Fonts can certainly give your website personality and flair, but it’s important to realize that all fonts available on the internet are not web-friendly or free of charge. Commercial font sites are favorites of web and graphic designers for their client projects to add visual flair to their creations.
There is a difference between a font and typeface with typeface being a set of letters, numbers, and other symbols or the overall look of the characters. The collection itself is what is considered the font. So essentially the typeface is the design collection, and the font is the digital file.
And some free fonts in the typeface collection are good for personal use only meaning you can’t use on your website. Let's find some free commercial font sites that you can add to your resource list.
Note to self: Like images, typeface follows copyright rules. You can't use a font free of charge if it's copyrighted or on your website if the license doesn't apply.
Google fonts are a popular choice for many since they come with the code you need to display them. Another reason they are popular is Google fonts takes care of hosting and licensing so you know you can use any of the fonts on your website, computer or in your commercial products.
And the revamped search function allows you to find the perfect font by category, language, thickness, slant, and width. They also have a feature that lets you change the background so that you can see the contract in addition to style.
What we like best: Google makes it easy to use the fonts by providing a hosted web version that you can place directly onto your website.
If you are not familiar with Creative Market it’s an online marketplace for independent creatives. Creative Market usually charges a small fee but their weekly freebie section contains at least one free font. The limited-time period freebie does come with a commercial license and is an excellent way to build up your font library.
What we like best: You clearly understand the use of the font and other terms of the font
Like Creative Market, Hungry JPEG is a marketplace for designers and crafters that offer design resources at affordable prices. The fonts on HungryJPEG are not free but inexpensive and like Creative Market they have a weekly freebie that comes with a commercial license, the same as will all paid products. Also, they have an extensive freebie area that applies commercial license use.
What we like best: The recommended fonts you may like allow for variation without a steep price tag.
Another favorite commercial font sites we use regularly is Font Squirrel. FontSquirrel has taken the guesswork out of what is acceptable for use by selecting typefaces that are available for commercial purposes. They do recommend that you read the license because a designer may change their mind after FontSquirrel lists them.
For fonts acceptable on websites Fontsquirrel uses a row of symbols to indicate it is okay to embed on websites and digital products.
What we like best: It’s a well-designed site with easy to find symbols to show usage.
FontSpace boasts a collection of over 31,000 free fonts with lots of categories for the user-submitted fonts. The browse function allows you to easily find the style of font you may need for your website or next project but if you want the free for commercial use you need to add that to your search terms.
What we like best: Each font is clearly marked whether it is for commercial or personal use.
Bottom Line of Commercial Font Sites
If you are looking for the safest best go with Google Fonts first. But if you need fonts that are not so commonplace then try Creative Market and HungryJPEG. When adding fonts to your website remember that you want the body text to be easy to read so “every day” fonts that are popular are a safe bet. But when you're looking to add visual interest to images or call out words try the other sites for fonts that have more personality.
Remember to choose web ready fonts as part of your brand assets so that when visitors come to your site they see it as you intended and it is still on brand.