Yes, you read that correctly, the internet does provides you with an abundance of sites that grant you access to some pretty awesome and most importantly FREE fonts, you just need to know how to look for them!
I’m not going to do a post about the (Insert Number Here) Best Free Fonts, instead I’m going to introduce you to them, if you are not already aware, and tip you off to the sites that I’ve discovered during my 4 years in design school, that really opened my eyes to the wonders of free fonts. Even a non-designer should be aware of the existence of some truly good and shockingly free fonts that exist out there, instead of just defaulting to dafont.com or their system fonts.
There are plenty of free font websites out there, and a lot of them will provide you with hundreds of free fonts, but usually they aren’t well designed, or they are missing crucial characters, like punctuation marks. Now don’t get me wrong, those sites may include a few hidden gems, but they require extensive searching and digging.
The site was created “…with the intention of providing unique and quality fonts based on a pay-what-you-want model.” Other sites, also use the you-choose-price payment method. If you absolutely love the font and there is no way you could live without it and plan to use it in everything that you ever make, or just really think the design deserves some cash, splurge and donate to the extreme, or be super cheap (aka poor design school student) and offer no (cash) love, but give them credit when posting your work.
Font Squirrel is also a very good source of nice, free fonts, that also offer web-versions, so that they can be used on both print and web pieces. The site is basically an online database of well-designed free fonts, that can also be found on sites such as myfonts.com and youworkforthem.com. Both my fonts and youworkforthem are paid-font sites, but a lot of the fonts offer up a free weight or two, so that you can get a sampling of using their font and be compelled to purchase the entire family, and then go on to buy every font the designer or company has made (or ask your best pirating friend to hook you up, which is completely and totally wrong, the amount of work that goes into just ONE character and weight of a font is unbelievably insane… great fonts take time and deserve credit)
Here’s an example of a free weight from a paid font family on MyFonts.
Now, I’m not saying that ALL free fonts are good fonts, but by doing the proper digging you can get your hands on some pretty awesome and well designed free fonts that can help push your project to the next level.