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Free Fonts Web Design Tools for Beginners

Want to start your own website but don’t want to pay $800 for somebody else to do it? Then you’re in luck because there are free web design tools for beginners. These are software, utilities and generators for just about every phase of web designing. Here is a survey of some of the free tools at your disposal.

Free Web Design Tools

Color Scheme Generators. Are you having a hard time deciding what colors to use for your web site? Try online color combination generators. Getting a color theme is essential to achieving a unified look to your site. It is also an easy way to find matching (i.e. complementary) colors. Some shades just don’t go well with others, you know. Other color-related tools let you pick colors from the screen (color pickers), or convert a color hue into hex format so you can insert it manually into your code.
Free FontsHTML Validators. Want to make sure that your website code is fully compliant with standards? You can use free web design tools that can check your code for errors. This will help ensure your website works properly.

Clipart. Need graphics but can’t even draw a line? Grab free clipart. There is no end to free web design tools like this out there, though they vary in quality. Usually all they ask is a link back to their site.

Free Fonts. There are two ways to use fonts on your website. You can install them on your system and use them as font styles in your pages, which case people would need to have the same fonts installed on their computers. Or you can use the fonts in your graphics and save them as graphic files for banners, titles and buttons.

Web space. This is perhaps the oldest type of free web design tools. Even though the prices of web space hosting may have gone down, you may still want the totally free hosting packages. Note however, that many free hosting servers prohibit commercial use. If you’re an internet marketer, this option may not be available to you.

Domain name. Yes, believe it or not, there are some free domain name hosting services around.

The drawback is you don’t get the name registered as yours; it is maintained by the server. But that can be a good thing if you want to remain anonymous.

Free Web Templates. The ultimate in free web design tools. If you need a site up and running ASAP, download a finished template and start editing. You will have to make the content and maybe some graphics, but the basic coding for the home page and supporting pages will be there already.

These are just some of the free web Design Training tools you can find. In spite of what many over-priced web designers and software vendors tell you, you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on these things. You can have just about all you need either free or at very affordable prices. Find a good web design portal with quality services like those listed above and you’ll see what we mean.

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July 8, 2009 Posted by | free fonts | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

35 Free Fonts to Enhance Your Designs

Free FontsTypography is the art and techniques of arranging type, type design, and modifying type glyphs.

Display typography is a potent element in graphic Design Tutorials, where there is less concern for readability and more potential for using type in an artistic manner. Type is combined with negative space, graphic elements and pictures, forming relationships and dialog between words and images.

Color and size of type elements are much more prevalent than in text typography. Most display typography exploits type at larger sizes, where the details of letter design are magnified. Color is used for its emotional effect in conveying the tone and nature of subject matter.

Below you’ll find 35 Free Fonts to Enhance Your Designs by which you can save money and focus on making great applications.

The basic purpose behind this post is to show you Popular, Artistic and most importantly Free Downloadable Free Fonts types to save your time searching them online. Direct download link available for the entire fonts.

You can also find some related free references at the end of the post. Just make sure to read the license agreements carefully as they can change from time to time.

June 2, 2009 Posted by | free fonts | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Free Fonts Basics : Introduction to Fonts and Typography and Type

As a graphic designer, probably the most frustrating aspect of graphic design is FONTS!!! They could just make me scream some times. This article will guide you through the different types of fonts, such as bitmapped and scalable fonts…and will also guide you through installing fonts, deleting fonts, and managing fonts. Find out more by reading these basics of Free Fonts article.

A font is actually a graphic shape, for example a triangle, which can be used to create a typographic character. A group of fonts of similar design can be used to create a typeface. A set of typefaces in different sizes and weights, created from the same group of fonts, is a type family. These terms are often misused, the term “font” being used to mean a typeface.
Free FontsA font is actually a graphic shape, for example a triangle, which can be used to create a typographic character. A group of fonts of similar design can be used to create a typeface. A set of typefaces in different sizes and weights, created from the same group of fonts, is a type family. These terms are often misused, the term “font” being used to mean a typeface.

Scalable Fonts

Scalable fonts are stored as outlines of the characters along with rules (known as “hints”) used when displaying the font. This allows the fonts to be displayed over a wider range of sizes and still look good. Scalable fonts can be used for both the computer screen and the printer, making it more likely that the print will closely match what’s seen on the computer screen.

A font file will usually contain a set of fonts in several different point sizes. A font’s size is the height of the characters in “points”. There are 72 points per inch. The font size refers to the height of characters when printed on paper. Unlike paper, computer screens come in different sizes and can be set to different screen resolutions. Also many applications allow the user to magnify the document; therefore, the size of type on the screen will only rarely be the same as the point size.

Adobe PostScript and TrueType Fonts

Adobe invented the first scalable font technology called “PostScript”, but PostScript basically became obsolete when Microsoft provided its “TrueType” scalable fonts for no extra charge with the Windows operating system. One important feature of TrueType fonts is the ability to embed the font into the document itself.

The fonts used in a document are embedded in an encrypted form that prevents the recipient of a document from removing the font and using it without paying for it. The font developer can configure the font to be read-only, where the receiver of the document with the font may view and print it but not edit it, or read-write, where the receiver may edit, as well as view and print the document.

How To Install a Font

Bitmapped fonts are stored in files with the extension .fon. TrueType fonts are stored as font descriptions in files with the extension .ttf. To install a font, simply copy the font file to the c:\Windows\fonts or :\WINNT\fonts folder. You could store a font file in a different folder and include a shortcut to the font file in the fonts folder.

To view a font, simply navigate to the fonts folder and double-click on a font file. You can also view fonts by selecting Start | Settings | Control Panel and opening the Free Fonts utility. The Fonts utility provides many extra features, such as the ability to select similar fonts.

When you select the “font” menu item from within an application, the Font dialog box will display a list of the the fonts stored in the fonts folder. The Font dialog box in some applications will actually display the typefaces for you to choose from.

Managing Fonts and Graphics Software Applications

When you install some applications, like graphics programs, hundreds of fonts may be installed along with them. To keep the number of fonts manageable, you may want to delete fonts you don’t use. To delete a font, simply delete the font file, but remember, if you used that font in a document, when you open or print that document, Windows will be required to select the closest matching font to the deleted font, and you may get unexpected results.

System Fonts

System fonts are used by the Windows operating system for text like window titles and menu items. To determine which Free Fonts are being used by the system, select Start | Settings | Control panel and open the Display utility. In the Display Properties dialog box, select the Appearance tab. In the Item: drop-down list, select items that use text, like “Title Bar”, “Menu”, “Message Box”, and so on. The name of the font used for each item will appear in the Font: text box. Don’t delete a font being used by the system.

May 28, 2009 Posted by | free fonts | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Quality in Typefaces & Fonts

Free FontsWhat makes for quality type? What’s the difference between typeface quality and font quality? Who makes quality typefaces/fonts? Today’s post is partly an education for the beginner, but also a plea to my colleagues at other companies for more testing.

One of the things that attracted me to work in the type group at Adobe, when I was dreaming of such things a decade or more ago, was my belief that Adobe made the best Free Fonts. Now, of course, I didn’t know all the world’s type foundries then – and with the ever-growing number of font vendors out there, I still don’t. However, Adobe certainly makes very good fonts, and my concern with quality has continued to this day….

First, let’s go ahead and make that distinction between typeface and fonts. A typeface for my purposes is the actual aesthetic design, and may encompass a range of styles and be implemented in multiple ways. A font, in this digital era, is a specific file (or in the older formats sometimes a pair of files) that instantiate that design on your computer.

For example, Times is a typeface. Linotype’s Times type family in digital form comprises four Free Fonts, a regular, italic, bold and bold italic. Monotype’s Times New Roman may or may not be the same typeface (a debatable point, as there are some tiny aesthetic differences), but is certainly a different set of digital fonts.

So typeface quality is about how the design does in terms of aesthetics, and also the optical principles of perception.

Some explanation of these optical principles may be in order. They are illustrated in the graphic below, an edited screen shot of Myriad Pro Regular from the FontLab Studio 5 font editing program.

May 26, 2009 Posted by | free fonts | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

An American Free Fonts Comes of Age

Free FontVersatile, readable, well-designed typefaces for text are hard to come by. In 1990, lettering expert John Downer designed a deceptively simple-looking family of serif typefaces, called Iowan Old Style, that should have become a workhorse text type for book and magazine work. But when the face was released in 1991 by Bitstream, it was missing the expert sets and related typographic refinements that Downer had designed to make it a complete type family. Now, nearly a decade later, Bitstream has finally released them, making Iowan Old Style usable at last in the way its designer intended.

Anivers – Birth of A Typeface

When I was asked by Smashing Magazine (SM) in 2007 if I could release a Free Fonts to celebrate their first anniversary I first thought that the release of Museo could very well be that font. However, it was nowhere near ready and, not wishing to rush things, I started to play around with some sharp elements I liked to see if something could grow out of it.

Still far too constructed of course, but the sharp elements did offer nice connections which I decided to keep and transpose to other characters as a key feature of Anivers.

May 21, 2009 Posted by | free fonts | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Experimental Free Fonts. Whatever That Means

Free FontsVery few terms have been used so habitually and carelessly as the word ‘experiment’. In the field of graphic Design Tutorials and typography, experiment as a noun has been used to signify anything new, unconventional, defying easy categorization, or confounding expectations. As a verb, ‘to experiment’ is often synonymous with the design process itself, which may not exactly be helpful, considering that all design is a result of the design process. The term experiment can also have the connotation of an implicit disclaimer; it suggests not taking responsibility for the result. When students are asked what they intend by creating certain forms, they often say, ‘It’s just an experiment…’, when they don’t have a better response.

In a scientific context, an experiment is a test of an idea; a set of actions performed to prove or disprove a hypothesis. Experimentation in this sense is an empirical approach to knowledge that lays a foundation upon which others can build. It requires all measurements to be made objectively under controlled conditions, which allows the procedure to be repeated by others, thus proving that a phenomenon occurs after a certain action, and that the phenomenon does not occur in the absence of the action.

An example of a famous scientific experiment would be Galileo Galilei’s dropping of two objects of different weights from the Pisa tower to demonstrate that both would land at the same time, proving his hypothesis about gravity. In this sense, a Free Fonts experiment might be a procedure to determine whether humidity affects the transfer of ink onto a sheet of paper, and if it does, how.

May 13, 2009 Posted by | free fonts | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The 4 Jobs of Your Logo Font

Many entrepreneurs think that the font for their business name is like a trophy wife—just there to look pretty, all perfect hair and manicure. So, they try to find a font that looks cool, often without looking at any of the features of the font itself.

But, the font in your Logo Design is a busy little element. It works 4 jobs!

So, what are the font’s jobs?

The font’s job is to be legible and scalable, to make your business name look good, and to strengthen your entire brand story. Let’s break these elements down one at a time.

Free FontsTo be legible

Your business name should be able to be read easily, quickly, and clearly.

Make sure the letters are spaced far enough apart, so that they don’t bleed together visually or when printed.

Make sure that the letter shapes are distinguishable from one another—that your lower case “I” doesn’t look like an “L,” for example.

Also ensure that you can read it at a glance. Most people won’t pore over your logo. They’ll just skim it. You want to make sure that the font that you choose is not difficult to read. This becomes even more important when your logo is featured on a sign, vehicle, or billboard—where your viewers will be passing it at a fast pace.

At smaller sizes, the space between the dot and line in this lower case “I” might blur—which could make it look like a lower case “L”.

To be scalable

Your logo should be able to blow up to billboard size and scale down to postage stamp size and be readable across all of these different options. Make sure that legibility doesn’t suffer when size changes. Scaling up usually isn’t an issue, but scaling down can be a real problem on ornate or heavily stylized Free Fonts.

To make your business name look good

Choose a font that includes good letter shapes for all the letters in your business name. For example, some lower case Gs look pretty funky — so if your business name includes a G, you may want to stay away from fonts that include strange Gs like the one on the right.

Also, if you have a long business name, consider using a lighter font so that your business name doesn’t dominate the entire logo — you want the font to balance with the icon. The following example shows what happens to a logo when fonts are in versus out of balance, as in the example on the right:

You might also want to vary the font so that the most important words in the name stand out, giving the logo more visual interest. This can be as simple as changing color, size, or weight/boldness of the font or using 2 fonts together for more variety. Here are some examples of those techniques:

To support your brand definition

This is your font’s last job, and it can be done in different ways in your logo, depending on how much of your brand story is told by your Logo Design Tutorials and icon.

If you’ve told most of your story with the icon, then all the font needs to do is support that.

May 6, 2009 Posted by | free fonts | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Family Planning, Or How Type Families Work

Free FontsThe size and complexity of recently-developed type families has reached unprecedented levels. Look, for instance, at United, a recent release (2007) from House Industries. The family includes 105 Free Fonts composed of three styles (sans, serif and italic), available in seven weights and five widths. It takes a couple of minutes just to scroll through all the variants listed in the font menu. For a further example of this trend, Hoofer & Frere-Jones have just released their Chronicle type family (2002-2007), the range of which extends through widths (from regular to compressed), weights (from extra light to black), and optical size (from text to headline). In terms of sheer size, Chronicle comprises 106 fonts and beats the rival United by a single stylistic variant.

United, type family of 105 fonts designed by Tal Leming, published by House Industries in 2007.

Of course these ‘super families’ benefit from the inventions of the past centuries; an ongoing series of typographic innovations that broke new ground for generations of Design Tutorials to come.

May 5, 2009 Posted by | free fonts | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Our Favorite Free Fonts of 2007

Free FontsTypographica’s fourth annual review showcases the best in new typeface Design Tutorials. Twenty-five of the world’s brightest graphic and type designers selected their favorite font releases of the year. We welcome to our regular cast of contributors: David Berlow, Ellen Lupton, and Erik Spiekermann, among others.

This edition brings two changes. First, the description has evolved from “Free Fonts” to “typefaces”. Yes, there is a difference. Mark Simonson explains it best:

“The physical embodiment of a collection of letters (whether it’s a case of metal pieces or a computer file) is a font. When referring to the design of the collection (the way it looks) you call it a typeface.”

Our feature is more accurately a celebration of new typefaces than new fonts. Keeping these two terms distinct may be a losing battle at a time when some have already declared the words interchangeable, but we’re going to go down fighting.

Also new this year is an expanded format. Each selection gets a larger sample image, its own comment thread, and (where available) examples of the typeface in real-world use. I hope the new format encourages discussion about each face and stimulates the typographic side of your Logo Design brain.

Finally, a word on who to watch for in 2008. I was tickled when our list was once declared “the Oscars of type design”. That label is too grand — but what the heck, let’s run with it. A few rare actors and directors are nominated for two Academy Awards in a single show. It’s just as remarkable when a type designer is honored for more than one typeface from the same year. Our latest crop of honorees has three such standouts: Tomáš Brousil, Christian Schwartz, and Kris Sowersby. Schwartz makes a perennial appearance on the list — no surprise there. But Brousil and Sowersby are newcomers, each showing incredible talent, range, and an ability to meet the needs of the modern graphic designer.

May 1, 2009 Posted by | free fonts | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Linux Free Fonts Equivalents to Popular Web Typefaces

Desing TrainingI have written before about my admiration for Web typography, and in that article I touched on the fact that many “Web safe” fonts can’t be applied to Linux. Linux distributions each ship with their own font libraries, but I’d like to focus on similar typefaces you can use within a font-family to help make your design bullet proof.

Like Windows & OS X, Linux does type too

I’ve been a Linux user for some time now, and Linux is my platform of choice both at work and at home. My distribution of choice is Ubuntu not because it’s the most popular, but because I’ve tried a wide variety of Linux versions, and Ubuntu works the best for me. I say this because I’m going to focus on the fonts that ship by default with Ubuntu, so there may be some discrepancy among distributions.

While the list of Web safe fonts we have come to know and love is relied heavily upon, it can be very beneficial to include similar default Linux fonts in your Free Fonts – family as well.

The fonts on the Windows system

Font files have the extension .FON or .TTF (true-type) and are listed in the special system folder /Windows/Fonts/. (If you have additional fonts that are specific to a particular printer, those may be elsewhere and have a different extension.) The system font folder can also be reached through Control Panel-Fonts. To see what a font looks like, left double-click on its file (or right-click and choose “Open”). This procedure can be tedious if you are interested in looking at more than one or two fonts or if you want to compare Free Fonts. There are many software programs, some free, some shareware, for viewing or managing fonts. One good freeware program is from Karen Ken worthy. Others can be found at any of the software download sites like NoNags. Also a reference with an extensive list is given in the sidebar.

The standard Windows installations have around 100-200 fonts (the exact number depending on your setup). The following fonts are included with Windows and are installed on every computer Design Training

  • Courier New (TrueType, including Bold, Italic, and Bold Italic variations)
  • Arial (TrueType, including Bold, Italic, and Bold Italic variations)
  • Times New Roman (TrueType, including Bold, Italic, and Bold Italic variations)
  • Symbol (TrueType)
  • Wingdings (TrueType)
  • MS Serif
  • MS Sans Serif

In addition, Windows has several hidden system font files (for example, Dosapp.fon, Vgafix.fon) that don’t show in the Fonts folder or in Control Panel. These fonts may be shown, however, in some font management utilities. Windows requires these hidden font files for various system interfaces. There are also standard fonts intended mostly for use in displaying Web pages or in applications like PowerPoint (the Garamond, Georgia, Tahoma, Trebuchet, and Verdana families, for example). Some fonts are for foreign languages (WST_czec.fon, WST-ger.fon, for example). As well as the fonts intended for screen display, there may be additional fonts just for printers.

If you look at the whole list of fonts that are on your computer, you will probably find some that are rarely, if ever, needed. Since all the fonts are loaded each time Windows is started and each font file requires a certain amount of time to load, some people shave a little bit off the startup time by uninstalling some unused Free Fonts. In a normal setup with 100-200 fonts or so, it is unlikely to make a big difference for the average user. However, sometimes software programs install extra fonts and if you find yourself with 1000 fonts, you may wish to consider reducing the number. A study has shown that 1000 fonts impacts startup times noticeably.

April 21, 2009 Posted by | free fonts | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment