“Don’t judge a book by its cover,” is a popular idiom. In reality, presentation matters substantially more. How something looks is a big factor in whether it gets attention or not. Chances are you’ve turned away from reading an article on a website before, and design can play a big part subconsciously.
You have access to more media than ever before; you can afford to be selective as there is always something more to see or to read. The same goes for your own work, so why not spice up its appearance a little?
Here are a few fonts you’re missing out on.
Vollkorn is a free, fully-featured typeface from Friedrich Althausen. In technical terms, it’s a serif font like Times New Roman or Georgia which you’re sure to have seen many times before. In practice it’s a little bit different from both.
Regarding size, it’s close to Georgia but has a different feel. The italics are a particular standout, remaining true to the overall design and feel while turning into something very distinct in its own right.
If there’s any one thing you may complain about with Vollkorn, it’s the bold typeface, which is markedly broader than the rest of the font family. It’s a matter of personal taste, and there’s no denying that it is bold.
Alte Haas Grotesk
While not a fully-featured font family, Alte Haas Grotesk is something of a play on the very traditional sans-serif fonts (think Arial and Helvetica). The font’s design is derived from an old textbook, replicating the imperfections of print. None of the flaws are particularly egregious, and in some ways they can be quite charming.
For a document displayed on screen, Alte Haas Grotesk might not be the best choice, but it makes for an eye-catching twist on a printed piece of work with its deliberate imperfections made more obvious. This can create a particularly pleasing effect when used as a document heading.
Probably the most well known entry in this list, League Gothic does virtually the same job as Impact, bringing a little variation to the role. It’s a little more elegant and every bit as impactful (pun fully intended).
Essentially, League Gothic is a neat little take on the idea of a “headline font,” if there can be such a thing. It’s inoffensive and does its job well. The extra choice of a condensed version can be quite useful, particularly if you have limited space with which to work.
Typefaces have a rich and storied history, some of them spanning hundreds of years. Garamond, one of the staple serif fonts included on computers, has been around in various forms since the 16th century. We showcased the two versions of EB Garamond alongside the version found in Windows 8.1. As you can see they differ, particularly with the shape of their numbers..
EB Garamond hasn’t been updated since midway through 2014, and a bold/bold italic font is incomplete. The lack of features means the font is best used for bodies of text, with an alternative used for any required headings. Despite this, we feel EB Garamond is a worthy download, both for its ambitious goal and its historic provenance.
Upon downloading the font, you can choose between the “08” and “12” version of the font. These are designed to display at their named font sizes, but “08” is a slightly bolder font.
These four fonts are ones we have selected based on our own fondness for them with the belief that you too shall enjoy them. While they are all free for personal and private use we suggest that you double check their respective licenses; they may not be free for corporate or public use.
If you’ve found a superb free font that you think is worthy of attention, don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below! Check out the other work of the designers and foundries responsible for our font roundup as well: you may find a new favourite among them.