written by: Thursday Bram•edited by: Daniel P. McGoldrick•updated: 11/12/2010
It seems like every desktop publisher uses the same five fonts — and they all came with Microsoft Word. If you’re looking to make your publications stand out, using a few different fonts is the easiest route. Thousands of fonts are available for free, if you know where to look online.
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Dafont lists thousands of free fonts, divided into the following categories: Fancy, Foreign, Techno, Bitmap, Gothic, Basic, Script, Dingbats, and Holiday. Downloading fonts is simple: find a font you like, click download, and the site automatically starts the process. Dafont’s Top 100 is a good place to start.
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While 1001 Free Fonts doesn’t have quite the variety that Dafont offers, it does have a more selective approach to its listing. 1001 Free Fonts also offers a font preview, allowing you to see what a few words will look like in a particular font.
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You can browse through over 9,000 free fonts at Creamundo. It’s actually one of the easier sites for viewing fonts — you can easily scroll through fonts without having to go to a new page to look at each font that catches your eye. It is a little more complicated to download fonts from Creamundo, however. There are a few more steps beyond clicking one link for an automatic download, but there are directions.
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Abstract Fonts isn’t really limited to just abstract fonts: they have over 10,000 free fonts of all types. Most font sites categorize fonts into different groups, but with Abstract Fonts you’ll just have to dive in and start looking. However, the site does offer a font catalog as a PDF that you can download and print, if you would rather browse through a hard copy.
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Using Free Fonts
Once you’ve downloaded a font, you’ll need to install it. The procedure differs between different types of computer, but most of these sites maintain specific instructions on how to install their fonts. It’s important to read the documentation that comes along with free fonts as well. Some font designers offer their work for free, but only for certain purposes. You’ll need to make sure that your project qualifies.
No matter what event or holiday you are planning, if you are creating flyers or invitations for it, you'll want a font that's appropriate for the task. This series uncovers the best fonts to use for your desktop publishing projects, and better yet, every one of these fonts is free.