BittBox is a great resource for textures, fonts, tutorials and more. Normally I’m really good about checking the site out, but I apparently missed a font post from December of 2008. Shame on me! Baja California is a cool font, available absolutely free. The demo font contains full alphabet characters in upper and lower case. Because it’s a demo font, it doesn’t contain a full character set, but it’s perfect for headlines or highlight text in your designs.
Bernd Montag has updated Sansation, a beautiful sans-serif font he released late last year on dafont.com. The font comes in three weights; regular, light and bold. An italic version appears to be on its way.
The Smeltery is offering Megalopolis Extra free for download. Megalopolis is an OpenType font featuring extended language support as well as alternate characters, ligatures and more. You’re free to use the font in personal or commercial work. I really like the extra “ornamental” characters in this font – you can view a full specimen sheet on the site in PDF format. Thanks to the Smeltery for sharing this font, as well as all the other freebie fonts on their site!
23rd Street is a free font from Jay Hilgert over at Bittbox. It’s a pretty clean font as far as handwritten style fonts go – he definitely didn’t go overboard with it – making it quite useful for the right project. You’ll notice that I typed out 23rd Street in the image above. That’s because this is a demo font, and as such does not offer numbers as part of the character set, only upper and lowercase A-Z. Still, it’s a nice font, and the price is right!
BitBox has just released another free TrueType font called Fusty Saddle (fusty means “Old fashioned in attitude or style). It’s a rustic, western-style font similar in style to the old Adobe favorite, Mesquite. Fusty Saddle makes for a great display font, to be used in headlines only. The only problem I have with the font is that there are no punctuation characters such as period, comma, quote or exclamation point. These characters are still important in headlines. That being said, it’s still a beautiful font. You can download Fusty Saddle here.
A gentleman who goes by the name of inde-graphics has made available, free for download, an excellent font called Advent. The download includes 7 font weights for Advent in TrueType Format, and a handy type specimen sheet in PDF format.
I’m often asked about Font Subsetting when exporting and creating PDF files using Distiller or directly from InDesign, so I thought I would post this explanation of what Font Subsetting is. When generating a PDF, it is possible to include only those characters in a font that were used in the document. This partial font is called a “Font Subset”. You adjust font subsetting in either the Acrobat Distiller job options or InDesign’s export dialog under “Subset fonts below X%”. The percent represents how much of the font is used in your document before it gets embedded in the PDF file. So a setting of 100% would mean that the entire font would be subsetted in the PDF file, while a setting of 5% would mean that you would have to use nearly all the characters available before the font would be subsetted. The primary advantages of subsetting fonts are that it not only reduces the PDF file size, but RIP’s (raster image processors) are forced to use the subset font even if the system has the full font available. Your PDF is slightly larger than other PDF files, but is also less likely to have problems with substituted fonts when output. Disadvantages of font subsetting are that it prevents your output provider from making edits to the PDF file if necessary, while still maintaining font integrity.
If you read my article at Macworld about Bulking up your font collection, you’ve hopefully visited some of the great font sites available out there and found a few gems. One of the hardest type of fonts to find to your liking is really good grunge fonts. Many times they’re either overdone and too hard to read, or not “grungy” enough. Enter daFont member named Gyom Séguin (a.k.a. Last Soundtrack). This talented font designer has a collection of grunge fonts like none I’ve come across. Virtually every one of his over 30 grunge fonts is well-crafted and ready to use in your design, including the superb Bleeding Cowboys font seen in the sample above. Check out Gyom’s collection of grunge fonts here.