When designing print media collateral, a good font can grab the eye and captivate the audience—but the best fonts for print ads often require you to pay a licensing fee for use in commercial marketing. This can increase the cost of your print campaign and leave less money in the budget for special options like coatings, die cuts and embossed elements.
Fortunately, there are a bevy of free fonts for print design that are beautifully designed and don’t cost a dime to use commercially. Keep in mind: if you do use any of these fonts in your print marketing collateral, be sure to send the font to your printer along with your design files.
Bold fonts are thick, easy to read and eye-popping, which makes them some of the best fonts for print headlines, logos and other instances where you want large letters that the audience will notice. These types of fonts can range from authoritative and commanding to casual and fun.
Sometimes you need good fonts for print ads that won’t be too loud or too complex. Conservative fonts are best for those situations when you need something that looks attractive but isn’t going to overshadow the rest of your design or look out of place with your brand.
These fonts give your print design visual appeal and interest by providing an extra level of flourish to every letter. These are great fonts for headlines and logos in print ads—rarely would you see a decorative font used as body text. Remember that some of the finer details of these fonts may not imprint correctly when using foil stamping or embossing.
Lavish and elegant typefaces are some of the best fonts for print when it comes to high-end businesses, or when you just want your design to have a touch of sophistication. They can range from fancy scripts to austere, modern sans serif typography.
Dancing Script (No longer available)
Every now and then, it’s nice to bring a sense of whimsy and amusement to your print designs. From graffiti script and thick geometric shapes to quirky curlicues and novelty effects, these fun fonts may not always be your first choice for professional designs, but they will provide you with a creative outlet for your more playful ideas.
It’s always a good idea for your printed collateral to look current and up to date on the latest trends. Modern typefaces are some of the top fonts for print design and have a wide range of looks—from futuristic, digital fonts to stylized fonts that use the unique design aesthetics of today.
Lobster (No longer available)
These fonts invoke a feeling of nostalgia, allowing your print collateral to resemble printed designs of the past. Retro fonts provide an emotional connection with your audience, creating a sort of visual shorthand that quickly reaches their brain and stirs up memories.
San Serif Fonts
Sans serif fonts are some of the most versatile fonts for printing. Serifs can be difficult to successfully reproduce with embossing or foil stamping, while sans serif fonts can be used with any type of imprint method. The best sans serif fonts for print media are ideal for headlines, but can also be used as body text in a pinch.
Thin fonts have less visual weight, which make them a good choice for either body text or headings. These lighter fonts also create a unique sense of style, since they have a simple, airy delicateness to them. Keep in mind that thin fonts tend to work better with ink printing than with foil stamping or embossing.
Any particular fonts that strike your fancy? Do you know of other popular fonts that we may have missed? Please leave your thoughts and questions about the best fonts for print design in the comments below!