Curated Essentials 1: How to use Fontbundles
Author: Orana - Expat Nomad Designer
Welcome to the 1st edition of Curated Essentials where I showcase the products in my resources page. Today I will explain how to use Fontbundles to your best advantage. To create awesome graphics or to include in your website. To design your branding strategy or to offer beautiful art for clients. Fontbundles can do a lot for you if you know how to use it.
One of the best parts of having a blog is creating the graphics for it. My favorite part of being a designer is my eve growing font collection. Font addiction can be a real thing and most designers have it. Some non-designers have it too; you don’t have to be a designer to love fonts and enjoy playing with them.
Many years ago, fonts weren’t just a thing you could download, typography was a complicated and detailed art that not only took a long time to design, it also took a long time to get ready for printing. With the arrival of computers, design programs, and websites that help you make a font out of your handwriting; the availability of fonts and typography has changed dramatically.
The easiest and fastest way to replenish a font collection is to use a site like Fontbundles.com, a myriad of free and paid offers where the fonts are plenty and the creativity abounds. Like most font and design websites, Fontbundles offers plenty of free downloads for you to create beautiful instagram quotes, and maybe new headers for your clients.
Ok, so maybe some of you are new with the whole font craze and don’t really know why you would need so many or even how to use them! I get it, I was there once, not knowing how to get that awesome font to work in my computer or what the difference was between an .otf file and an .ttf file. Let’s review the basics…
Typograhy : Font or Typeface
Typography is the art of letters. The difference between a font and a typeface has changed over the years. Before the age of computers typeface was the name used for a kind of type, say Helvetica in all its weights and sizes, that included all the little metal letters used in physical printing. A font was for example; Helvetica in 12 point Bold.
Now the difference has changed somewhat. In font and design websites like Fontbundles you mostly find fonts, created by designers for easy use and a lot of the time for free or low cost. Some designers on the other hand create typefaces; entire families of letters in all sorts of weights and styles, with glyphs to accent in different languages and extra ligatures and connections. Complete typefaces, even on Fontbundles can cost up to 100 us dollars.
How to use the Free Fonts
When you download a font file, be it free or paid, it will arrive in your computer as a .zip file. Most computers will unzip when you double click on a .zip file. If your computer is a little dinosaur you might have to open a decompressing software first, I hope that isn’t the case! If you are using a windows computer I can’t completely be of help, but Bryan Clark can help with this tutorial.
Once you have unzipped the file you will have a folder with the font in .ttf or .otf format or both. Your best option is always .otf. You want to know why? Here’s a handy video!
Ok, did that explain anything? I bet you learned a whole bunch of stuff you didn’t know! So if you are going to use the fonts for making creative graphics, just download the .otf file. After you have double clicked on the file, it will open and you will have button that says “install file”, click that, you’re done. If you are using windows, refer the article above.
Where can you use your new fonts?
Now that you have found, chosen, downloaded and installed your new fonts, how will you use them? Some of our favorite editing programs let us use our own fonts, while others don’t. Snappa, the up and coming editor lets you add fonts, I’m not sure how many. For example Canva only lets you use the fonts they provide but Picmonkey has an option (even in their free version) where you can use your own downloaded fonts. Visme also lets you use your fonts, as well as Fotojet. Canva for work lets you set up a branding scheme with three fonts but it doesn’t access your entire font library.
If you use programs like Photoshop, Illustrator, Inkscape, and Pixelmator you will have no problem with your fonts. All those programs access your font library to use as you please. If you have any program open; online, cloud or desktop, and you download and install a new font, you will most probably have to relaunch said program for it to read the new addition.
Personal License Vs. Commercial License
Many of the free fonts on Fontbundles come with both a personal and commercial license, but some design assets might not. Always check the license in the font you have dowloaded before creating something you will sell or using the font for a paying client. Personal license means that you can use it on your blog or your site and social media but not for something you will sell. I am not legal expert on licenses so you might as well read the official documentation from Fontbundles.
Do you still have questions about fonts and how to use them or anything related to design on your site? Join us in the Rock your Visuals Facebook Community and ask away! We are there to help each other master our visual strategies.
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