Using strong typography will increase the quality and visual appearance of your work, after all strong typographic skills are one of the many keys to great design! This round-up presents 40 beautiful fonts suitable for typographic illustrations, headlines and sub-headers.
Don't get me wrong, typography isn't easy. Having a good font and a keen eye for design doesn't make you a typography expert. It does however improve your chances! Mastering typography takes a lot of reading, a lot of viewing inspiration, and even more time to put these skills and ideas into practice.
You also need good typefaces, and unfortunately these can set you back thousands of bucks. Although spending your hard-earned cash on a new library of typefaces is well worth it and helps to support the design community, if you're just starting out it isn't recommended. Thankfully, there are a bunch of great typographers in the world who brainstorm, design and then create some superb typefaces and fonts purposely to release on the internet free of charge.
All of these fonts have been released to the public for free. Please note that some of them include one style of font (for example, bold or light etc) and other versions (such as italic or strong etc) will set you back a few bucks, ranging from anywhere between $10-400! These fonts can be used commercially however, so go ahead and download these great typefaces and knock yourself out!
Glidesketch is an elegant font with rounded corners, and is great for logos, posters, motion graphics and t-shirts. The name is inspired by the sleek curves and its smooth look. Glidesketch is a free sub-font of Glide which will set you back $35 USD.
Kaine Block is a part of the Kaine font family, and is a free bold slab-serif typeface influenced by Spaghetti Western posters of the 1960's. Other typefaces from the font family are Kaine, Kaine Italic, Kaine Stencil and Kaine Outline, all costing $19 USD each.
The Museo Slab font family is a robust slab-serif font with Museo's friendliness. Museo Slab 500 is one of the free fonts, whereas other weights of the font will decrease the bank balance by $16.50 USD each. Museo Slab 500 Italic is also free.
Museo is the mother font of Museo Slab (mentioned above). The whole font family consists of five different weights. Museo 100 and Museo 900 will set you back $16.50 each, however Museo 300, 500 and 700 are all free.
Arcus Regular is part of the Arcus typeface, featuring a whopping 12 fonts. It is a geometrically constructed and very round font. Every font will cost you a small $14.50 each, with the exception of Arcus Regular and Arcus Italic, which are completely free.
Mentone is a new general purpose typeface and an attempt at extending the line of the great sans-serif fonts of the previous century, such as Frutiger, Stone Sans and Myriad. The font family holds 8 beautiful styles of the typeface, setting you back a mere $90 USD for the whole family. Mentone Semi Bold however is free of charge.
Zag is a custom sans font which is applicable for any type of graphic design, whether it be the web, print, or motion graphics. Each font will cost you $19 USD with the exception of Zag Regular and Bold, which are free.
Galette is a contemporary all-purpose sans-serif font for both print and on-screen media. Galette Medium is free of charge, as well as Galette Medium Oblique. If you're looking for something a bit lighter, Galette Light will cost you a nearly non-existant $12 USD.
Oval is a lovely attractive sans font, perfect for graphic design, both on-screen and off. The font family consists of a huge 13 different typefaces, with the most-used one, Oval Single, being completely free.
St Transmission is a gorgeous typeface as you can clearly see from the image above, being perfect for vintage-style design and almost everything else! It can easily be used as a body font, but is just as suitable for headlines. The whole font family would cost you $149, but thankfully 200 Thin is free, as well as 800 Extra Bold.
Mr Jones is a font family that was produced specifically for headline use, and has since been reworked to be used as body fonts. The family consists of 14 fonts, setting you back $229 USD if you want to go for all of them. Mr Jones Book is one of the few free fonts, and is suitable for headers and paragraph text.
JLS Overkill is a ridiculously strong and bold typeface, and the whole family consists of 13 font, costing $14.99 USD each. The grunge version, JLS Overkill Grunge, is free for personal use, but does cost $14.99 USD for commercial use.
Vertrina is a great typeface, consisting of 8 family fonts. Each individual font is as cheap as chips at $8.95 USD each with the exception of Vertrina Condensed Bold which even cheaper at $0!
Leco 1976 is a headline font, and was inspired by a 1976 bottle of Leco. The font family consists of 13 fonts, from light, regular, bold, pixelated and even shadows. The whole family would cost you $72 USD but the regular version of the font can be downloaded for free.
Whitehaven is the spirit of the Art Deco movement made into a very solid and blocky sans serif font. The name was inspired by the Whitehaven Mansions, a block of flats where Hercule Poirot (a great 1930's detective) lived. The family consists of 9 fonts costing $54.95 USD for the whole set. Alternatively, you can download the single Condensed Bold typeface for free.
Leco 1983 is a headline typeface with three individual styles: regular, blind and negative. Leco 1983 Blind is free, whereas the other two, Regular and Negative, cost $24 USD each.
Tenby is a series of modular geometric display san serif typefaces with a hint of Art Deco combined with a 1980's finish. The family consists of 10 different typefaces, setting you back $12 each or $81.60 USD for the whole family. Tenby Five Light and Tenby Five however are freebies!
Circula Medium is one of six typefaces from the Circula font family. The whole family will set you back $72 USD, but the medium version is completely free. The typeface is a simplified geometric display typeface based on circles, as seen above.
Sovba is a amiable rounded sans serif handwriting font, which can be used for headings, sub-headings and small sections of body copy. The family consists of 12 fonts, all of which cost $21.99 USD each. If you're just looking for the basic font though, Sovba Regular is free.
Sintesi stands for synthesis: the unification of serif and sans serif into a contemporary font. This whopping typeface has 20 different fonts in the family, costing $199 USD for the whole bunch. You can download a small handful of the fonts for free, such as regular, italic, bold and bold italic, however they may only be used for personal use and not commercial use. If you only want one or two fonts, they can be purchased separately for a small $29 USD each.
Mekon is a lovely modern heavy-weight typeface ideal to use for print and on-screen. The seven individual fonts the family contains will cost you $119 for the lot or $32 USD each. You can download the gradient version for free, which although doesn't serve quite as many purposes, is great for headers and digital artwork.
XXII Don't Mess With Vikings is yet another bold and strong typeface. It contains just two fonts, one of which is free (Hardcore), and the other costing just $6.66 USD (Softcore).
VanBerger is a font family that consists of 6 fonts, totalling $89 USD, not including the free VanBerger Stencil typeface. The typeface is influenced by Theo Van Doesburg and the De Stijl movement.
Sylar is a modern linear typeface suited for branding and advertisement projects, as well as headers. The different variations in weight throughout the font family (17 different fonts!) help to give the font a great contrast when used across body copy and headlines. The whole family will cost $174.30 USD, or you can pick up the Sylar Stencil typeface for free.
Should've Known is a font family consisting of two typefaces, both of which are free. The two available fonts are regular and shaded.
Rothwell is another font that contains just two typefaces in the family, and again both of them are free.
Easton Semi is a lovely typeface combining classical antique with corners and edges. The family consists of 3 styles called Easton Serif, East Semiserif and Easton Sans, so there is a great choice. The family will cost you $60 USD. Easton Semi can be downloaded as a demo and used for personal projects.
Dezen Pro is a contemporary, mechanical grotesque typeface. Its letters were first constructed from individual modules and then optically refined to enhance it's rhythm. The tight letter spacing and narrow proportions make this typeface great for headlines. The family consists of 8 fonts and will cost you $419.95 USD, or you can buy them separately for $69.95 USD each. The regular version of Dezen Pro is free.
Sketchetik is a lovely hand-drawn font available in four different styles: light, regular, bold and black. All of them are well suited for headlines and sub-headers. Each font will cost you $19 USD, or you can download the light version for free.
Val Font is a lovely bubble font. Each letter is reversed when using capital letters, allowing you to have much more control over how you use it (click through to see a tutorial on how to use the font). It is suitable for headers and artwork such as t-shirts, motion graphics, or logos.
Deibi v1.0 is a gorgeous typeface suitable for just about anything. Although it has a lot of curves and curls, it can just about be used for small areas of body copy, but is best used in headings, quotes and experimental artwork.
Days is a display typeface meant for use in large sizes and works in an effective way in capitalized headlines. The font (unlike a lot of other free fonts) includes basic latin and cyrillic letters, including all numbers and main symbols. It is completely free for use, both personal and commercial.
Kilogram is a strong and bold typeface suitable for headlines and not much else. It can be downloaded for free and is available to use in both personal and commercial projects.
Groteska is an extreme experimental typeface, suitable for some headlines and even more likely to be used in digital artwork and photo-manipulations.
Age is a free font by FontFabric, and is applicable for any type of graphic design: web, print, motion and graphics. It is suitable for headlines due to its strong structure and thick lettering. Although more suitable for large text, it can also work on a much smaller scale.
Dekar is a wonderful typeface available in two styles: regular and light, both of which are free. The font is an all-rounder, suitable for headers and body copy.
Code is yet another available from FontFabric, and is available in two styles: light and bold. It works perfect when used as headers and sub-headers.
Dan is a superb rounded font, making use of flat edges combined with smooth shapes to produce a unique typeface suitable for headers and artwork.
Lot is an incredible geometric typeface that has had shapes cut from squares to produce some great individual letters, including a "C" that looks just like Pacman! The free typeface is excellent for headers and digital artwork such as posters and postcards.