There’s an enormous choice of typefaces available for web and graphic design projects – even if you have no budget – and it can be hard to find the best ones.
The most versatile free fonts are not only easily legible, they also include a choice of weights and special characters, and don’t need too much fiddling in terms of kerning and tracking.
Here we’ve assembled a collection of some brilliant typefaces that you can download and use with no (or very few) strings attached. Whether you need something clear and clean for a user interface or a stylish display font for printed work, there’s something here for you.
This list is just a starting point – take a look at each designer’s site or Behance profile to explore more options.
Arvo is a slab serif font (characterized by chunky, block-like serifs) that works well print and on-screen, but is optimized for web use. Its horizontal and vertical strokes have a similar weight (monolinear), but designer Anton Koovid has added a little variation to improve clarity. It's available in two weights, in both regular and italic.
Arvo is published under the SIL Open Font License, and can be used, modified or redistributed in any way you like, as long as you don’t re-sell the font files.
Download here: Arvo
Source Sans Pro – created by Paul Hunt, principal designer at Adobe, and published by Google – is a sans serif font created for user interfaces, though it also works well for long passages of text.
Each letterform is as simple as possible, with only small additions to differentiate similar letter shapes. It’s available in six weights in both regular and italic.
Source Sans Pro is published under the same SIL Open Font License as Arvo (above), giving you plenty of flexibility.
Download here: Source Sans Pro
Audrey (named after Audrey Hepburn) by Cristina Pagnotta is an elegant typeface that uses a well balanced combination of sweeping curves and straight lines. Audrey is supplied in three weights, in normal, oblique and italic (the designer’s profile only mentions the first two, but the italic font is included in the ZIP archive.
Audrey is free for personal and commercial use in print, but you’ll need a license for online applications.
Download here: Audrey
Elegant hand-lettered font Mightype is part of a commercial package, but designer AF Studio has decided to release it free of charge. Its unique shapes were created using a combination of traditional media, including pencils, brushes, drawing pens and markers.
There are some limitations, described in publisher Creative Market's SimpleLicense, but Mightype is free to use for most personal and commercial projects.
Download here: Mightype
Billed as a “no-nonsense modular font”, Cornerstone by Zac Freeland began as a school project, but soon evolved into a full typeface that's free for personal and commercial use.
Cornerstone is currently only available in one weight, but Freedland is working on a pro version of the typeface, so it's well worth keeping an eye on his site.
Download here: Cornerstone