I firmly believe that, in order to strike the optimal balance between minimalism and visual appeal, a user interface should display no more than what’s absolutely necessary while making those necessary elements look visually appealing.
Keep it simple, but make the simple look amazing.
But, what does simple look like exactly?
Well, strip away all of the over-the-top marketing gimmicks, redundant features, and cluttering visuals, and most of what’s left is the UI copy and text content. As boring as this sounds, let’s be honest: this is the most important aspect of any app or website. Information and the ability to navigate it is the entire reason users are using our app or website.
So with the right typeface coupled with the right font styles (see “Font vs typeface: the ultimate guide”), we can create designs that are quite simple and yet visually appealing at the same time. This emphasizes the most important aspects of the design while using fewer resources and also inducing the least amount of unwanted cognitive load.
Typography can be very powerful.
But what are the best free font websites?
Where not to look for free fonts
Dribbble, Behance, Gumroad, and so on are home to a ton of hidden gems, but this involves sieving through a lot of digital resources, some of which are incomplete side ventures and “lite” versions. That being said, make sure that you bookmark awesome resources if you do happen to come across any. Even Instagram might surprise you, and Twitter shouldn’t be overlooked either.
That aside, let’s take a look as the best free font websites.
1. Google Fonts
Number one on this “best free fonts” list is obviously Google Fonts, which goes above and beyond what most free font websites offer. First of all, Google Fonts offers a fast and convenient CDN (content delivery network), making it super easy to embed webfonts into websites without having to actually host them.
Google fonts can be subsetted by script and weight, and we can also control how they’re loaded on the Web by setting the
font-display CSS property from the embed code’s query string, which improves website loading times. (The CSS-Tricks article on “Google Fonts and font-display” explains how.)
Mind you, self-hosting fonts is better for privacy (because it’s cookieless) and speed (because it offers developers more control). Either way, Google Fonts has a humungous repertoire.
I know what you’re thinking: “Creative Market isn’t free, Daniel!”
Ahhh, but what about the Free Goods section? What’s interesting about Free Goods is that these are actually premium fonts that are temporarily free. While the section isn’t that huge, and isn’t guaranteed to include fonts specifically, each and every week it’s refreshed with six new design assets (plus three more if you sign up and another three if you spend X amount on assets).
I’ve been checking the Free Goods section on Creative Market every week for years, and I’ve built up a large repository of high-quality fonts that cost literally nothing. Font Bundles runs a similar deal.