As a graphic designer, you will work with typography and fonts every day to create beautiful visual solutions. As we know, not all fonts are free and can be pretty pricey which can add up over time. So what are the best free fonts for graphic designers?
In this article I’ll share the 53 best free fonts you can use in the sans serif, serif, display, monospace, and script categories. All of the fonts on this list are available for personal and commercial use courtesy of Google Fonts. I will also go over how you can download and use each of these fonts to your laptop or computer.
Best Free Fonts
Best Free Sans Serif Fonts
The modern typeface, Arimo is an innovative and refreshing sans-serif design that is metrically compatible with Arial. It offers improved on-screen readability characteristics as well as a pan-European WGL character set so developers can address document portability across platforms without issues. Arimo was designed by Steve Matteson a font designer based in Louisville Colorado. Owner of Matteson Typographics and formerly Type Director for Monotype and Ascender Corp.
Archivo Black was crafted to have high-performance characteristics in both print and digital platforms. It's designed with support for over 200 world languages, making it perfect if you need an easy way of communicating across borders without having your message compromised by cultural boundaries!
Didact Gothic is the perfect font for presenting each letter in its most basic form. This makes it great when you need to focus on literacy efforts, like with children's books! Initially designed by Daniel Johnson, the entire font was revised by Alexei Vanyashin at Cyreal in 2017.
DM Sans is a geometric sans-serif typeface, created by the international award-winning typeface studio, Colophon Foundry to be used for smaller text sizes. It supports a Latin Extended character set which allows its users flexibility in typesetting English and other Western European languages like French or German.
IBM Plex Sans
IBM Plex is a typeface family by Mike Abbink, designer at IBM BX&D, in collaboration with Bold Monday. This Grotesque-style neutral sans serif includes many styles for different languages and has excellent legibility both print or online on desktop computer screens as well mobile device displays like tablets.
Inter is a friendly family of fonts that can be used for any project. It has tall x-heights to help make readability when using mixed case and lowercase text. It has a variety of OpenType features like contextual alternates which adjust punctuation depending on what else surrounds it (such as another letter or digit), slashed zeroes so you don't confuse "0" with its counterpart O-- as well as tabular numbers too. The Inter project was started by Rasmus Andersson—a Swedish designer & developer living in San Francisco.
The letters of Montserrat are more than just a typeface. They represent the beauty and culture found in downtown Buenos Aires and symbolize what's lost as development changes that place forever with every new building constructed upon its ruins. Julieta Ulanovsky had an idea to rescue the old signs and posters from a forgotten place so they can live again through this typeface inspired by them!
The typeface Open Sans was designed by Steve Matteson, Type Director of Ascender Corp. This 897-character set includes the standard ISO Latin 1 and CE character sets as well as Greek or Cyrillic characters depending on your needs for different languages you want to use with it. With upright stress, open forms, and a friendly appearance this font has been optimized for print, web, and mobile applications. No more squinting just because there are too many letters being thrown together.
Roboto is a font with both geometric and humanist features. The letter forms are largely determined by their geometric structure, but Roboto also includes friendly curves that allow for more natural reading rhythms similar to serif and script typefaces typically found on old printed matter.
In 2017, the Japanese technology company Soramitsu commissioned a typeface family for their decentralized autonomous economy focused on empowering projects that benefit society. The designer of this newfangled typeface was determined to create an immediately recognizable yet modern font with low-resolution aesthetics and early screen typography but without any sense or nostalgia--every decision they made had considering the crisp digital environment today in mind.
Best Free Serif Fonts
Merriweather is a family of typefaces that are friendly to read on screens. It features large x-height letters, slightly condensed forms with an open design, and sturdy serifs for contrast against delicate details such as thin lines or small dingbats-like symbols.
If you're looking for a web font that's great in body text, then try out Libre Baskerville. The design is based on American Type Founder Charles Eames' original work from 1941 but features some taller x-height letters and wider counters to help make it easier to read when used online versus printed material where space isn't always limited by page size.
Source Serif Pro
Source Serif is a friendly typeface, designed to complement the Source Sans Pro family. The close companionship of these two fonts can be seen by their matching letter proportions and typographic coloration.
'Domine' was designed to be friendly and legible at any size, from 14 through 16 pixels. This font shines on the web because it has all of your favorite old-fashioned typefaces like Clarendon, Century, Cheltenham, and Clearface - with a little something extra added in there too.
Libre Caslon Text
Optimized for web body text, Libre Caslon Text is a fresh take on the classic style. Derived from printing press technology and designed specifically to be seen online where space can't always accommodate large letterforms as they do in print media--think Twitter or Facebook feeds! With its clean lines and legible shapes, this typeface will work well with just about any design aesthetic while still looking gorgeous when printed off in larger sizes.
The dashing Fraunces is a display, "Old Style" soft-serif typeface inspired by the mannerisms of early 20th century typefaces such as Windsor and Souvenir. This design was created through a collaboration between Phaedra Charles (a designer) and Flavia Zimbardi who are partners at Undercase Type Co., Ltd..
With a name like Ovo, it's no surprise that this font is inspired by the old-fashioned charm of yesteryear. With its classic serif style and subtle details in each letterform, you can imagine yourself reading through an antique volume from cover to cover without ever being bored.
Hepta Slab is a typeface that pays homage to the old style of lettering found in books from centuries past. It has ten weights with two extremes for use on display pieces, seven middle options which are perfect when setting text, and one demi weight just right for adding elegance where needed.
Cutive is the perfect typeface to use for adding characters to your body text as well as larger sizes. It's based on classic typewriter faces like IBM’s Executive and Smith-Premier, which were popularized by older generations before them because they have been able to maintain their nostalgic appeal while still being modern enough not to appear outdated or quaint.
Brawler is an elegant, typeface with sharp features and sturdy construction perfect for comfortable reading in small sizes. It was originally designed to be used in newspapers or tabloids that had low-quality print media - which accounts for its design concept based on these demands of publishing materials at all time periods throughout history.
The new Antic Didone typeface is an exciting addition to the family. It was designed with Newspaper and Magazine headlines in mind, complementing its two other versions, Sans and Didone, which give designers freedom from having only one set of rules when creating typographic designs using all three families at once.
DM Serif Text
The DM Serif Text family is a more robust counterpart to the high-contrast display sibling. The serifs remain delicate while still providing an elegant look for smaller text sizes and subheadings in your work, making it perfect!
Prata is a typeface that has very sharp features and organic teardrops. The contrast in its serifs makes it perfect for titles or other strongly-worded text since they help add an extra layer of emphasis. This results in viewers being able to read your message more easily because there's less clutter on their screens when reading such large amounts of text. The triangular shapes accent each individual stroke while still maintaining structural integrity overall by keeping lengths even across letter widths.
Best Free Display Fonts
The Abril Fatface type family was created with the goal of capturing both readability and aesthetic appeal. The heavyweight curve, sharp corners, and wide x-height make this font perfect for any project that needs an attention-grabbing headline or logo design.
Alfa Slab One
Alfa Slab One is a modern take on an ancient design that was originally created for the Thorowgood Foundry back in 1921. The original model had very few characteristics of its own, so Alfa decided to change some things up by making it much heavier with big serifs and contrast between stems and terminals- which gives this font a more contemporary appeal while still retaining an extreme black-dense look.
Corben is a clean and modern font with the perfect amount of attitude. It's designed to be easy on your eyes while still having some classic display lettering, so you can have that old-school flavor without having any trouble looking at it.
Bebas is designed to be used in headlines and captions and packaging. The extended character set makes it perfect for professionals who need more variety than just letters but also includes OpenType features.
The contrast between the thick and thin strokes of this font makes it perfect for use in large print or display designs. It can also work well when used on smaller screens because its simple design means there isn't any clutter from too many decorations detracting away from your content like other display scripts might do.
Playfair is a transitional design that takes its influence from the designs of John Baskerville and Scottish Roman styles. This typeface works well for large headings such as those on signs or banners because it has high contrast features like delicate hairlines, which make them stand out against whatever material they're printed onto.
Titan One is the perfect font to use when you want your text to pop with personality. It's got that joyful, youthful energy and big brush lettering reminiscent of old-school hand-lettered logos from years ago.
Calistoga is a font that has been inspired by lettering found on posters created for the Western US-based Santa Fe Railroad. The vintage flavor can be felt throughout this design, as it includes proportional figures and other features such as tabs or old-style text formatting with lining figures to create an authentic look at life back then when things were less complicated than now.
DM Serif Display
DM Serif Display is a friendly, high-contrast face that will suit any project. With delicate serifs and fine detailing it's the perfect choice for use in super-sized poster settings.
Yeseva is a serif typeface with an elegant and feminine essence. The name Yeseva stems from the phrase 'yes, Eva' which shows complete agreement between men and women.
Best Free Monospace Fonts
Azeret Mono is an exploration of the past, present, and future. The typeface was created by taking elements from different sources to create something new – more than just futuristic but also rooted in history while still looking ahead at what's coming next
The new Courier Prime family is more refined than its predecessor, with crisper serifs and less rounded corners. The bold weight of the font has been made a bit darker to give it an even grittier feel.
Cutive is a typeface that's been designed with the goal of adding character and nostalgia to body texts as well as larger sizes for headings. It draws inspiration from classic typewriter faces such as IBM’s Executive which reemerges in webfont form so they can be used on websites today.
DM Mono is a three-weight, geometric sans-serif typeface that was created for DeepMind. The design has less contrast and more humanlike proportions than DM Sans which makes it easier on viewers' eyes in general but also allows users to understand what they're looking at better.
Roboto Mono is a new addition to the Roboto family. Like other members in this typeface family, it has been designed with readability on screens across various devices and reading environments in mind—especially those that are limited by space or screen widths like ebooks. While its variable-width cousin needs no such accommodations because each letter takes up exactly one horizontal pixel (or unit).
Space Mono is an original typeface that combines the geometric foundation and grotesques found in futuristic logotypes from decades ago with qualities often seen in science fiction films, television shows, or literature.
Inconsolata is a monospace font, designed for printed code listings and the like. There are many "programmer fonts," but they're not always screen-optimized with detailed enough styling to render at high resolutions on today's monitors.
Source Code Pro
The Source Code family was designed specifically for coding environments, but its regular weight will work just as well in any project. It features all of the same great design elements and vertical proportions that you love about source sans - with uniform glyph widths across different types/weights. The Pro version includes support for languages using Latin script.
In the mid-90s, designers Susan Lesch and David Lamkins created a free Macintosh font called Anonymous 9 with intentions to make it more legible than Monaco. Nowadays we can enjoy their work through the four different fixed-width fonts that were designed especially for coding, Anonymous Pro.
VT323 was created from the glyphs of the DEC VT320 text terminal, which was used in college by designer Peter Hull and for which retains an unaccountable sense of nostalgia.
Best Free Script Fonts
Berkshire Swashy is a captivating semi-sweet typeface with a bold yet feminine flair that you just can't resist.
With its lively script and big caps that go below the baseline. Dancing Script is a great font to use for headlines or logos because it has that retro feel without being too far into the old-fashioned territory.
Made from scratch, a good apple pie is hard to beat. If you find yourself short on recipes and need some help making your masterpiece—use this beautifully drawn script font with its genuine-sounding cursive writing style.
Pacifco is an original and fun brush script font that was inspired by the 1950s American surf culture. The letters were redrawn in 2011, and expanded to Cyrillic with help from Botjo Nikoltchev of Lettersoup Studios for 2017.
The Caveat typeface is an elegant and modern handwriting-style font. It was created by designer Pablo Impallari for short notes or body text, but it can also be used to write long essays thanks its OpenType features which allow variations within each letter according to how they're located in a word.
Permanent Marker is like the good old days when you could just stop by your favorite art store to get some sharpies. The feel of a marker in hand and the ability for any thought or idea written on paper to be artful scribble.
Kalam is a typeface that was designed to be both friendly and modern. It's origins come from old-fashioned handwriting, but it has been optimized for use on screens or paper so you can feel confident about your text without worrying if people will read what you wrote. Kalam supports the Devanagari and Latin writing systems.
Courgette is the perfect typeface for any occasion where you need an elegant and classy look. The brushy texture will make your message stand out, while still being easy enough to read at smaller sizes with its low-stroke contrast.
Handmade with felt-tip markers, Rock Salt is perfect for adding a personal touch to any project.
The Yellowtail script typeface is a medium-weight, old-school styled font that has the look and feel of classic 1930s fonts like Gillies Gothic or Kaufmann yet it also incorporates some aspects from more modern sign painter scripts.
How to Download Free Fonts from Google Fonts
Using free fonts from Google Fonts is an easy 3 step process. When visiting Google fonts there are two ways you can use and implement the fonts for your designs. The first use is for implementation on a website which involves inserting some code into your HTML files. The second use and the one we will be focusing on is downloading the fonts onto the desktop of your computer or laptop and installing the font using the system-provided software.
1. Select Your Free Font
Select the font that you would like to use from Google fonts.
2. Download Your Free Font
In the top right corner of that specific font's page you will see a button that says “Download family”. Click it to begin your free font download.
3. Install Your Free Font
After your free font download has finished, unzip the file to reveal your free font. Install the given font files using your system’s recommended software to use in programs like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Figma, and more.
As always if you have any questions feel free to message me on TikTok or Instagram. If you are looking to improve your graphic design portfolio, you can also sign up for a free 1-on-1 portfolio review using this link here. See you in the next article!
What is your favorite free font from this list?