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How to Find Free Fonts Similar to Paid Fonts

It’s natural to take design inspiration from other people’s work. But there’s nothing more annoying than seeing a font you love and not knowing what it’s called, or discovering that it’s way beyond your budget.

Fortunately, there are lots of tools to help you identify typefaces, or find similar fonts for free. So, let’s take a look at the best ways to find free fonts similar to paid fonts.

1. Alternatype

find free fonts by name alternatype

If you already know the name of the font you’d like to use, but just can’t afford to buy it, then Alternatype is the tool to use. The site has a large database of typefaces—just enter the name of the one you like and it will suggest one or two free alternatives.

Downloadable and web fonts are both supported, with a download link for each. There’s also a Specimen option that allows you see the font in action before you decide to use it.

2. Identifont

identifont similar fonts

Identifont works along similar lines, allowing you to enter the name of the font to get a list of possible alternatives. Each font page includes a display with upper and lower case characters, a few symbols, and links to where you can get the fonts.

But there’s more. Identifont also allows you to match fonts by feature. Click through a series of options—does it have serifs, descenders, and so on—and you’ll end up with a list of suggested alternatives. You might not find an exact match this way, but you could find something you like even more.

Unusually, you can search dingbats fonts as well, to find those that contain certain symbols.

3. What Font Is

whatfontis find font

If you’re not sure of the name of the font, or it’s not showing up in the Alternatype or Identifont databases, you could use an image to identify it instead. Using What Font Is, you can either upload a screenshot of the text or just use a link to an online image where the font appears.

You will then need to identify the individual letters in the word or phrase in your image. What Font Is can present you with all results, or filter down to only free fonts or only fonts that can be used commercially.

The larger the characters are the better chance What Font Is has of identifying the font. A few tests with smaller images yielded inaccurate results.

4. WhatTheFont

whatthefont match similar fonts

WhatTheFont, from myfonts.com, is quick and easy to use. Drag your image into the browser window and it should automatically detect the text. If not—or if there’s more than one font in use—adjust the crop box to select the text you need.

Hit the Identify button to instantly see some font suggestions. Once you’ve got your results you can test them out with text of your own. Commercial fonts are included among the results, with no filter options.

If you like WhatTheFont, there’s a mobile app version for iOS and Android, too. You can use these to take photos to identify fonts in magazines or on billboard posters.

5. Font Matcherator

font matcherator

Font Matcherator is available from fontspring.com, and claims to be more powerful than its rivals.

It works with images you upload, or on any image from the web—you just need to know the URL. It works best with text on a plainer background. We found it struggled to auto-detect text on busier images.

When this happens you can crop in to the text manually, and home in on specific characters to improve the recommendations.

What we like about Font Matcherator is that it works with OpenType font features, including substitute glyphs. So if you’ve got handwritten fonts, for example, it should work well with them where other services may struggle.

6. Photoshop

match fonts in photoshop

All of these other services run in your web browser. But if you’ve got Photoshop you can just use that instead.

The benefit is that it doesn’t just work with online fonts (Typekit or Adobe Fonts, in this case), it can match those you’ve already got installed on your system. Given how easy it is to amass a huge collection of fonts—and how hard it can be to organize them—this is a really valuable feature.

To get started, open the image containing the font you want to match. Go to Type > Match Font. Then drag the crop box over a portion of the text, and wait for the results to appear in the Match Font dialog box.

How to Find More Free Fonts

While it’s always good to be inspired by typography you see in existing projects, when it comes to free fonts you aren’t short of choices.

For the best free web fonts, take a look at our guide to Google Fonts you can use in presentations. Alternatively, you can download hundreds of fonts from our pick of the best sites for free fonts.

Read the full article: How to Find Free Fonts Similar to Paid Fonts

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The 20 Best Fonts for Greeting Cards and Posters

Your choice of fonts can make or break your greeting cards or posters.

So, to help you get it right, here are 20 basic, geometric, whimsical, bold, and dingbat fonts that are guaranteed to add flair to your creations.

Basic Fonts

Simple and readable, a basic font is ideal for clear headlines or body text. You can’t go wrong with the likes of Helvetica and Futura, but here are a few more worth considering.

1. Public Sans

public sans

This open source font from the US government is clean, neutral, and familiar. It works almost anywhere, for headers or text.

2. Metropolis

metropolis font

Metropolis is a modern, minimalist sans-serif font that is a good option when you’re looking for an alternative to Helvetica.

3. Bodoni XT

bodoni xt

Whether you’re making inspirational posters, wedding invites, or Christmas cards, Bodoni XT will help bring a touch of class to your designs.

Geometric Fonts

Geometric fonts are simple, yet deliver a more distinctive look than you’ll get from basic fonts. They have rounded shapes, and modern, clean styles.

4. Equinox

equinox

Equinox is a minimal, sci-fi-inspired geometric font. It makes for a good alternative to Futura, although you need to be aware that it doesn’t contain any lowercase characters.

5. Gilmer

gilmer

Another clean and versatile geometric typeface, Gilmer also includes an outline font that will work on a variety of poster designs.

6. Fox and Cat

fox and cat font

Fox and Cat is a lovely, light typeface with both upper and lowercase characters. The quirky design is ideal for greeting cards, and the license even allows for commercial use.

7. Anders

anders font

This is a minimal yet very distinctive font that will bring a striking look to your posters, greeting cards, or anything else you’re working on.

Whimsical Fonts

When you want to inject a sense of fun or whimsy into your designs, something like a handwritten typeface is the go-to option. Here are some that will liven up your birthday cards and other projects.

8. Windsong

windsong font

This calligraphic script font is a popular choice thanks to its OpenType feature support that helps to achieve the authentic handwritten look.

9. Fabfelt

fabfelt

Fabfelt is a handwritten font with a more casual, retro feel. It’s available in OTF and TTF versions, and includes a full range of characters.

10. Janda Happy Day

janda happy day

Janda Happy Day is the definition of a whimsical font. The curly-styled characters are fun, yet it remains highly readable.

Bold Fonts

To create real impact, choose a bold font. They can be serif or sans-serif, condensed or handwritten. Either way, they pack a punch.

11. League Gothic

league gothic font

Inspired by vintage Gothic typefaces, League Gothic is a classic that works in a whole range of projects. It’s open source, too, so use it however you like.

12. Chunkfive

chunkfive

Chunkfive is indeed chunky; a serif font that makes a real impact. This slab font is best used on posters where you need to get your message across without fuss.

13. Brusher

Brusher

This bold, brush-lettered typeface offers impact without compromising on style. To download Brusher, you have to sign up for a free download link using your email address.

14. Zenfyrkalt

zenfyrkalt

Zenfyrkalt is a hand-drawn bold font with a truly unique style. It combines impact and whimsy and works for fun projects.

Dingbat Fonts

Dingbat fonts are an easy way for those of us who don’t have the greatest artistic skill to add some cute drawings to our creations.

15. Bella K Dings Are Cool

bella d wingdings

A large selection of shapes that are suitable for many projects on a whole range of subjects. The hand drawn style adds a nice touch.

16. Heart Doodles

heart doodles dingbats font

Heart Doodles has got everything you need to enhance your homemade Valentine’s Day cards, with its selection of heart-based shapes.

17. Mustache

mustache dingbats

There’s a dingbats font for every occasion. To prove the point, here’s a collection of 26 mustache styles, to cover all of your facial hair needs.

18. Pea Jelene’s Doodles

pea jelenes doodles

Pea Jelene’s Doodles are great for posters and greeting cards, and much more—a cake design, or the menu at a coffee shop, for example.

19. KG Christmas Tree Fonts

kg christmas tree fonts

Featuring over 50 Christmas trees and more, this font collection will add a seasonal touch to your Christmas cards and party posters.

20. MFT Itty Bitty Baby

IttyBitty

Finally, this baby-themed collection is the perfect accompaniment for baby showers, Congratulations cards, or even T-Shirt designs.

How to Get Even More Free Fonts

Do you want more free fonts for birthday cards, greeting cards, or posters? Take a look at our picks of the best websites for free fonts to see where you can get them.

Also, you can get your designs looking as professional as possible by making sure you always choose the right fonts for your projects. Our guide detailing how to pick the right font pairs will help get you started.

Read the full article: The 20 Best Fonts for Greeting Cards and Posters