By Jeremy Child, February 2023
Whether you draw with Procreate brushes or use a vector-based design program, such as Adobe Illustrator or Affinity Designer, there’s no doubt you’ll often want to include typography in your design or illustration. There are thousands of free downloadable fonts available, and kitting yourself out can be an expensive, time-consuming business. With so many font styles freely available of varying quality, it’s often difficult to know where to start looking.
The Artifex Forge offers a huge range of different illustration mediums and design styles in our digital design tools, brushes and creative kits and so, in this article, I’m going to share some of my favorite free font styles for you to download and use with our creative tools in your compositions.
This attractive, modern-vintage hybrid script ties into the current trend for fonts which echo those used in the late 1960s and early 1970s including the famous “Summer of Love”. It includes some highly decorative ligatures, bringing the psychedelic aesthetic into the modern age. The font is perfect for a variety of vintage and modern designs. Free for both commercial and personal work.
WHY NOT TRY LITTLE BIRDS WITH THESE AFFINITY DESIGNER & ILLUSTRATOR TOOL KITS?
This font captures the loose and free flow of handwritten brush type with every degree of detail captured. If you’re looking to create a piece using textured Procreate brushes, Illustrator Paint brushes or Affinity Designer textures, this font is sure to compliment. Perfect Moment is an SVG, which means it contains color and transparency. SVG fonts are vector based and generally only compatible with programs such as Adobe Illustrator and Affinity Designer but .otf and .ttf versions are also included. These work with most programs, including Procreate and Adobe Photoshop. Free for both commercial and personal work.
TRY PERFECT MOMENT WITH THESE AFFINITY DESIGNER AND ILLUSTRATOR BRUSHES
by Ionyc Type
Big John Pro is The Artifex Forge’s go-to bold font. It’s legible when small and striking when large, making it ideal for product screen-shots. You’ll find it featured on dozens of our design tools – its showcased on art for shader brushes, Procreate pixel brushes, Photoshop mosaic patterns , Illustrator pencil brushes, linocut patterns and more. It also comes with siblings! Slim Joe and Regular Jim provide light and medium weights and complete a versatile font family. Free for both commercial and personal work.
BIG JOHN PRO WAS USED IN THE PRESENTATION MATERIALS FOR THESE BRUSHES
by Iván Núñez
A classic, vintage style font, ideal for vintage themed designs or illustrations. Works perfectly with The Artifex Forge’s Vintage Newspaper Creator for Affinity Designer and Adobe Illustrator, and Finest Vintage Procreate Brushes, Illustrator Brushes and Affinity Designer Brushes. Free for both commercial and personal work.
BARBARO IS THE PERFECT PARTNER TO THESE VINTAGE TOOL KITS
Cotta is a modern, feminine serif font, which is perfect for a huge range of design projects including branding, logos, web design, wedding invitations and much more. The font includes a number of beautiful, alternative ligatures too. It’s free for personal projects and desktop commercial use but there are paid licenses available for web, broadcast and app use too.
by Petar Acanski
A stylised, hand-drawn marker style font with smooth lines and a simple yet rough and ready feel. The font includes a full set of uppercase characters alongside numbers and alternative ligatures and variations. Try it with spray paint and marker pen artwork and designs. Available for both personal and commercial use.
WHY NOT TRY BLOW BRUSH WITH THESE ARTIFEX FORGE PRODUCTS?
by Ryan Pyae
A stunning vintage font featuring three different versions – regular, distressed and shade. Although perfect for vintage and wilderness themes, it would suit a wide range of design and illustration projects, from logos to apparel branding, badges and beyond. Available for personal and commercial usage.
BERNIER IS THE PERFECT PARTNER TO THESE VINTAGE TOOL KITS
by Made Type
This modern serif font from MADE Type echos classic vintage fonts but combines this with a distinct air of modernity. It’s sure to turn heads and get your product, web page or design noticed. Available for personal and commercial use.
A modern-vintage hybrid typeface with an original flow that will give your type an original and eye-catching look. This highly original font includes numbers, special characters, symbols and a selection of stylistic alternates. It features two versions – regular and slant. The free version includes just the rough typeface but you can also check out the full version HERE. Available for personal and commercial use.
WHY NOT TRY HUMBLLE ROUGH WITH THESE AFFINITY DESIGNER AND ILLUSTRATOR BRUSHES?
by Apostrophic Labs
This dynamic, playful font is perfect for retro and comic book themed projects and more. We put it to good use in the Artifex Forge’s Vintage Comic Creator – available for Procreate, Illustrator, Photoshop and Affinity Designer. Free for both commercial and personal work.
KOMIKA AXIS IS USED IN THE PRESENTATION MATERIALS FOR THESE PRODUCTS
This friendly, hand-daubed font captures the look of messy paint yet remains very readable. It’s perfect to use with any artwork with a hand-drawn, painted or rough aesthetic. Available for personal and commercial use.
TRY MALER WITH THESE AFFINITY DESIGNER AND ILLUSTRATOR BRUSHES
by Obys Agency
A decorative twist on vintage letter forms, this serif font was inspired by the well-known Rembrandt van Rijn painting of the same name (1642) and features uppercase characters alongside numerals and punctuation marks. Try it on a variety of vintage design and illustration projects as well as anywhere you need a luxurious, modern aesthetic. Free for both commercial and personal work.
WHY NOT PAIR THE NIGHT WATCH WITH OUR VINTAGE DESIGN TOOLS?
A hand-written, monoline script font with a vintage feel. Featuring lowercase, uppercase, numerals and punctuation it’s perfect for a broad range of illustrative and design projects, particularly those with that classic aesthetic. Free for both commercial and personal use.
WHY NOT TRY IT WITH THESE AFFINITY DESIGNER AND ILLUSTRATOR BRUSH SETS
An impressive, experimental serif font family with beautifully designed characters. It was inspired by Art Nouveau and Japanese Ukio-e style and it has to be my favorite font in this post. The family consists of ten weights with stylistic alternatives making it perfect for both vintage and modern designs. Available for personal and commercial projects.
WHY NOT TRY IT WITH THESE USEFUL DESIGN TOOL KITS?
A stunning, modern, uppercase, bold font with a twist. Perfect for clean headlines that need to stand out. Try it on your logos, articles and badges. Free for personal and commercial use.
An elegant, sharp, cut serif font family of 16 fonts with multiple weights. This dynamic set features unusual pointed tips giving a striking charm to any project. Free for personal and commercial use but with paid options for web, broadcast and app usage.
I hope you enjoyed this selection of free downloadable fonts and put them to good use in your own designs and illustrations. The license terms for each font were correct at the time of writing, but please check the full terms before using them in your commercial projects, as they may be subject to change.