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About Dingbat Fonts
Dingbat fonts are known for containing special symbols or simple flourishes or shapes. However, they can be so much more, and font designers have seized on a few little-known attributes of fonts in order to provide detailed, scalable, high-quality artwork hidden inside a simple-looking font.
Fonts are basically a form of vector art, their curves defined mathematically, not by pixels. This means that a tiny letter "a" that you type on your keyboard could be printed out at billboard size or to cover a blimp without any problem. It also means that whatever is typed can be easily given any one color that you like. And if you want to fill it with two or more colors or manipulate it further? You can type it into a vector program like Adobe Illustrator, select "Create Outlines," and now your font is vector artwork with points you can manipulate however you please.
Because they're so easily manipulated, designers have created dingbat fonts with all sorts of great artwork, some of it free to use for personal and even commercial use. Here we're going to go over the 10 best free floral dingbats available today, and talk about some uses for floral dingbats.
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Project Ideas Using Floral Dingbat Fonts
Some print uses for floral dingbats could be:
- Wedding invitations
- Spring/summer-oriented projects and crafts
- Use in a monogram for personal stationery
- Baby announcements
- Use as a bullet point, border, or as a flourish between paragraphs or to signify the end of a paragraph
- Logo/identity for florists, landscapers, garden shops – caveat: make it your own! You must never use clip art as-is for identity purposes
- Use as an evocative image in ads or promotions for perfume, personal care, travel
However, there are even more options beyond print:
- Valentine's crafts
- Summer-themed crafts
- Embroidery, cross stitch and sewing
- T-shirt designs
- Woodburning and glass etching
You're limited only by your imagination. Any project utilizing art or iconic imagery can potentially make use of dingbats or floral dingbats.
On to the fonts!
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We'll begin with the free floral dingbats that are free for any use, personal or commercial. Floralia, by Manfred Klein, has 52 different dingbats, including a fleur de lis. These lean more towards ornate flourishes, with not every letter evoking a particular flower. They range from fussy heraldry-type ornaments to a few true flower shapes.
Floralia is unique in that it has over 20 dingbats that appear dandelion-inspired, with deliciously flowing yet razor-pointed leaves.
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Hibiscus, by pokelele, is certainly focused: every one of its 52 dingbats is a variation on a hibiscus flower. On top of that, the second 26 are a mirror image of the first 26. However, Hibiscus is free for all uses, and it's well-drawn shapes evoke a warm, tropical atmosphere.
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Aierbazzi's designer, Roberto Cecchi, says:
"This font is part of my diploma thesis. I designed Aierbazzi to study possibilities offered by ordinary fonts to create illustrations in a simple way through combination / processing of some preset shapes (keys)."
This one's unique. Each letter represents one stem or branch. By typing several and overlaying them you can create organic, original plant shapes. These shapes bring the feel of bustling weed-flowers gone or going to seed, each one a singular creation. Aierbazzi could make some awesome grunge-like flower shapes for a t-shirt design.
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It's surprising that Schluss Vignetten is free for all uses. This font stands out for its dingbats that look like woodcuts. Schluss Vignetten comes with a variety of common flower shapes like tulips, daffodils, roses, and more. It also includes several symmetrical vaguely-floral dingbats.
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Now we move into the free floral dingbats that are free for personal use. Flower Ornaments, by Font Freak, is a doozy, in spite of only having 9 dingbats. Each of these dingbats is a highly-detailed flourish, designed to add an elegant touch to designs. They're short, wide flourishes that would be excellent for borders or for emphatic endings.
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Saru's Flower Ding
Saru's Flower Ding, by sRB-Powers, is a little bit more cutesy and girly than the other floral dingbats we've seen so far. These images have a 1960s, flower power-like feel to them. All of them are variations on a perky daisy, ranging from five to over a dozen rounded or pointed petals. Saru's Flower Ding contains 52 variations on the daisy theme, perfect for projects for girls in your life, from bedroom stencils to decorations for a daughter's scrapbook page.
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LP Flowers 2
LP Flowers 2, by ShadowyMist, contains 26 different, stylized flower-shaped dingbats, somewhere between pure flower shapes and the flourishes of Floralia. Included are images of roses, a pinwheel, tulips, and holly leaves with berries.
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Kalocsai Flowers, by No Images Fonts, has over 52 designs, many of them mirror images of one another. These are chunkier than your average flower dingbat. Kaloscai Flowers leans towards more stylized shapes evoking peonies, black-eyed susans, daisies, tulips, geranium, roses, and more.
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KR Spring Me
KR Spring Me is one of several free floral dingbat fonts offered by Kat's Fun Fonts. Like Saru's Flower Ding, KR Spring Me is lighthearted, a nice balance for some of the heavier-feeling fonts we've got here otherwise. It's mostly lightweight line drawings of somewhat whimsical tulips, daisies, paperwhites, chrysanthemum, pansies, and more. This dingbat set also contains a few garden-related images like a butterfly and a flower cart.
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A varied and large collection, WM Flowers, by WillyMac, is actually a set of three different fonts, with over 100 free floral dingbats. Some of these are very detailed, and there are some unique concepts, like a painter's palette with flowers on it and different baskets of flowers. For variety, you can't go wrong with this one.
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This selection of free floral dingbat fonts contains something for any taste: whimsical, woodcuts, simple, detailed. Use them for adding flower accents to designs and projects. Let us know how you put these dingbats to use.
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Designer Roberto Cecchi quote: http://www.dafont.com/aierbazzi.font
Screenshots provided by Amy Carson
10 Free Floral Dingbat Fonts
Dingbats are extremely versatile fonts that let you take the scalable properties of traditional typefaces and apply them to great images and clip art. This series describes, in more detail, how to use these tools and helps you find your own free dingbats to download.