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Type Resources

October 18, 2005

Vitaly Friedman is collecting license-free fonts. That’s right, free as in beer; you’re able to use these for commercial work, and unlike most free font collections, there are some in here you may actually want to use. Consider plugging a few of these into your new, free copy of Font Explorer.

Yanone Kaffeesatz
One of the more original faces in the set, the large x-height makes it more appropriate for headlines than body copy. Four weights are available, for a good variety of choice.
Piqiarniq
Reminiscient of Gill Sans, and probably notable more for its origins than its aesthetics. Piqiarniq was commissioned by the government of Nunavut, a territory in the Canadian arctic to provide characters for the Inuktitut language.
Day Roman
A baroque face with more than a passing resemblance to Garamond — compare them side by side below the fold on this page. Plenty of ligatures to keep typofetishists happy.
…and 17 more.

Caveat emptor though. Babelfish seems to indicate that the updated note on the Day Roman page casts doubt on the origins of the font, with the word ‘plagiarisms’ jumping out in particular. As is the case with any resource available for free on the internet, it can’t be a bad idea to research the origins yourself before committing to using them in your commercial work.

And hey, nothing’s wrong with paying for your type. Even if you’re not looking to shell out a few hundred for an OpenType family with a dozen variants from a major foundry, there are plenty of independent font designers out there.

Mark Simonson’s new Proxima Nova is off to a great start, but his back catalogue is not to be missed either. P-Type Publications has released a couple of Indie Fonts collections, which feature samplings from your favourite independent foundaries like Test Pilot Collective and P22. And for the whimsical, don’t miss Robot Johnny and Larabie. (I’ve had Robot Johnny’s ‘Girls Are Weird’ installed for, like, years and years.)

Update: Caveat indeed. Day Roman aside, other fonts in the ‘license-free’ collection actually impose non-commercial licenses, meaning you can not use them without paying for them, so use the list with discretion. Again, make darn sure you know the origin of the ‘free’ resource you found online before using it in your own work.


1
Joey says:
October 18, 01h

Sorry to double-post, but, after checking out those 20 fonts more, several specifically state in their descriptions that commercial use is prohibited or restricted …

2
October 18, 04h

Oh darn! Just as I was falling in love with Day Roman, I read that update. Oh well, I’m positive that I can find a noncommercial use for it. :)

3
Kenneth says:
October 18, 10h

More like this please. Thanks!

4
AkaXakA says:
October 18, 11h

“Four weights are”

Ehm, oops!

It should also be noted that at http://www.fontsmack.com/ there are free fonts too, downloadable ttf’s and swf’s (for sIFR).

5
October 18, 12h

Introducing new fonts is just big tease to us web designers. It’s like when my dog sees me eating a piece of chocolate, and he knows he won’t get to partake. I see those fonts and think how great they would look on a site, but in the next breath I’m trying to convince myself that verdana and georgia really are very attractive fonts.

6
Joey says:
October 18, 12h

Just fyi, the “and 17 more” link needs a slash at the end.

Great post - thanks!

7
beth says:
October 21, 09h

I wish they’d made the Font Explorer update for Windows as well.

8
Jessica says:
November 13, 22h

Post some more like these please if you find any. Thank you sooooo much for posting these!!

9
January 07, 23h

I’ve always been a bit skeptical about free fonts for exactly the reasons that you mention. How do you go about researching them to verify that they aren’t ripped off from somewhere?