Free and Open Source Fonts

HalosGhost's picture

Please understand, I've read a lot of people getting flamed for asking for free commercial fonts. That is not my purpose in this post. I feel like the best of fonts are less tools and more works of art (and thus, I feel like those who work on them should absolutely be compensated).

My purpose in posting is to ask if there is any good site for free and open-source fonts (and possibly WebFont supported). I've done quite a bit of web design, and having access to good WebFonts would be wonderful. Plus, there are several Open-source typefaces that I prefer over their proprietary counterparts (i.e. Deja Vu Serif and Liberation Serif are infinitely better than Times New Roman).

Again, I'm not asking for any Commercial typefaces, I'm asking for a good place to find fonts that were designed with the intent of being free to use for everyone and anyone that wants.

Any help and all suggestions are greatly appreciated!

-Sam

agostini's picture

Hi Sam
Have a look at this one
http://www.fontsquirrel.com/

Not sure how it is with the licenses.

Joerg

HalosGhost's picture

Thanks Joerg! That site actually has some pretty good fonts. Not sure if they're actually Open-source, or if they're just licensed for commercial use without pay. I'm looking into it though.

Some of the ones (even on the home page) are quite excellent. Thank you again!

Any other suggestions?

SebastianK's picture

The latter. Most are open source though, far as I know. Just check each license individually.

Then again, just use the search function here on Typophile, or google your question. You're not the first one to ask this, and a looong list of free type resources has been compiled in the wiki somewhere.

Khaled Hosny's picture

You have got Google font directory, the league of moveable type and open font library.

Also you can check the fonts on CTAN, mostly free fonts but few might have some restrictions like no commercial use (no fancy font listing like the others, though).

SIL has a list of some OFL licensed fonts, you may want to check that too.

You can also check Unicode Font Guide For Free/Libre Open Source Operating Systems, or Wikipedia's Open source typefaces category.

Florian Hardwig's picture

I feel like the best of fonts are less tools and more works of art (and thus, I feel like those who work on them should absolutely be compensated).

So tools should be free, and toolmakers not compensated?

charles ellertson's picture

I feel like the best of fonts are less tools and more works of art (and thus, I feel like those who work on them should absolutely be compensated).

I'd say you have it all backwards. Works of art are not ment to be used. I suppose you could cover a hole in the wall with a picture, but if that is your purpose, you don't need a high-dollar painting.

Any use of type tends to make it look worse than a carefully crafted specimen sheet. After you set that specimen, it's all downhill.

There is a notion that artists do their thing for the joy of it, not for the money. Usually not true of craftsmen.

AlanR's picture

Stephen Hartke maintains a page about free/open-source fonts, with some bias towards scientific and mathematical typesetting using TeX/LaTeX. Its current location is http://delubrum.org/. The quality of the fonts listed is rather variable, but there may be a few possibilities here additional to those provided by the other posts in this thread.

Alan

vinceconnare's picture

Easiest when to get OpenSource fonts is to install Ubuntu 10.04 OS and in their software store they have a font store full of a lot of shite. You get what you don't pay for though.

http://www.ubuntu.com/

Nick Shinn's picture

Works of art are not ment to be used.

Just stored in vaults.

JamesM's picture

> Works of art are not ment to be used

Not always...

The Eames Lounge Chair was certainly a work of art, and it was meant to be sat upon.

A Stradivarius is a work of art, and it was meant to be played.

Falling Water (the house by Frank Lloyd Wright) is a work of art, and it was meant to be lived in.

ebspoony's picture

> Falling Water (the house by Frank Lloyd Wright) is a work of art, and it was meant to be lived in.

I believe that last point could be debated.

SebastianK's picture

There is a notion that artists do their thing for the joy of it, not for the money. Usually not true of craftsmen.

Same discussion, again? What gives?

I love doing open source work. The thankful emails I get every day are more than enough to keep me going. But I would starve if I didn't get paid for it.

Full-time type designers, be honest. Money isn't just some symbolic hat taken off to your artistic skills*; it's your breakfast. No breakfast, no more fonts. Unless you've already made your million, which would legitimize this controversy.

* or craftsmanship, whatever.

charles ellertson's picture

A Stradivarius is a work of art, and it was meant to be played.

Really? So if it looked good but sounded bad, it would still be a good violin?

But if it looked "bad" and sounded like a Strad, it'd be good. Ask Yo-Yo Ma about the electronic Cello.

JamesM's picture

> Really? So if it looked good but sounded bad, it would still be a good violin?

Well folks can certainly agree or disagree with specific items I mentioned, but my point was just that "works of art" covers a broad range of items, some of which are actually used in everyday life.

The Museum of Modern Art in New York, for example, has displayed items as diverse as furniture, computers, jewelry, even kitchen utensils.

dtw's picture

Is that "work of art" or "design classic", though?

abattis's picture

Hi sam! If you'd like to help improve the Open Font Library, let me know :) dave@lab6.com

HalosGhost's picture

@Florian, I didn't mean to say that craftsmen shouldn't be compensated. I just meant to say that typefaces are one of the few digital creations that I feel can legitimately be proprietary (though I am one of those idealists who wishes for all digital work to one day be open-source).

As for the "works of art" argument. One of the most fascinating types of art I've ever come across is that of functional art. A true work of art still mean to be used. This is how I see typefaces.

Thanks for all the discussion and all the suggestions, this has all been very helpful!

-Sam

riccard0's picture

a looong list of free type resources has been compiled in the wiki somewhere

http://typophile.com/node/44453

Khaled Hosny's picture

http://typophile.com/node/44453
Most fonts on this list seem to be freeware fonts but not necessarily open source.

paul d hunt's picture

This wiki article may be better in terms of listing open source typefaces than the one linked to above:

Good Libre Fonts

Frank ADEBIAYE's picture

VTF fonts are all free, with a limited charset and w/o kerning, which a way to say no pain without gain.
www.vtf.fadebiaye.com

Interesting debate, anyway...

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