The Very Best New Free Fonts for 2016

Discover the very best new fonts for you to download like Grand Hotel or Bariol, for absolutely nothing!

There is a lot of rough out there so we’ve done the hard work, and sieved through it all, and these are, the pick of the lot. Enjoy.


Best free fonts: Paul Grotesk

Graphic designer Lukas Bischoff‘s brand new modernist three-weight font is clean, minimalist, and with delicious detail.

Best free fonts: Typnic Titling

There’s a single weight of this hand-drawn, picnic-flavoured typeface available from MyFonts.

Best free fonts: League Gothic

A revival of an old classic, Alternate Gothic #1, you can’t really go wrong with this robust, dark and timeless typeface. So timeless, in fact, that Alternate Gothic #2 sits very comfortably in the YouTube logo. The original was born in 1903, thanks to Morris Fuller Benton for the American Type Founders (which went bankrupt in 1923).

Some basic maths will tell you that its creation was before 1923 – which means it can be in the public domain. The League of Moveable Type had great fun working on it and making the most of the freedom of open source.

Best free fonts: Coves

Oh, Behance, how we love you – and stumbling upon gems like this free typeface with its simple, rounded edges, and clean fluidity, available in light and bold. You can get it from graphic and type designer Jack Harvatt’s Behance for personal use only.

Best free fonts: Bevan

Google fonts is a treasure trove of free, open source fonts perfect for the web – and Bevan does not disappoint. As a reshaping for the web of a slab serif typeface created by German typographer Heinrich Jost in the 1930s, the counters have been slightly opened up, and the stems reworked to suit use as a bold web font – all this creates a traditional typeface with a unusual, fun twist.

Best free fonts: Grand Hotel 

Swirly, eye-catching and with a classic vibe, Grand Hotel by Astigmatic evoke a lot of moods. According to font squirrel, this decorative font finds its inspiration from the title screen of the 1937 film Cafe Metropole – sweet, retro and full of loop-de-loops it is, but we’re confident that Grand Hotel will suit a lot of genres and contexts too.

Best free fonts: Bariol

Bariol is a gorgeous, rounded font designed by Spanish studio Atipo with a dedicated website. And we can see why. It is readable at a small size, versatile, brand spanking new – and is free to download in four weights (well, if you ‘pay’ with a tweet or like).

To get Bariol in its complete range (thin, light, regular, bold, thin italic, light italic, regular italic, and bold italic), you will have to pay – but anything you want, from a choice of prices ranging from €3 to €50 (and I’m sure they’d accept more if you really wanted to pay it…).

Best free fonts: Libre Baskerville

Another revival, Libre Baskerville attempts (and succeeds) in reworking the old, popular Baskerville serif typefaces – specifically Founder’s Baskerville, an American type created in 1941. Open Baskerville is another great Baskerville revival, but is less complete than Libre.

Best free fonts: Alegreya Sans

Alegreya Sans, by Argentinian designer Juan Pablo del Paral, was created as the sans-serif companion to Alegreya – which is a renowned super family of fonts, originally intended for literature, and won of the 53 “Fonts of the Decade”.

It is available in seven weights to bring you wide typographic options, as well as being crisp and very pleasant read.  Despite all this (and being truly gorgeous), Alegreya is sadly underused.

Best free fonts: Anonymous Pro 

Also available on Google Fonts, Anonymous Pro is by designer and typographer feel Mark Simonson – who is behind Proxima Nova – and comes in regular, italic, bold and bold italic. Though it is intended for programming, this typeface has serious style, and can be used for a sparse, clean look in the right contexts: here are some websites that use Anonymous Pro. 

Best free fonts: Playfair Display

Danish type designer Claus Eggers brought us this serif typeface in 2011, though it is influenced by older fonts such as Baskerville. It lends itself to the spotlight – in headlines and titles – rather than longer text, where it might become harder to read, -being taller and thinner than most serif fonts – and is totally safe for the web.

Best free font… not to use: Lobster

Please, this dead lobster can’t take another flogging. See it once, and you’ll see it everywhere. Not that we don’t enjoy Lobster’s condensed, vintage-y, fun script but (well, like a good piece of lobster) we don’t want to see (or eat) it every day. It’s getting close to becoming the new Comic Sans… Don’t all jump at me – there’s a whole website dedicated to the idea.

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