January 11, 2020 13

Free Fonts versus Paid Fonts – Which is best?

Free Fonts versus Paid Fonts – Which is best?


– Free fonts or paid fonts,
which ones are better? Hey, folks, today we’re
going to talk about fonts, and specifically paid
fonts versus free fonts to see if one is better than the other. Now there’s actually three categories I’m going to talk about
today with regards to fonts. We’re going to talk about system fonts, or bundled software fonts,
along with free fonts, and paid-for, commercial fonts. So let’s start with the system fonts. These are ones that come pre-bundled with your operating system or any software that you’ll instal onto
your computer or device. System fonts tend to be fairly limited. We’re talking fonts like
Arial, Myriad, Calibri. Those types of things. And they all have a certain
similar look to them apart from one notorious one,
and that one is Comic Sans. All I will say is, if you can,
stay away from Comic Sans. It’s not the greatest font in the world and there are better ones
out there that you could use. If you instal a piece of
design software, for example, on your computer, it will probably expand the library of fonts
that you have available. But a word of warning. Usually the licences for
these fonts are linked to the software, so if
you uninstall the software from your computer, you
are essentially removing your right to use the fonts which were installed with that software. When you uninstall software, the fonts will probably
remain on your system, so to you, you can see that as being fonts that you can still use, but in reality you’re actually breaking the licencing rules of that font. So it’s always best to double-check when you do instal some software what the licencing agreement
is for those fonts. So what are the advantages and the disadvantages
of system-based fonts? Well, the advantages, they’re
already on your system, so you don’t have to download them or look for any new fonts online. And they tend to be of
a fairly high quality. The disadvantages are there is a limited choice
of fonts open to you, and you’ll be using the same fonts as thousands of other
businesses around the world. So let’s move on to free fonts. For a lot of people they may
have very tight design budgets, and so having to pay for
fonts is not on the cards. The first thing to say about free fonts is that free doesn’t always mean free. Like system fonts, every single font has a licence agreement attached to it. So when you go to a free font website what you need to do is you
need to check the licence which is attached to any font that you’re thinking about downloading and using in your project. You will find that a lot of fonts which say they’re free
are free for personal use. They’re not free to use commercially. So if you want to use that font to produce a piece of marketing material for your business or service you will have to probably
buy a commercial licence to use that font in that way. If you’re not sure whether a font does need a commercial licence, you will find when you download it it will probably come with
a little read-me file, a little text document, and that will contain all the details and the usage rights of that font licence. A lot of free fonts are actually created by amateurs and hobbyists. They may look okay on screen
at fairly small sizes, but if you need to use
the fonts at large sizes or maybe you need some special
characters in the font, that’s where you’ll start to see that free fonts are fairly limited or they’re not actually
that well designed. Because they’re done by hobbyists they won’t have spent a
huge amount of time on them compared to someone who
creates fonts professionally. Now in saying that, if you go
to Google Fonts, for example, because it’s Google all of
the fonts that they have are of a high quality,
but they may be limited in the weights that
they’re available to you. So you may get bold and medium, but you may not get semibold,
black, heavy, condensed. All the different types of font family that you could potentially have will not be readily
available from a free font. Now, advantages and
disadvantages of free fonts. Number one, it’s free. That’s obviously an advantage. You’ve got a huge choice
of styles to choose from. And because they’re free you can download as many as you want and
experiment with them. Use them for inspiration when you’re putting together
your design projects. Disadvantages? You have a limited choice
of weights for each font. They could be poorly constructed. And a bit like system
fonts they may be overused because you aren’t having to pay for them and so people will just download them as many times as they need and so you might find
a lot of other people using the exact same fonts that you are. – Now we move on to paid fonts. It will come as no surprise to you that paid fonts are of a much
higher quality than free ones. That’s because the
designers who create them spend a huge amount of
time polishing them, making sure that that there
are as many characters, ligatures, and glyphs
in there as possible. Lots of different weights. There is just so much more
you get by paying for a font. The same as with free fonts you have to deal with licence
agreements for paid fonts. Now with paid ones they can
be a little bit more tricky and a little bit more detailed, but as long as you read the agreement and know what the
limitations are with the font then you’ll be fine and you
won’t have any problems. A plus to using a paid font is that not everyone else will be. A lot of people will have
gone down the free route, whereas if you go and take the time and use some budget to
buy a commercial font, then there’s going to
be less people using it, which means you’re going
to have more originality in your branding compared to someone who would be using free fonts. The advantages of paid-for fonts are they are of a high quality, you have much more choice over weights, glyphs, and ligatures, and you also have no copyright issues because you’ve paid for use of the font. Disadvantages are the licence agreements because they can differ between
different font foundries, so you need to make sure
you read those carefully to ensure that you’re using the font within the licence agreement terms. And paid fonts can be expensive. They can range from 10
pounds into the hundreds depending on the font
family that you want to use. So where does that leave us? Which is better, free or paid fonts? Well they both have their
advantages and their disadvantages and it really comes down to
what you need the font to do. In some cases free fonts will be absolutely perfect for what you need, but in other instances you
will want to make the decision to spend some of your budget
and buy a commercial font. Especially if it’s for a really, really important piece of your branding. I hope you found this quick insight into free and paid fonts useful. If you have give the video a
like, subscribe to the channel, and share it with anyone that you think might find it useful. And until I speak to you
again, stay creative folks.

13 Replies to “Free Fonts versus Paid Fonts – Which is best?”

  • John Espirian says:

    Nice one, Col. How about a follow-up video where you look at one-off paid font purchases versus subscription services such as Adobe Typekit? I'm using the latter but am not sure I'm getting my money's worth.

  • Mr Clip says:

    What sources of paid font do you suggest? thanks!

  • uyen ha gia says:

    Guys (URGENT) I have a pretty dumb question about font license. The thing is there is a font (Chocolate Bos by Paul Lloyd) and I wanna get its commercial license. But nowhere except Myfonts says it's for sale. Even when I downloaded it there isn't any readme attached document to be read. Do I have to buy it from Myfonts or just leave it?

    And do I have to buy commercial license of Myriad Pro which is one that is already in AI since the beginning?

    Really appreciate your advices. Thanks!

  • Keluarga Syed says:

    can my client trademarked their logo with outlined fonts I created for them?

  • Helen Morrison says:

    Really enjoying your series. What lens are you using for these videos?

  • PUVI says:

    im so glad to have found your channel. Its gold. Thanks

  • Tinderbox says:

    Excellent primer on this topic

  • Michael F. Visuals says:

    Thank you so much for the knowledge!

  • François Bélanger Boisclair says:

    Licences are a pain in the butt… You need to keep each of them in the directory with the font and check how they are written… Some goes from mostly do what you want except share to font to… You can use the font only if it a Sunday between 10 to 12 am and it an you get a full solar eclipse… Just kidding for the second type but not too much.

  • Packstore Australia says:

    You're awesome dude, thank you

  • Valerie Oliver says:

    Is there a way that I can find out (after years of downloading fonts onto my computer) which ones have commercial licenses and which ones don't? I want to delete the ones that I know I cannot use.

  • GamerLjvesMatter [Make Gamerica Great Again] says:

    Such gray area here. I've googled if certain fonts are copyrighted and they never have answers nor here. I wanna know where to find the answers to which fonts are not copyrighted, damn it! lol smh

  • Abdullah Khalaf says:

    hello. how can I prove that I purchased the font if I was asked by websites like Amazon? another question. if I have that paid font for free and use it on my product, how the font owner or some websites like amazon know that I didn't pay for them??

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