As a designer it is difficult to put into words the importance of typography. Every designer to some extent has a passion for typography, type design and lettering. Take it from this famous designer:
“I can’t explain it; I just like looking at type. I just get a total kick out of it. Other people look at bottles of wine or whatever, or, you know, girls’ bottoms. I just get kicks out of looking at type. It’s a little worrying, I must admit.”
However, spend some time on some of the most popular font shops (MyFont, Font Shop) and you will notice the love of type can be an expensive relationship. Some of the most famous and popular font collections can run anywhere from $80 – $300. So how do you sharpen your typography skills without killing your budget?
FAVORITE FREE TYPOGRAPHY RESOURCES
Font Squirrel is quickly becoming one of the go-to sites for designers to find free web fonts. They offer a major selection of high quality fonts 100% free for commercial use. They also have @fontface kits and @fontface generators which become majorly useful for web designers and developers.
Lost Type is another website with a beautiful selection of high quality fonts available for download. They are free to use but do take donations. Maybe go take a look through their online store and buy a cool t-shirt to impress your fellow typography fanatics.
THE LEAGUE OF MOVEABLE TYPE
This site offers another amazing collection of fonts and is especially helpful in finding some of the hot and popular fonts being used today. Follow these guys on their social media sites as well since they update and add new fonts pretty regularly.
It happens to all of us. You’re on a site and you get smacked with a beautiful font that you just can’t put your finger on, but you have to have it. That is where Fount comes in. Fount is a free resource to identify web fonts on any website. All you have to do is drag the Fount button to your bookmark bar and you’ll have access to identifying any font on any webpage. Not only will it give you the font name but it will provide the font size, weight and style as well.
This one is more of a social media resource just for us designers and type nerds. Fontli is a free app available on iOS and WP and it is a pretty wonderful source for some typography inspiration. Users tag typography-based pictures from around the world and Fontli will supply information such as designer, foundry information, as well as other pictures tagged with that same font. Right now the font tagging is specific for myfonts.com, but future versions of the app will include the ability for users to tag fonts outside of that database.
FRIENDS OF TYPE
This is one I go to for an almost daily inspiration kick. Friends of Type is a collection of original typography and lettering design from four designers that are meant to inspire and spark creativity for its followers. Think of it like a virtual open sketchbook to four of the most talented typography artists around.
HELVETICA VS ARIEL
This one is fun and silly but can still be used to strengthen your type sensitivity. Two of the most popular fonts right now, Ariel and Helvetica (to untrained eyes) have pretty minute differences. However there are several subtle differences that should jump out to any experienced designer. In this game, available for the iPhone and iPad, the player is shown a letter and chooses whether the font used is Ariel or Helvetica. Surprisingly fun and harder than it sounds!
A good graphic designer is able to take a variety of elements and make sure they all fit together. Typography is a major element, so knowing your fonts is going to really impress clients and fellow type nerds alike. We also enjoy using specialized type work in all of our graphic designs, and you can get an idea of how we can add some spice to your type by getting in touch to get your graphic design done today.