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Free Typefaces for Creating a Ransom Note Effect

written by: •edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 7/12/2010

If you are planning to "kidnap" your child's friends for a slumber party or stage a jail-and-bail fundraiser, have fun with fonts. Here are some free typefaces, ransom note-appropriate.

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    What Is a Ransom Note Effect?

    When kidnappers hold a child or important, connected person hostage, they often send a ransom note to the child's parents, authorities or others in a position to respond. In the note, they inform the recipients of their demands. Historically, many kidnappers have created ransom notes by snipping words or letters from newspaper and magazine pages, typically wearing gloves or using tweezers. This is so neither their handwriting nor their fingerprints can be traced by the note.

    The following free typefaces, ransom note-like, have qualities similar to the cutout letters used in notorious ransom notes.

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    Laundromat 1967

    Laundromat 1967 

    Laundromat 1967 is a free typeface that has many ransom note text properties. The characters vary in font, size and angle. Many of the letters and numbers appear to be smudged, as if by the process of pressing bits of newspaper onto wet glue. If you want to create a basic ransom note-like publication, this is a fun font. However, it is not a comprehensive one. This typeface only includes letters and numbers without punctuation marks or other special characters. In addition, uppercase and lowercase letters are identical.

    You can download this free ransom note typeface at FontSpace.

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    St. Francis

    St. Francis 

    St. Francis is a free typeface that will work for most ransom note styled publications. The characters vary mostly in size and weight. They look less like a true ransom note in which letters have been physically cut and glued to a page and more like the user changed the font for each and every letter. That being said, this typeface may clearer and more legible. Another plus is that it does include different uppercase and lowercase letters, as well as numbers and special characters.

    Download this typeface free at Fontage.

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    Black Casper

    Black Casper 

    Some free typefaces have a more authentic ransom note appearance, and Black Casper is one of these. Some of the characters are black on a white background, others are white on a black background, and all of them have a border that lends the appearance of text cut from the pages of a newspaper or magazine. In fact, some of the letters even include fragments of the other letters in the word from which they were supposedly snipped. Uppercase and lowercase letters are all unique. Numbers are included, as are a modicum of special characters such as a question mark, exclamation point and dollar sign.

    Download Black Casper at Font Squirrel.

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    Aptly named, the last in our listing of free typefaces, Ransom Note features letters, numbers and special characters that have asymmetrical borders around them as though they were hand-torn from a magazine. With a mixture of black-on-white and white-on-black fonts, uppercase and lowercase letters all differ. Other characters include the numbers 0 through 9 and basic punctuation marks.

    Download this font at Urban Fonts.

    For details on where to find a host of other free fonts, check out Finding and Using Free Fonts for Windows.