How To Explore And Download Google Fonts

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One way to really differentiate your marketing for your small business is to experiment with different fonts. Times New Roman, Arial, Garamond … those are the same old, same old. Everyone uses those. Did you know that Google offers over 900 font families that you can download and use for free? In this blog post, I’m going to teach you how to do this.

Why I love Google fonts so much.

Ok, so there are two reasons why Google fonts are completely awesome. First off, every font family in the massive library of fonts is open-source. What that means is you can download and use them any way you want … for free! Yipppeeeee!

Aside from the open-source licensing, another reason I love Google Fonts is because of the variety. The library offers a robust mix of beautiful styles that can be mixed and matched to suit any brand.

Sorting Fonts

Alright, now it’s time to take a trip over to the Google font library!

fonts.google.com

When you hit the Google Fonts main page, it will look something like this.

google font screen 1.png

As you scroll through the page, you’ll realize there’s A LOT to choose from. Thankfully, you’re on a Google website and the search functionality is bar none.

On the right side of the screen, you’ll find a menu of options. This menu allows you to filter the collection based on a number of different criteria:

Categories

Serif:

In typography, a serif is a small line or stroke regularly attached to the end of a larger stroke in a letter or symbol within a particular font or family of fonts. A typeface making use of serifs is called a serif typeface. (Wikipedia) Times New Roman is an example of a serif font.

Sans Serif:

Typeface that doesn’t include the little strokes just mentioned above are referred to as sans serif fonts. Arial is an example of this.

Display:

A display typeface is a typeface that is intended for use at large sizes for headings, rather than for extended passages of body text. (Wikipedia)

Handwriting:

A handwriting font is just what the name suggests … a font that looks like handwriting!

Monospace:

A monospaced font (opposed to a proportional font) is a font whose letters and characters each occupy the same amount of horizontal space. (Wikipedia)

Image from    Wikipedia

Image from Wikipedia

Sorting

Using the Sorting filter, you can view font families based on what’s currently Trending or the most Popular fonts. You can also filter by Date Added or put the fonts in Alphabetical order.

Languages

The majority of Google fonts are in English but there are font options in several other languages as well.

Sliders

The sliders in the filter menu are very cool. There are sliders for Number of Styles, Thickness, Slant, and Width. By moving the slider to the right on any one of these options, you’ll be presented with fonts that represent more of the particular characteristic you’re filtering. (For example, if you moved the slider all the way to the right on the Thickness option, you’d see the thickest fonts in the library.)

A Note about Number of Styles:

Some fonts are offered in varying styles. For example, the font Arima Madurai is offered in eight different styles ranging from Thin all the way to Black. Depending on how you’ll be using a font, you may want to consider downloading multiple different versions of it.

number of styles.png

Choosing Fonts

The Google font library, even with its amazing filtering capabilities, can be a tad overwhelming. How does one choose a font with all of these incredible options?! Well, my advice is to explore the library and click on the fonts that speak most to you (and, of course, speak to your small business brand). I personally have a thing for sans serif and handwriting style fonts. 🤓

If you click on a font that you like, you’ll be brought to a details screen, which looks like this:

Satisfy screen.png

In this example, I had clicked on the font called Satisfy. The details screen shows all of the characters in the collection and even lets you type in sample text so you can see what different words or phrases will look like written in the font!

To view sample text, simply click where it says “Click here to preview text.” (This is found in the middle of the page underneath Styles.)

After you type your text, you can use the red slider to change the size of it. In my example, I bumped the point size up to 90 so I could see what my text would look like as a big headline. 🍍😊

point size.png

On the left side of the screen, you’ll see a menu of fonts that will pair nicely with the font you’ve selected. By clicking on any one of these options, the paragraph text to the right of it will change to that particular font. It’s a great way to see how other fonts will coordinate with your selected font … which helps narrow your search, too!

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How To Download Fonts

Once you’ve selected a font that you like, you can go ahead and add it to your collection to download! To do this, simply click the little red plus icon. (It will be at the upper right corner of the details page or to the right of each font listed on the main page.)

Each time you select a font, it will be added to your collection. The collection will remain in an expandable box at the bottom right of the page as long as you have fonts selected. To access your collection, click the minus sign on this expandable box.

When you expand the collection, it will look something like this:

collection expanded.png

To download the font(s) in your collection, simply click the icon that looks like a down arrow with a horizontal line underneath it (it’s in the top right corner of the box). A zipped folder will then be downloaded to your computer.

If you’re on a Mac, you can double click the zipped folder to unzip it. Then open the unzipped folder and double click the font file. This will trigger your Font Book to open. Click Install Font and BOOM! The font is installed and ready for you to use!

Happy font browsing! Comment below and let me know what you download. :)

 

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