Advantages of Free Font Sites and Paid Font Sites

Whether you’re a graphic designer, business owner, or just someone who loves unique fonts, you’ll find that there are many types of fonts readily available on the Web today. There are Web sites that offer free font downloads and there are also sites that offer paid fonts for download. Some sites even offer both options – free or paid. Below is a detailed look at the advantages of both free and paid font sites, and a brief look at what you might expect during your font search.

Benefits of Using Free Font Sites

Free font sites have been around many years. There are so many of these sites that you must pick and choose carefully. Before discussing the benefits, you should understand how to find good quality free fonts. First, use targeted keywords to narrow your search. Type in various “rights” of free fonts to conduct your searches. For example, the keywords “royalty free fonts” or “freeware fonts” might be used. Make sure the free font site you choose is legitimate, and has permission from the font’s designer to redistribute the fonts for free.
Also, many free sites are categorized, giving you the option to search by category or theme. So, at a search engine you might narrow your search to find a particular type of font, such as “royalty free sans serif fonts” or “freeware handwriting fonts.” This will save you much time during a search. The more specific your keywords, the better.

It’s Free – Save Money!

One of the main benefits of downloading free fonts is – of course – they’re free! You can build a site with great fonts and keep costs down to a minimum. This is great if you’re building a small business site on a tight budget or your own personal site that’s not for profit. Using free font sources, you can experiment with many different fonts without emptying your wallet, and build a fascinating site as a result.

Abundant and Easy to Find

You can locate free font sites easily on the Web. Once you narrow your search using the suggestions above, many great sites that offer free fonts will appear within minutes. If you’re in a hurry or need lots of fonts quickly, these free sites can come in handy. Besides finding the fonts quickly, you will also benefit from the various styles of fonts available. Bookmark several free font sites and visit each one to discover new font styles and formats. You’ll never be bored with your fonts again.

Take Advantage of “Try Before You Buy” Fonts

One segment of the free fonts industry is shareware. Shareware fonts are those that you can try out for free before deciding if you want to buy it. These aren’t actually “free” but do offer a great way to test new fonts without monetary risks. Shareware fonts are sometimes available at free or paid font sites. Some sites specialize in only shareware fonts. Either way, it’s an easy way to find the right fonts for your project before you spend a dime.

Freeware Fonts for Your Own Use

Freeware fonts are those you can use with the author’s permission, but cannot be redistributed. These fonts are typically limited in use, such as one-use only or use on one Web site only. With freeware, you get to enjoy the talents and creativity of many font designers as long as you abide by the rules. This gives you a broad selection of fonts without spending a fortune.

Download Free Fonts to Get Ideas for Your Own Creations

Though you should never copy someone else’s font design, downloading free fonts is a great way to get ideas for your own font creations. Most “original” ideas come when viewing other designs to get the wheels turning. Free font sites offer the benefit of viewing unusual designs by various authors to keep fresh ideas flowing.

Benefits of Using Paid Font Sites

Like free font sites, paid font sites offer many benefits as well. One of the obvious benefits is that the quality is often exceptionally better with paid font sites. A paid font might be offered in a variety of types including italics, bold, etc., all while keeping its good quality with each style. The good quality can be seen when using the fonts on the Web or in print. So, if you’re needing high quality fonts for design work online or off, paid font sites might be your best avenue.

Immediate Downloads

Paid fonts are usually downloadable immediately once your payment is sent. No filling out lengthy surveys or wading through a load of advertisements to get your fonts. You can pay and download without delay. This is great if you’re in a hurry and need a high-quality font fast.

True Type, Clear Type and Open Type

Three popular high-quality fonts are called True Type, Clear Type and Open Type. These can usually be found in more abundance at paid font sites because they are created using tedious methods that reveal amazing quality. True Type fonts were developed using a Microsoft and Apple interface called True Type. These fonts are automatically installed on computers as default fonts. Clear Type fonts are designed to appear very clear on the screens of laptops and flat monitors. Open Type fonts are an extension of True Type fonts.

At paid font sites, you can locate the type of font you want without worry of copyright violations. You will be assured of the availability and quality when making your purchase.

Working with Fonts as a Designer

Paid font sites also offer a tremendous advantage if you work with fonts on a continual basis. Tight schedules, client deadlines and pressure from the boss can all crimp your creative side if you’re not careful. That’s why having a few reliable paid font sources can be a lifesaver! As a graphic designer, you are always in search of ideas to add spice to your creations. One Web page might have two or three different fonts: a headline font, a text font and a special character font. Paid font sites offer fonts in many sizes, styles and formats so you can pick and choose those according to your design project needs.

If you create company logos, paid font sites offer the benefit of many fabulous styles to suit the needs of your clients. Every logo is unique and should reflect the goal of the company. Fonts can help you do just that.

Another advantage as a designer is the fact that you can often find fonts that are compatible to your needs. You might need fonts that will work with your printer, design program or computer system. Some fonts are compatible with Microsoft Windows but not with a Macintosh, or vice versa. With paid font sites, there is usually more flexibility in this area, so you are able to find exactly what you need, when you need it.

Match a Favorite Font

Some paid font sites offer the service of matching a font for you. If you have a favorite font from a magazine ad or Web site, they’ll find either the exact font or one that closely resembles it for you. Some offer this service for a small fee, and some offer it free. It’s much easier to use a service like this than to search through thousands of fonts to find the right match.

Order Custom Fonts

If you need a special type of font, you can sometimes request that someone design the font for you. They’ll usually charge a design charge as well as a fee for using the font, but it’s a great way to get the font you need if it has a rare design. Some paid font sites will put you in touch with a designer so you can request a custom font design directly.

Fonts in Different Languages

If you need a font in a different language, some paid font sites offer this service. In some languages, the letter formations are different, therefore, the font styles will be different from English. This is a custom service that’s not usually offered at free font sites.

No Advertisements

With paid font sites, you have no need to worry about pop-ads for every download, ads embedded in your font pages or ads attached to the site itself that can slow the page’s load time or download time. You’re paying for the fonts, so the site doesn’t have to be supported by all those advertisements. Many free font sites rely on advertising dollars to keep the site in operation, so it’s the price you must pay for free fonts.

Font CDs

You might notice font CDs at both paid and free font sites. These are CDs that contain many fonts you can use by purchasing the one disc. With a font CD, you’ll receive a variety of fonts from different designers that have been compiled onto the CD. If considering a font CD, always make sure that the fonts are being redistributed legally. Otherwise, you’re putting yourself and your clients at risk by using someone’s design without permission. CDs are usually affordable, however, there are specialized font CDs with extremely high quality that can be costly. The great thing about font CDs is you don’t have to download all the different fonts – they’re in one secure place already.

As you can see, both free and paid font sites can be advantageous. Either way, there are thousands (if not millions) of amazing fonts available today.