Being that my name is FONTichiaro and that my university email address is FONT [at] umich [dot] edu, it’s probably no surprise that I am a big fan of fonts. And one of the pieces of advice I got in library school that served me well came from Dian Walster. She said that we should choose a font that we used for all of our signs, PR items, bookmarks, and more.
You want to pick a font that is easy to read and looks good in small print (like on a bookmark) and big print (on a banner). You might even consider creating oversized spine labels with this font. I used to print out Gill Sans MT, size 18 bold, and put the spine labels sideways on the books. Boy, did having that bigger font help my aging eyes!
So instead of a two-line spine label like this:
the label would be FIC SPI (all one line, with three spaces between FIC and SPI). And
became 398.2 KIM.
Anyhoo, let’s get to the fun stuff. Let’s explore some sets of free fonts that can spark up your signage and documents this fall:
Here is a sampling of 42 free fonts to consider, courtesy of YoutheDesigner.com:
One of the 42 that is probably impractical for libraries but awesome for creating a typographic portrait of Poe is Absinthe:
Ten more high-interest, no-cost fonts come courtesy of WebDesignFact.com. Some samples:
For special occasions, consider peppering your brand with these calligraphic fonts. Here’s a sample of the 46 freebies available:
If those 96 fonts aren’t enough, try searching these eight font libraries. You’ll find tons of additional resources, but you’ll also wade through some very odd stuff!
Now if you work in a school in which you have little customization opportunity, you may not be able to download some of those fonts. If that’s the case, try picking a font that’s already installed but not commonly used in your building. If everybody is using Comic Sans, try Gill Sans MT. If you’re an Office 2007 building and Calibri is running rampant, try Palatino.