Free Fonts

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Quick Overview of Fonts Copyrights


The copyright of fonts is slightly different than most copyrights. Fonts can be used for one of two reasons...


  1. Typeface: meaning the font that is used to type a document, articles, books... 
  2. Design: meaning the font that is used in logos, advertisements, t-shirts, etc. 


I'm not sure the details of criteria for a font to fall under either category, but I'd say in real world savvyness, focus on how much of an attention whore the font is in its purpose. The more center stage and the more importance of the font in the product, the more it will be a design function as opposed to a typeface function, which primary purpose is mainly to communicate.

Fonts used as a typeface has no copyright. If you write a book, you can use any font you want without infringing upon someone's intellectual property. But fonts used in design, like a Facebook meme or t-shirt, those have some copyright to them, especially the computer code. It was said a loophole around it is to print up the font, scan it in, and make your own from that (to circumvent using someone else's computer code of anchor points and what not), but if you want to be safe, in your designs, use fonts you know you are allowed to use.

Some of the ones in the program's package, like Photoshop or MS Word, are only free to use for personal use and not commercial use, but really they are free for typeface uses and some of them have a free for commercial use license for design purposes. The best thing to do is google the name of the font, and make a judgment call based on that.

Best Free Fonts Sites 

especially for commercial use... 

Font Squirrel: The best site for free fonts for commercial use

Blue Vinyl fonts has some for free, and some for sale. The free ones include both lettering and dings, and her dings are genius for the designer. I frequently used 60's chic for the little retro sparkle star before I created one of my own.

Vic Fieger has a lot of fonts on Dafont and more professional versions on Cheap Fonts Pro.

Dafont is a site of free fonts, but you will have to search for the license. Some fonts have a "read me" file with them that stipulate license use, so you sometimes don't know how you can use it until you download it and extract it (right click, extract files).

Befonts is also a site a free fonts, but some are personal use only. For a good list of 10 Commercial Free fonts from their site, check out 10 Newish Trendy Commercial Free Fonts

Font Fabric has free and paid fonts, but most of the free ones (all but one) are free for personal and commercial use.


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