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Top 50 Free and High-Quality Fonts of 2012

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Among other things, effective typography manages to achieve three necessary objectives of designing are look, appearance and outcome which helps you to stand out from the crowds. To communicate effectively, typography requires appropriate, readable and high-quality typefaces.

To choose the right font for the job, the designer must also consider the purpose of the work and the expectations of the audience when making readability choices. Readable text affects how users process the information in the content, you want users to be able to read your content and absorb it easily .. poor readability scares readers away from the content.

These free fonts are designed to be well suited for web as well for print, in particular for the use in headlines, logo and flyer designs. I strongly believe that type can set the mood of every design and can make your message more personal. The proper selection of typography can convert your normal design into a very attractive piece of  ’communication’.

So the main priority in selecting these fonts for this collection was the readability, diversity in weights and styles, and usage of these fonts in your web designs or usage as a corporate (print) typeface.

// Sans Serif Fonts

Signika (4 styles)

Signika is a sans-serif with a gentle character, developed for wayfinding, signage, and other media where clarity of information is required. It has a low contrast and tall x-height to improve readability of texts in small sizes as well as in large distances from the reader. Being a typical signage typeface it is inspired by typefaces such as Ronnia, Meta, and Tahoma.

Designed by Anna Giedrys


Open Sans Condensed (3 Styles)

Open Sans is a humanist sans serif typeface designed by Steve Matteson, Type Director of Ascender Corp. This version contains the complete 897 character set, which includes the standard ISO Latin 1, Latin CE, Greek and Cyrillic character sets. Open Sans was designed with an upright stress, open forms and a neutral, yet friendly appearance. It was optimized for print, web, and mobile interfaces, and has excellent legibility characteristics in its letterforms.

Designed by Ascender Fonts


Exo Font Family (9 styles)

Exo its geometric sans serif font family. Its design started almost two years ago as way to discover typography in a more advanced way.

Exo is a very complete font family, it has 9 weights both in regular and true italic versions. Each font comes with a lot of opentype features such as small caps, ligatures, alternates, oldstyle figures, tabular figures, fractions, and more.

Designed by Natanael Gama


Asap Free font (4 styles)

Asap is a contemporary sans-serif family with subtle rounded corners. Designed by Pablo Cosgaya, Asap comes in 4 styles: Regular, Italic, Bold and Bold Italic. This family, specially developed for screen and desktop use, offers a standarised character width on all styles, which means lines of text remain the same length.

Designed by Pablo Cosgaya


Quattrocento Sans (4 styles)

Quattrocento Sans is a classic, elegant and sober typeface family. Warm, readable and not intrusive. It’s the perfect sans-serif companion for Quattrocento. The wide and open letterforms and large x-height make it very legible for body text at small sizes. All the tiny details that only shows up at bigger sizes make it also great for display use. Quattrocento Sans v2.00 was released on 8 Feb 2012, it’s now a 4 weights Family.

Quattrocento Sans

Designed by Pablo Impallari


Homizio (6 styles)

The font ‘Homizio Thin’ has a ‘printed style’ in some glyphs ( like A, M, N, V, W… ), a font family in High Quality True Type. Homizio family is compatible with Windows and Mac. Homizio comes in 6 weights: light, thin, regular, medium, bold and black. Note: this font has no italic version of the 6 styles mentioned.

Note: you must rename the .ttf files by adding the fontname in front of the rest of the filename, otherwise you will NOT be able to find these fonts in your library.

Homizio Font

Designed by Álvaro Thomáz


Amble (8 styles)

Punchcut designed Amble from scratch for a mobile handset environment. Amble is a nice looking and highly legible font family available to download free. The font is available in light condensed, light, regular, bold weights all with matching italics. Amble is like a slightly more open version of Verdana.

Amble Free Font

Designed by Punchcut


Overlock (7 styles)

The special thing about these forms is the warm feeling that they give to your text, because of the particular rounded glyph shapes that emerge. As a result, the Overlock typeface family is great for titles and short texts in magazine style layouts. It looks its very best at bigger sizes.

It comes in three weights, Regular, Bold and Black, each with a true italic. It has two set of numbers and small caps which are available as a sister family. Overlock is designed in december 2011.

Overlock free font

Designed by Dario Manuel Muhafara


Font Grammatica (5 styles)

Do you need a fresh and versatile sans serif font for your next project? Check out the Grammatica font family from Aleksandr Sukiasov. It comes in five different weights, and includes both Western and Eastern European diacritics characters. It’s a sturdy, low contrast, geometric, highly legible sans serif typeface very well suited for any display and text use.

Font Grammatica

Designed by: Aleksandr Sukiasov


Cuprum FontFamily (4 styles)

Cuprum was created in 2006 based on the works Miles Newlyn. Cuprum is a narrow grotesque, but quite versatile. After a revision it’s a new and fresh typefamily.

Cuprum Free Font

Designed by: Ivan Gladkikh (AKA Lemonad or jovanny)


Gandhi Sans (4 styles)

‘The library’ has published a typeface called Gandhi, it’s designed and created by a team of Mexican typographers and designers internationally recognized, and is completely free.  The sans version has 4 styles (regular, italic, bold and bold italic), together with the Serif version this typeface makes a brilliant typeface to use for your (corporate) website.


Designed by Librerias Gandhi S.A. de C.V.


Roboto font (12 + 4 styles)

The Android design language relies on traditional typographic tools such as scale, space, rhythm, and alignment with an underlying grid. Successful deployment of these tools is essential to help users quickly understand a screen of information. To support such use of typography, Ice Cream Sandwich introduced a new type family named Roboto, created specifically for the requirements of UI and high-resolution screens.

This font comes in 4 condensed styles and 12 (normal) styles including the weights: light, thin regular, medium, bold and black .. A lovely corporate (web)font if you ask me!

Roboto free font

Designed by Google Android Design


Tellural (4+4 styles)

This font is free for personal use and can be used commercially with a donation. The font contains many additional characters including Greek and Cyrillic letters. Also comes in an “alternate” version with a different lowercase letter “a,” that may be more identifiable among other letters/ easier to differentiate from other letters.

Tellural Free Font

Designed by Lauren Thompson



A new rounded, slightly condensed typeface. It’s nice and familiar without being too sweet. It’s very readable even at small sizes thanks to its sober shapes and its simple construction. Bariol italic is a new addition to the Bariol font family and as you could expect it’s the italic version of this beautiful font. There are now 2 free font styles of this fontfamily for free, download Bariol Regular & Italic for free by just paying with a Tweet.

designed by atipo


Edmondsans (3 styles OTF]

Edmondsans is hard-working display face in three weights, featuring some useful niceties like small caps, non-lining figures, and a few alternates.

Designed by James T. Edmondson


Oxygen (4 style OTF)

The Oxygen typeface family is created as part of the KDE Project, a libre desktop for the GNU+Linux operating system. The design is optimised for the FreeType font rendering system and works well in all graphical user interfaces, desktops and devices.
Oxygen Font Family

Designed by Vernon Adams


Source Sans Pro (12 Styles OTF)

Source Sans Pro was designed by Paul D. Hunt as Adobe’s first open source typeface family, conceived primarily as a typeface for user interfaces. Source Sans Pro draws inspiration from the clarity and legibility of twentieth-century American gothic typeface designs. Distilling the best archetypical qualities of these models, Paul followed a rational design approach by simplifying glyph shapes by paring them to their essential form.

Source Sans Pro

Designed by Paul D. Hunt


Maven Pro (3 Styles OTF)

This collection represents the missing three lightest weights of the modern Sans-Serif Maven Pro typeface, including an ultra-thin hairline.

Maven Pro

Designed by Joe Prince


Nexa free font (2 Styles OTF)

NEXA is a new free sans serif font by the Fontfabric type foundry. A modern and clean designed typeface. Especially the ligatures are looking great. The font comes in two styles (light and bold).

Nexa free font

Designed by Fontfabric


Casper Typeface (4 Styles | TTF)

This is a continuation of my experimentation with fonts. Significant and minor revisions in the structure of characters. Also changed some of the characters forming. It still has elements of different styles, but Casper has become more holistic and harmonious.Includes arrows, alternate characters and signs, and legatury ordinals. Total 582 glyph.

Casper | Typeface

Designed by Michael Chereda


Regencie (4 styles TTF)

Font made by Alvaro Thomaz, inspired by Gotham, Avenir, Futura and Proxima Nova. Having 4 weights this typeface is suitable to use as a corporate typeface (on paper and on screen).

Regencie Font

Designed by Álvaro Thomáz


Fengardo Neue (2 Styles – OTF)

So here comes Fen­gardo Neue, refi­ned ver­sion of Fen­gardo. For now the type­face is com­po­sed of two weights, regu­lar and black. New ita­lics will be provided soon as well; they’re on the way.

Fengardo Neue

Designed by Akalollip


WeblySleek UI (3 Styles – TTF)

A good-looking sans serif typeface with a lot of designed glyphs. This font came out in February 2012, but than only in 2 styles (Euro: regular and italic), now there’s also a new style, a gorgeous light version .. hoping to see the italic version soon?

WeblySleek UI Font

Designed by Mat Douglas


// Serif Fonts

Poly Serif (2 Styles)

Poly is a medium contrast serif font. With short ascenders and a very high x-height, Poly is efficient in small sizes. Thanks to its careful balance between the x-height and glyph widths, it allows more economy and legibility than standard web serifs, even in small sizes.

The goal was to develop a typeface that would tolerate cramped tracking and that would increase the number of letters on a single line. Poly is a Unicode typeface family that supports Open Type features and languages that use the Latin script and its variants.

Designer: José Nicolás Silva Schwarzenberg


Bree Serif (1 Style)

This friendly upright italic is the serif cousin of TypeTogether’s award winning font Bree. Originally released in 2008 it became an immediate success because of its originality, charming appearance and versatility. Bree Serif was initiated with the help of Google webfonts. The Regular weight is now available for free. Stay tuned, the other styles are on their way!

Designed by TypeTogether


Neuton Font Family (6 styles)

Neuton is a clean, dark, somewhat Dutch-inspired serif font which reminds you a little of Times. It has a large height, short extenders, and a compact width for better screen use, and economy of space. A wonderful typeface, coming in a variety of weights and styles, even with an additional cursive font, taking its italic relative to the next step.

Designed by Brian Skywalker


Alegreya (12 styles)

Alegreya is a typeface originally intended for literature. Among its crowning characteristics, it conveys a dynamic and varied rhythm which facilitates the reading of long texts. The italic has just as much care and attention to detail in the design as the roman. The bold weights are strong, and the Black weights are really experimental for the genre. This is the Small Caps sister family that complements the master Alegreya family.

Not only does Alegreya provide great performance, but also achieves a strong and harmonious text by means of elements designed in an atmosphere of diversity.

Designed by Juan Pablo del Peral


Volkhov (4 styles)

Volkhov is a low-contrast seriffed typeface with a robust character, intended for providing a motivating reading experience.

As a four-weight family it is well-suited for complex text environments being economic and legible, contemporary and prominent. Many of its design solutions relate to this purpose: large open counters, rather short descenders, and brutal asymmetric serifs.

Designed by Ivan Petrov


Simonetta (4 styles)

The Simonetta font is inspired by Italian Humanistic typefaces, but it’s a contemporary font with a lot of original features. It has one-sided serifs and soft drops. It’s slightly slanted (some two degrees) and the Italics have the same slant. The Romans and Italics differ from each other only in the shapes of the characters. The Italics are much more calligraphical and angular.

Simonetta free font

Designed by: Gayaneh Bagdasaryan (Brownfox)


Gandhi Serif (4 styles)

As mentioned above in the description of the Gandhi Sans Typeface, this font is created by a team of Mexican typographers and designers. This serif version also has 4 styles as his/her sans version.

Gandhi Serif free font

Designed by Librerias Gandhi S.A. de C.V.


Calendas (3 styles OTF)

New weights designed for the Calendas typeface by Atipo. A more refined version for text, bold italic, display and swashes. Calendas comes in regular, italic and bold.

Designed by Atipo


Tienne (3 styles OTF)

Tienne is a display and text serif webfont designed to be used freely across the internet by web browsers on desktop computers, laptops and mobile devices.This lovely serif font comes in 3 styles: regular, bold and heavy.

Designed by cyreal


Aver (4 styles TTF)

Completed and released in May of 2012, Aver began very humbly as the first traditional or old-style serif typeface design by Lauren Thompson in June of 2009. Three years brewing and proven to be true, Aver asserts emphatically and solemnly.

Aver Font

Designed by Lauren Thompson


Lora (4 Styles TTF)

Lora is a well-balanced contemporary serif with roots in calligraphy. It is a text typeface with moderate contrast well suited for body text. A paragraph set in Lora will make a memorable appearance because of its brushed curves in contrast with driving serifs. The overall typographic voice of Lora perfectly conveys the mood of a modern-day story, or an art essay.

Designed by cyreal


// Slab Serif Fonts

Alfa Slab

Slab serif font based on the Six-Lines Pica Egyptian appeared in Font Foundry Thorowgood in 1921. It is an update of the classic model of the first Egyptian English. Alfa Slab is intended to be used in 3 media related to music: titles of magazines, posters and album covers.

Designed by JM Solé


Offering Font (5 styles)

A beautiful thin Slab Serif typeface called Offering and designed by Bob Ewing. Font includes 5 version of the font: Regular, Regular Rounded, Bold, Bold Inline and Bold Inline Alternate. There is also punctuation in these sets, hopefully in the future numerals will be added.

Designed by Bob Ewing (no, not from Dallas ;-P)


Crete Round (2 styles)

Crete Round is a warm slab serif providing a hint of softness to texts. Crete Round is more independent from the original with modified terminals and serifs to create two new fonts that deliver a more contemporary and functional appearance. The tall x-height, low contrast and sturdy slabs prove to be surprisingly efficient for web use.

Designed by TypeTogether


Noticia text (4 styles)

Noticia text, a font family for digital newspapers and other publications.  Noticia text was created specifically for use in displays. This lovely slab serif comes in 4 styles what even makes it a great typeface to use for web or even as a corporate font.

Designed by JM Solé


Trocchi [OTF – 2 styles]

‘Trocchi’ is a design derived from a number of old faces from the English typecutter Vincent Figgins (1766-1844) including Nebiolo’s ‘Egiziano’, and Caslon & Co’s ‘Antique No.4′ and ‘Ionic No.2′. Trocchi derivates from these earlier designs to produce a more casual slab serif. Trocchi is designed for use both as text and display type. The font is named after the Scottish novelist Alexander Trocchi.

Designed by Vernon Adams


Sánchez Font – Registration Required (2 Styles OTF)

Sánchez is the Latinotype’s first display type family. It is a serif typeface belonging to the classification slab serif, or Egyptian, that bears a strong resemblance to the iconic Rockwell, but with rounded edges— offering contrast and balance to the square structure. Regular and italic variants are available for free.

Sánchez Font

Designed by Latinotype


Bitter (3 Styles TTF)

Bitter is a serif slab typeface for literary texts, specially designed for reading on screen with e-ink technology

Designed by Huerta Tipografica


Musket Free Font (4 Styles – OTF)

Musket is a robust and slightly condensed slab serif optimized for longer texts and small sizes, available in four different styles.

Musket Font

Designed by Bu!


// Script Fonts

Kaushan Script

Kaushan Script feels like writing quickly with an inked brush. Use it when you want to energize your words! When making digital typefaces, the more you refine the shapes of the letters, the more energy you take away from them. Because of that, Kaushan Script is unrefined – and carries a lot of energy.

And while most script fonts look too small when used at regular sizes on the web, we optimized Kaushan Script to keep it readable when used as small as 16 pixels.

Designed by: Pablo Impallari


Great Vibes

Great Vibes is a beautifully flowing connecting script. It has cleanly looping ascenders and descenders as well as elegant uppercase forms.

Great Vibes Script Font

Designed by: TypeSETit


Mission Script

The first of the Mission Collection, Mission Script is a signage-lovers wet dream. Condensed, casual, sweet, and sincere. A celebration of the brush. Scripts rule .. hear, hear! Also the designer behind EdmondsansLavanderia and Wisdom Script

Mission Script

Designed by James T. Edmondson


// Display Fonts

Benthem (2 Styles | OTF)

Benthem is a custom font designed by Keith Hayden with a lovely retro touch. It comes in two types (Regular & Bold) making it great for headings and posters.


Designed by Keith Hayden


Dooodleista Type (3 Styles – TTF)

Dooodleista Type is a free hand-written font, reminiscent of a good doodle. Why Doodle? This question can be answered with 2 simple words. For Fun. This is the first and most important rule for doodle! Have fun with it!

Comes in 3 styles: Regular, Bold and Condensed .. and only in uppercase!

Dooodleista Type

Designed by Filiz Sahin


Blanch Free Font

This is a modular typeface family halfway between a 50s style sans serif and the range of numerical characters which most labelling machines use.

The Blanch typeface family is comprised of 6 different font weights; 3 condensed weights and 3 caps weights. They are: Blanch condensed, Blanch condensed inline, Blanch condensed light, Blanch caps, Blanch caps inline, and Blanch caps light.

Designed by Albert Estruch from Atipus


Intro free font (2 styles)

What distinguishes the new Intro free font from FontFabric is the strongly expressed geometric makeup and structure. The basic letters of the Alphabet like “A”, “O” and “H” are built or based on principles of simple geometric forms – triangles, circles and squares. In contrast to the Futura font which possesses similar styling, the Intro font preserves the characteristic sharpened edges of the “?”, “V” and “W” letters even in it’s boldened form.

Designed by Miroslav Bekyarov


// Monospaced Font

Source Code Pro (6 Styles – OTF)

Source Code was designed by Paul D. Hunt as a companion to Source Sans. This complementary family was adapted from the Source design due to a request to create a monospaced version for coding applications. Source Code preserves the design features and vertical proportions of Source Sans, but alters the glyph widths so that they are uniform across all glyphs and weights.

Six weights of Source Code and source files can be downloaded

Source Code Pro

Designed by Paul D. Hunt for Adobe


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Hope you’ve enjoyed my personal pick of the 50 best free typefaces of 2012? If you want to see more free fonts from 2012, please check my ‘New Fonts’ series of articles.


Author: Jan Rajtoral

Jan Rajtoral AKA Gonzo the Great is the Founder of and Designer at gonzodesign, providing design services across the full spectrum of Brand Identity, Graphic Design, Print and Advertising Design & Website Design.

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