An Introduction to Free Fonts
Shouting those two magic words in the right sequence – "Free fonts!" – is sure to grab everyone's attention. Because, admit it, everybody loves free fonts. However, free is never free just like that. And free is not always really free. It can sometimes become very expensive, and even potentially ruin your business. Lost me? Read on, because all will become clear in the next series of posts.
As I announced just before TYPO Berlin, what comes next will be an adaptation of my presentation Fonts, a Passionate Love Story, or an Abusive Relationship?. It was a loose amalgamation of my ideas about free fonts, commercial fonts, and the perceived value of digital type. Hopefully by sharing my insights on The FontFeed I will be able to clarify a couple of things. To avoid this becoming an overlong article I will publish it as a succession of shorter posts.
Nora Ali drawing type using black and white gouache paint, at the Bruno Maag | Dalton Maag Type Design workshop at the German University in Cairo.
I don't mind free fonts
The first misunderstanding I'd like to get out of the way is this one. In the past, and specifically on Typophile, I have been quite vocal about free fonts. However – contrarily to what some people believe – I have no problems whatsoever with the concept of free fonts. When discussing digital type, I have the impression many people think they need to take a stance, be it unconditionally pro-free fonts or pro-commercial fonts. This is of course nonsense, as there is room for both, and they both have a reason for being. You can criticise specific aspects of a phenomenon without being completely against it. So don't paint me as a defender of commercial fonts (or inversely a hater of free fonts). Like Chester once wrote, I simply am "a champion of type design", regardless of how it is produced or distributed.
Too bad it's a commercial font. I had no ideas fonts could be copyrighted commercially to be sold for a profit (well I did, but I figured most of them were scams). If they aren't recognized by the government as intellectual property, then why are they not being distributed freely but rather sold?
Actual comment on the Typophile Type Identification Board
Dsignes during a trek across the Himalayas, Ladakh, northern India.
Fonts don't just magically appear out of nowhere
Fonts don't just magically appear out of nowhere. However you can't blame people for getting this impression. The operating system of any computer comes pre-installed with a decent selection of fonts, readily available in the Fonts menu. Furthermore all text editing and graphic design software packages include an additional amount of digital typefaces. Without having to do anything, from the get-go computer users have a respectable collection of fonts at their disposal. So it is understandable the uninitiated never question where all those "free fonts" come from, and are genuinely oblivious to the fact that designing and licensing type can be a legitimate commercial activity.
I put "free fonts" in quotation marks, because this is of course a misunderstanding. Although they may appear so, these fonts are not free at all. Next post we'll examine the different types of "free" fonts.
Frederik Berlaen | Type My Type drawing characters on tracing paper.
Typefaces are designed by real human beings
Typefaces are designed by real human beings. I know this may sound self-evident to most of you, but trust me, some people don't realise this. Not because they have ill intentions – they just never gave it a second thought. They don't realise someone has to imagine all those characters, shape them into being, and turn them into digital type. And even when they do know this, they often have no idea how much talent, skill, mastery of the craft, and countless hours, days, months, sometimes even years of hard work it takes to create a successful type family. This changes the perspective completely, and I will address the perceived value of type in the post after next.
Header image:ƒStop 700.009, from Boxed In. Photographer: Halfdark
- ·"David Bowie is turning us all into voyeurs" button
- ·47 free tattoo fonts for your body art
- ·Iconic Transport for London logo undergoes subtle redesign
- ·London Underground's iconic Johnston Sans typeface
- ·Make market-ready fonts with this 8 point checklist
- ·Benetton identity redesign
- ·Quimbaya Coffee Roasters
- ·Once Upon DESIGN: New Routes for Arabian Heritage
- ·Barbe à papa Cotton Candy
- ·Sinnesreize / Embracing Sensation by Silvia Gertsch and Xerxes Ach
游客's review on Article 免费商用中文字体有哪些？注意下，新蒂字体已不能商用。
游客's review on Article 超强视觉冲击-3D字体设计作品超强视觉冲击
游客's review on Article 20个出色的艺术字体设计作品欣赏优秀作品展
游客's review on Article 全球第一家手书数字化平台-在线书写毛笔字生成TTF字体给你全世界智慧
馬塞客's review on Article 字体疑问？1.可能是版权问题故意的。（体验版） 2、可能是字库制作时疏忽bug。
游客's review on Article 自己动手用FontCreator修改字体简单教程因为这是日本的字体，所以缺字很正常，字型的编排也是按照日本教育部标准做的。