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10 Great Free OpenType Fonts

written by: Michael Guerrero•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 6/1/2011

Here is a collection of the best free OpenType fonts for personal use -- some are available for commercial use as well. This list provides links to 10 fonts which can be used for graphics and web design, blogs, default font replacements and other media detailed in the article.

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    OpenType Fonts

    The OpenType format is one of the two most widely used font formats, the second being its predecessor TrueType. OpenType is a format that is more commonly found in use by typeface developers who can utilize the additional character storage the format has to offer or by users who also utilize the extra character storage for additional, non-standard characters to use in design.

    OpenType fonts are only found using the .otf file extension. OpenType fonts are considerably harder to find because the format is still developing and most often OpenType fonts will be converted into TrueType (.ttf) for easier distribution. However, if you are looking to add or tweak a font yourself or get familiar with the OpenType format we have collected 10 free samples of the best Open Type fonts for you to use for your personal projects.

    Please review each font's individual terms of use. Some fonts included are available for commercial usage while others have some limitations or can only be used for personal, non-commercial projects only.

    (Click images for a larger preview.)

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    Odstemplik

    odstemplik Preview Image. 

    Odstemplik is a cursive styled, handwritten font that features a lot of flourish in the additional characters provided by the OpenType format. This allows for unique and stylish pieces of text to be arranged for elegant formal documents or something less formal like the typeface of a fashion blog.

    Source: http://www.fontspace.com/gluk/odstemplik

    Direct Download: http://www.fontspace.com/download/8480/ff9c9e868ff44d1886d8dc291bccc8b0/gluk_odstemplik.zip

    Terms of Use: SIL Open Font License

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    RawengulkSans

    RawengulkSans Preview Image. 

    RawengulkSans is a sleek and modern looking font that is reminiscent of simple club logo typography or just a simple sans serif font that could be used in place of Arial for personal and informal documents.

    Source: http://www.fontspace.com/gluk/rawengulksans

    Direct Download: http://www.fontspace.com/download/11268/a5535102423643bfb84191f5db8edd10/gluk_rawengulksans.zip

    Terms of Use: SIL Open Font License

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    ImprintMTStd Shadow

    ImprintMTStd Shadow Preview. 

    ImprintMTStd Shadow is a shadowed font that takes a fancy, classy looking font and gives it some interesting depth. This font is great for any sort of project you would like to create the illusion of the text being pressed into the paper which can be a great way to save money on things such as wedding invitations, formal invitations, and other formal documents where imprints are common.

    Source: http://otf.urfonts.com/cat.php?id=shadow

    Direct Download: http://otf.urfonts.com/details.php?font=ImprintMTStd-Shadow

    Terms of Use: Free for non-commercial usage only; option to purchase addtional rights may vary amongst each artist.

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    Adrenalin BubbleOutline

    Adrenalin-BubbleOutline 

    Adrenalin BubbleOutline is a really fun and science-fiction looking font that is modern, sleek, but a little broken in stylish way. The way that certain letters are off-center or sized differently adds unique contrasts that provide a font that is interesting without being difficult to read.

    Source: http://otf.urfonts.com/cat.php?id=outline

    Direct Download: http://otf.urfonts.com/details.php?font=Adrenalin-BubbleOutline

    Terms of Use: Free for non-commercial usage only; Option to purchase addtional rights may vary amongst each artist.

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    DynamoLcDC

    DynamoLcDC Preview Image. 

    DynamocLcDC is a font that mimics LCD lighting arrangements but is fairly simple and incredibly legible. DynamoLcDC is a sans serif font that has a very flat and modern look about it, making it great for use in documents as a replacement for a regular typing font on both formal and informal documents.

    Source: http://otf.urfonts.com/cat.php?id=lcd

    Direct Download: http://otf.urfonts.com/details.php?font=DynamoLcDC

    Terms of Use: Free for non-commercial usage only; Option to purchase addtional rights may vary amongst each artist.

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    LCDEF

    LCDEF Preview Image. 

    LCDEF is the counter-part to DynamocLcDC. Where Dynamo is simple and normal looking, LCDEF embraces the LCD feel. This typeface is clearly derived from the styles put forth by digital clocks with lines that form each number. However, you won't have any problems distinguishing O's, D's, and 0's in this font because it takes some artistic liberties and smooths out the corners to give each letter a unique look to avoid confusion.

    Source: http://otf.urfonts.com/cat.php?id=lcd

    Direct Download:http://otf.urfonts.com/details.php?font=LCDEF

    Terms of Use: Free for non-commercial usage only; Option to purchase addtional rights may vary amongst each artist.

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    Marker-Fat

    MarkerFat Preview Image. 

    Marker-Fat is a graffiti style font that is legible without giving up any of its urban inspired style. Each character has a great look to it that is really cohesive when used together. Anyone looking for a font to add to their graffiti inspired font collection or urban inspired projects should definitely give this typeface a shot.

    Source: http://otf.urfonts.com/cat.php?id=marker

    Direct Download: http://otf.urfonts.com/details.php?font=Marker-Fat

    Terms of Use: Free for non-commercial usage only; Option to purchase addtional rights may vary amongst each artist.

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    LydianMTStd-Cursive

    LydianCursiveBT Regular Preview Image. 

    LydianMTStd-Cursive is a lovely cursive, handwritten font that beams elegance over whatever formal projects you can find use for it. Each character seamlessly ties into the one following it, giving it the genuine handwritten appearance that is sometimes difficult to find. Use this font for wedding invitations or guest books for classy, up-scale events.

    Source: http://otf.urfonts.com/cat.php?id=cursive

    Direct Download: http://otf.urfonts.com/details.php?font=LydianMTStd-Cursive

    Terms of Use: Free for non-commercial usage only; Option to purchase addtional rights may vary amongst each artist.

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    Holstein Regular

    Holstein Regular Preview Image 

    Holstein Regular is an abnormal font that is perfectly legible. It's definitely styled toward those of the Goth or horror themed persuasions as is utilizes blurry effects and inconsistent strokes to give it an air of drama. I can personally say that this would be a great font to use for independant artists, specifically in music or film. It's informal and casual enough that it can be used for titles and logos for the aforementioned projects.

    Source: http://www.fonthead.com/freeware

    Direct Download: http://www.fonthead.com/fonts/Holstein

    Terms of Use: Fonthead Design Inc. EULA

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    SpillMilk

    SpillMilk Preview Image. 

    Spillmilk is another font that is similar in style and function as Holstein Regular in that it is creepy and dramatic, but is definitely cleaner, more slender, and less blurry. It's got more of a Halloween theme to it that can be used for Halloween parties or dark and horror themed projects.

    Source: http://www.fonthead.com/freeware

    Direct Download: http://www.fonthead.com/fonts/SpillMilk

    Terms of Use: Fonthead Design Inc. EULA

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    Credits

    References for all fonts and screenshot samples are included in the individual sections above.

    Additional Information About OpenType Format:

    Brighthub.com: OpenType vs TrueType

    Fonts.com: OpenType

    SIL.org: Open Font License (OFL)

    Fonthead Design Inc.'s End User License Agreement