Thursday, May 10, 2018

Where can I get free professional fonts?

Recently I was asked this question; Where can I get free professional fonts?

If you want to use any font professionally then you need to act professionally. Being a creative services professional means you purchase the font license to protect yourself and your client. This includes the situation when you are your own client.

In the creative services profession the cost to purchase the license for a font is part of the project cost that is involved in design of a visual communication piece. In the project beginning you discuss this topic among many others.

If you obtain any font from a “FREE” site and you get a virus of some ilk, the time it takes to repair the damage and remove the virus is going to cost you more than buying the font would have.

A “FREE” font may not include the common fonts weight styles, the full set of fonts glyphs, ligatures and the drawing hints, rendering tables and attention to each character’s rendered detail that come with the licensed version of the font. The “FREE” version has likely changed a character, or a punctuation so that it does not match the legal licensed version that all the legitimate printers, other creative service providers, or clients may use and have licensed. Then in an exchange of files for reproduction, or derivative work made with your “FREE” font, it becomes a problem you created and bad art you are ultimately responsible for.

If you were to create a visual communication piece for a client using a “FREE” font and then were caught doing this, the harm to your professional standing in the clients eyes would be difficult to ever rebuild. You may have also put the client at serious risk.

Today several basic fonts and licenses to use them come with your computer OS. With many graphic design applications that software license provides selected legal fonts licenses also. The fonts and font licenses provided need to be read and understood, but generally they are quite broad use font licenses.

In place today for your convenient use are services and technologies that exist to manage and to locate, test and purchase, organize and safely store fonts.
It is easier to do the right thing.

Since you are asking this question I am going to guess you have a limited knowledge of typography, history of type, type classification and identification, and that typesetting, type use and selection is likely not your area of professional expertise. I would also guess that the acronym EULA is also unfamiliar. It is possible the fonts resources that came with and currently exist on your computer are adequate to your visual communication needs. A lack of typographic experience and knowledge of how to use what you have is part of the problem. Downloading “FREE” fonts is not the solution, as you will just have more fonts you do not understand how to use.

The professional move is understand the copyright license associated with any font you utilize, whether it is a download for 100% “FREE” or even a font that you have purchased. That fonts end user license agreement, or EULA is what you must read to understand your rights to to use the fonts you acquire.
Try reading this article titled Understanding Font Licensing & Usage Rights (Understanding Font Licensing & Usage Rights).

Too lazy to read or spend a decade to learn graphic design, layout and typographic principles for visual communication? 

The smart alternative, hire a Graphic Designer. Like your Accountant, Lawyer, Architect, a Graphic Designer is a professional specialist. Independent Graphic Design professionals such as myself are set up to create visual communication art. We save you time and money creating the many visual communications of business. I eliminate the low end quality and lack of result that is an outcome of doing a visual communication piece yourself.

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