I’m in the midst of finishing a new book/zine, but also contemplating a new comics project. I have the tendency to hone in and get a bit obsessive on various aspects of a project (especially when I can’t focus 100% on it yet), and recently it seems to be fonts. For a while, I was really stuck on the idea of hand lettering all my comics and zines, and (while I still do want to this for some of my projects) lately (or always, really) I’ve been reminded the fact that 1. my writing is pretty terrible especially for sustained reading, 2. I’m very impatient, and 3. really, I should think about investing in some decent fonts.
Here are some links and resources I’ve found over the years that may be useful for other creators, especially people looking to use fonts beyond personal applications (e.g., books for sale). This is from the perspective of someone looking at fonts for comics, but there are lots of generally useful things too. I’ll update this list whenever I find other things I feel are handy.
Vorbis’ Typesetting Guide
I thought this was a really good writeup on considerations for comics typesetting, and even has some thoughtful font reviews! Sadly a few example images seem to be broken, but I still find it very informative and useful. Inside Scanslation has other guides as well for those interested!
Using OpenType fonts in Microsoft Word
Okay, I’m not going to be setting a comic in Word, but I kept seeing people bemoaning the inability to access OpenType features (like alternates) in Word, so when I stumbled on this I thought it’d be handy.
Typographica.org – My Favourite Font Sources
Great overview of a selection of foundries and purchase/download sites.
Blambot and Comicraft are, of course, two very well-known comics-focused font resources. For their free fonts, Blambot also allows indie creators/self-publisher to use the fonts for free even for commercial projects and merchandise related to the comic! (Check out their actual license info for full details.)
The following sites focus on free or lower cost fonts, especially ones that appear to be more mindful of licenses and creators. Be sure to note commercial licenses if needed!
Very SimpleLicense covering commercial use. Nice thing is that sellers get 70% commission which is higher than many other places, so you can feel good about supporting creators!
Comicraft also has select fonts available on Creative Market.
Collects free fonts. Do double check the licenses though.
The League of Moveable Type
Kind of like FontSquirrel, but much more curated.
Lost Type Co-op
Pay what you want for personal use, commercial licenses are pretty inexpensive
36 sites to download fonts for free
Another handy shortlist of sites.
Preview fonts on your computer!