), the driver CD-ROM contained this treasure. Buying an old printer on e-bay, even if you don't intend to use it, can save you a lot of money with respect to high quality and industry standard fonts, provided you also receive the driver CD-ROM!
  • Another affordable source for fonts is the German manufacturer of the multi-platform office suite Softmaker Office. They offer one "font of the month" for free download. If TrueType fonts are sufficient for your work, you can buy a CD-ROM with 10 000 fonts for (at the moment) 59,95 EUR. In case you need professional grade fonts, they are offering 6000 TrueType and Type 1 fonts for 429 EUR (which isn't much).
  • Adobe Illustrator has fonts (Adobe garamond etc.), also Adobe Type Manager (full product) has fonts but it is not strictly needed with XP since Win2K and XP render Type 1 fonts natively. ATM is useful for font management.
  • The Linux Box offers an archive with 6,760 True Type fonts for free download. Beware of its size, though: it is HUGE (157.7 MB).
  • Another place worth looking at is the German TeX Users Group (TUG). It provides some free high quality Type 1/TTF/Open Type fonts. Similarly, the Comprehensive TeX Archive Network (CTAN) offers a wide range of excellent fonts. Previews are available here.
  • The latest Free and Open Source font collection is The League of Moveable Type, which offers extremely well done fonts under the OFL or a CC license.

  • [www.fontsquirrel.com/ fontsquirrel] is a website publish information about its manually selected/searched high quality free font.
  • Fontshop is a good place to go, but you might also have a look at Linotype, Lucasfonts and maybe Fontfabrik (they only retail). They are all German companies offering some really nice fonts, that unfortunately aren't affordable for everybody, because they are quite expensive.

An interesting article on publish.com not only provides a little bit of history of professional font manufacturing, but also many links to commercial vendors. It might be worth checking their products.

  • Your company or school can have bought fonts directly or got them implicitly installed from, for example, Adobe products like Creative Suite.

See Also