These fonts are free to use on your website without royalties or penalties (at the time of this writing). They are open source, so users can modify them as needed. Until a few years ago, unique fonts were very expensive to license for a website. Almost no designers offered a font free for commercial use. Today, typographers are releasing open source fonts for web developers. There are a few dozen free fonts that designers could pick from, but although they were functional, they were not visually appealing.
Open Baskerville was based on the original drawings of Baskerville. James Puckett revived these drawings and made them into a font for the web. Other designers also helped create this great open source font, and this is a very attractive, free font to use for graphics or web design.
- Fell Types (Modern: Google IM Fell English)
Igino Marini is one of the first font designers to use an Open Font License. This font is based on 17th-century manuscripts. The designer then added letters for other languages so it can be used worldwide. The font has an interesting history. There is a Google Font version, as well.
Open Sans is by top font designer Steve Matteson. This goes to show that not all open source fonts are from amateurs, and there are professionals who create free fonts, as well.
Santiago Orozco created the font ‘Josefin Sans and Slab’, and it is a high-quality font. It offers quite a bit of variety and flexibility for web developers. With many styles and weights, you can create the graphics that you need. You can also expand upon the font since it is open source.
Riccardo De Franceschi created Gravitas, and it is a fun free font to use for your website. It has a historical reference but is available in only one weight. If this font doesn’t have what you need, you can make it yourself thanks to the open source license.
Matt McInerney created this great font. It has many weights and features as well as being drawn well. It has some small-caps available for a unique look. It is not used often, but it can complement many styles of websites.
This futuristic font created by Daniel Johnson is unique yet very readable. It is drawn well and includes many weights. Based on a classic font called Eurostyle, it adds some character to the old typeface, with subtle changes.
League Gothic is a very popular open source font. It is based on Alternate Gothic #1, but has added characters as well as letters. This font is still being expanded upon, so look for more weights to come later.
Meredith Mandel created this font with just one weight, but it is becoming more and more popular. People have even contributed characters to the font.
Tyler Finck created Ostrich Sans, and it has six weights and styles. While they are different, they do fit well together for web design. This font is a good example of imagination and creativity in modern fonts.
A Final Note
Remember, when putting together your website design (or any design project), to limit your fonts to no more than three different fonts. If there is less content, then you will want to limit yourself to one or two. This is a general design rule. However, even with design rules, the key is to KNOW the rules so that if you do decide to break them, you know what rule you are breaking and why. Now you have the fonts to do with as you please, and create those awesome designs for yourself and for your clients (rules or not).
Joe Hall has been a webmaster for the last 20 years. But now a days he helps promote amazing clients like CubicleConcepts.com on the internet.