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Where can I find free or affordable fonts?

The irony of the information age is that fonts, and several font technologies and standards, are not free. So as a consumer you pay, even if some free fonts come bundled with operating systems or applications.

business Updated: Dec 15, 2003 18:10 IST
PTI

The irony of the information age is that fonts, and several font technologies and standards, are not free. So as a consumer you pay, even if some free fonts come bundled with operating systems or applications.

Even if you buy fonts, you do not own them, you are merely licensed to use them, according to the license agreement, which is usually quite restrictive.

You cannot send a document with some fonts to a colleague or colleagues, even if you own a licensed font, since they may have to own the license as well to view it.

Some font foundries restrict you from 'embedding' fonts, whether into documents, PDF files, or websites.

In the digital age, fonts and their underlying font technologies are owned and controlled by a small handful of powerful IT companies. This despite that most font designs, which in some cases can be 400 years old, are themselves in the public domain. They are copyrighted as 'software'.

Head over to freefont.de. They offer 10,000 truetype fonts for less than $50 total. A set of high-quality 6,000 fonts for publishing design, and print at $459 total. Plus one free font per month.

The fonts are created by some of the best European font foundries and are high-quality. You are also free to embed them into documents.

By contrast, a similar collection from established foundries would cost in several lakhs and still be restrictive.

First Published: Dec 15, 2003 18:10 IST