Hot on the Web
Lost in Cyberspace
Online San Diego
Feature Articles
Book Reviews and Reading Diary
Music Reviews
Favorite quotates
Contact Me

Finding the right font

Hot on the Web

This column originally ran in ComputorEdge on February 9, 2001
(Issue 1906, Desktop Publishing Today)

You've got your client's project almost done; the whole pamphlet is laid out in PageMaker/XPress/FrameMaker, the graphics are all sized, the color seps are finished. It's just that one typeface you can't quite find. Not too fancy, not too plain – and nothing you've tried works.

Adobe Type Library

Adobe type faces can be quite expensive – but you're also getting your money's worth, as this is one of the pre-eminent type collections in existence. The entire Adobe Type Library is now online, with samples of each font available for viewing on the Web site. You can even purchase Adobe fonts online and download them instantly.


Bitstream is a leading competitor to Adobe in offering fonts for Macs and PCs; in fact, Bitstream's been around for more than 15 years, going back to the days when Amigas and Ataris were still leading DTP platforms. Bitstream's site isn't as slick as Adobe's, but they also have online previewing of typefaces and secure, online purchasing and downloading.

Larabie Fonts

It's hard to beat a slogan like "All the free fonts you can shake a font at." Larabie fonts aren't nearly as fancy as those from Bitstream or Adobe, and you're not likely to recognize any of the font names, but they do have one significant advantage: Every one on this site is free, created by Ray Larabie. You can check out the typefaces before downloading them, or even download the entire set in one .zip file.


This is a pretty small collection of fonts, but they're all original and all free.

Blue Vinyl fonts

This site has both a free font area and a commercial font area. Even the commercial fonts (which are pretty sharp looking) are fairly affordable compared to some other vendors.

1001 Free Fonts

Kind of tacky and loaded with banner ads and all kinds of obnoxious pop-up ads, this is still – in spite of its many annoyances – a solid site for finding free typefaces. As with the other sites, you can see what the fonts look like before downloading them. There's also a lot of free clipart on this site as well.

Font Paradise

This site offers a large collection of arty typefaces.

SoftSeek fonts page

SoftSeek is a shareware/freeware portal, and this page contains more than 200 links to sites with free or low-cost TrueType and PostScript fonts. Since each of these sites generally has more than one font, this page contains a trove of affordable typefaces for your collection.

Freeware Fonts

This is another directory site, with links to other sites that actually house free fonts. It's a pretty extensive directory and will lead you to thousands of free typefaces.