Saturday, May 25, 2013

10 Fab Free Fonts for Foreign Language

Well, I know that there are a million and a half pins on Pinterest with great "free" fonts. Just two problems... many of those lovely fonts come WITHOUT accented characters mapped, which is a royal pain to me. In those cases, a so-called standard font will be substituted when you type an accented letter.  AND you end up with something pretty gosh darn ugly... like this:

Image at Teaching FSL of what happens if a font doesn't include French accented characters

Second problem... free fonts are readily available BUT very often they are only free for personal use.  Which means that, if like me, you want to charge a whole $1.50 for an item you make with that font (even just to jazz up the title) then that is a big no-no.  What you need in this case is "free for commercial use" or "public domain" fonts.  Free for commercial use is also sometimes called commercial use OK, and then abbreviated to CU-OK or sometimes without the hyphen.

image of Sign up as a TeachersPayTeachers seller for freeAnd yes, that link above WILL take you to TeachersPayTeachers where you can sign up for free OR for an annual $59 USD fee where you get to keep a higher percentage of each sale you make.

So today, I have for you ten ELEVEN great fonts which are either in the public domain or CUOK, and that have all the necessary accented characters included in their font maps!

Insula is a pretty cool gothic/calligraphic font.

German Beauty has a description that says it USED to be donationware, so if you are making a profit from something you do with this font, please consider paying for what you think it's worth. Donationware is different than "Free", by the way - kind of like the honour system photocopy service at my public library ... you pay for what you use, and we hope that common decency will lead to honesty.

Love Almonte Snow, but it's an all-caps font, which means I would restrict its use to titles or very simple instructions on a student handout, perhaps for junior level where they know letters well enough to easily read funky variations.

I'm a little unsure if Twilight New Moon is for real and legit... but it IS funky yet still very legible. And it includes all the accented characters we need. It's listed as a free use font, but there's always a chance that Stephanie Meyer might NOT have approved this one, and may require it to be removed at some point. I thought it was interesting enough to include with that little caveat!

If you like the all one height look, Delius Unicase is for you!

I love Home & Hearth!! I've used it in a few products and several "for my class only" creations.

Another all caps font that would be great for something is GlazKrak. It's a bit less legible due to the higher degree of stylization though.

I don't really offer anything with a sports theme, but if I do, I'll use Station 232. A sporty font with a crisp, traditional "letter jacket" look.

I'm going to use Patterns & Dots in something soon, for sure!! Very cute!!

Dana Tammark Print is kind of an EXCLUSIVE font. (Dare I confess that a teacher-blogger-fontmaker acquaintance asked me to double check that the accents were all OK in this font set, and in exchange I convinced her to incorporate my name into what she called it?  Oh yes, I did!) Thanks to Dana Lester of Fun in 1st Grade for indulging me on that little ego-trip.  (It also shows you just how open to feedback she is, so if you teach primary, check out her materials for sure!)

Michelle at Teach123 within my online PLN also responded when I mentioned that I was working on this post. She gave me permission to to share one of her fonts with you.  It's called Tangy Top.

Image of free fonts with accented characters for commerical or personal use compiled by Teaching FSL

If you are interested, I can feature some paid fonts that work for FSL materials at a future date. To be honest, I don't make enough to justify buying many fonts... I've only ever purchased two for commercial use, and if I'm going to buy things to beautify my teaching materials, I'd rather spend the money on clip art. But I do know that there are some HUGE font fanatics out there, so give me a shout-out if that's you!

2 comments:

  1. Tammy- Almost every single font of mine includes glyphs to cover 80+ languages. They are free only for personal use though! :) Hope that helps:

    http://www.dafont.com/kimberly-geswein.d1468

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    Replies
    1. Is that what accented characters are called in the font world, Kimberly? I never thought of them as "glyphs" but I *have* seen this term before. Your fonts are beautiful, so that's good to know.

      I'm always afraid I'll mix up the ones that are only free for personal use since I do sell some items as well, but I know that there are lots of people who just want to make stuff pretty for their own use.

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