Brushes, filters, actions, stock pics. The arsenal of a digital artist is vast, but few things fall near in importance to the font. Yes, your collections may be overflowing from the seems of your dropbox already, but you know you want more. Get your fix from this selection of typographic awesome. Oh, and did I mention that everything’s free?
Montseratt is the epitome of a fantastic free font. Made by artist Julieta Ulanovsky, it draws from typographic styles that found their popularities in the early to mid 20th century while managing to mimic none of them. Instead, Montseratt melds multiple types and creates a style unique to itself. In a sea full of Proximas and Museos, it can’t hurt to step out and add a tinge of variability.
Artimasa Studio’s Debby really pushes the organic end of the font spectrum without doing so in any overbearing way. Incredibly fun, loose, and free, it also manages to hold a somewhat formal feel that makes it seem at home anywhere from an indie cover to a wedding invitation.
Theano Old Style
Theano Old Style seems to hold a middle ground somewhere between similar and distinct. While it appears at home among the likes of Goudy, Trajan, and even Georgia, it also holds small but eye-catching distinctions ranging from the sharp serifs of the “G” to a slightly arced “D” and dozens of tweaks in between. Theano is a gorgeous title text that gives a breath of fresh air in a relatively stagnant scene.
Alex Dale’s Reckoner font brings together defining elements of both traditional and modern font designs to create an immensely effective concoction. The all-caps font creates a strong juxtaposition of geometric and organic elements that in themselves capture the attention of the viewer. This is then added upon by “lowercase” letter options that maintain the same form but implement a sharp accent to pull focus and add flair. Dale’s influences include fonts such as Bebas, Alegre, and Dharma, but the end result is like no other typeface on the market at this time.
Tom Anders Watkins’ Anders is an intensely airy font that hints at depth by using negative space. Its sleek design and implied areas of shape give this font a unique and almost futuristic appearance that isn’t really seen anywhere else. While it may be somewhat restricted in fitting areas of use, this geometric font makes a strong title text that is both open and heavy.
Straight from the thoughts of the French Rationalists to the tips of your fingers, Tomaz Leskovec’s Manifesto works to create a beautiful blend of scientific efficiency and minimalist design that finds itself feeling at home across multitudes of different situations.
While not straying as immensely from the norm as some fonts on this list, Fabien Dispenoy’s Fabfelt Script still holds ground as a clean script that is simply all around nice to use. It creates a hybrid between industrial and organic by applying a handwritten flow that is encased in smooth edges and mechanical implementation, which in turn makes the font seem natural while still having a more professional appearance than many alternatives. From retro revivalism to modern chic, this script feels comfortable in a plethora of homes.
Strength comes in numbers, or letters in the case of Manteka by Edu Araya. Manteka is a free font that has been taking the design world by storm lately, but don’t let the hype turn you away. As a font designed specifically for print purposes, its key focus lies in readability. By using strong, streamlined letter forms, Manteka forms an easily readable, yet strongly noteworthy, typeface with endless possibilities.