Written by Amy Schroeder & Molly Wiggins
Fonts are kind of a big deal here at Minted. Over the years, we’ve amassed a collection of hundreds of them in our ever-growing Font List, a database of the fonts we’ve obtained commercial server licenses for.
Because there are a number of factors to consider before selecting and purchasing a font, we asked four respected Minted artists for their top tips. Here’s a compilation of their insights, ranging from top sites for purchasing fonts to rounding out your “wardrobe” of fonts … and some technical jargon clarified along the way.
Shown here: Five of the many fonts you can view in Minted’s Font List, which Minted artist Sweta Modi calls “her bible.” “I consult the Minted Font List to discover new fonts, choose a specific typeface from a particular style, and check the minimum size specified for a font.”
1. Find fontspiration everywhere
Fonts are on billboards, book covers, clothing, album covers—they’re everywhere you look! As Minted artists attest, it’s nearly impossible not to be typographically inspired in your everyday life. Amy Ehmann of Design Lotus follows her favorite type designers and foundries on Instagram, and Erika Firm maintains a typography Pinterest board that serves as her “running wish list for fonts.”
Erika also stays on top of font trends by flipping through magazines—a great way to see fonts in action, in actual print. “It’s one thing for a font to look lovely on screen, but it has to actually translate well on paper in order for it to work for stationery,” the South Carolina designer says. “I think Bon Appetit magazine does a great job of incorporating typography into their design.”
2. Purchase fonts purposefully
When it comes to purchasing fonts, Minted artist Julie Green of Up Up Creative tells it like it is: “Don’t feel like you have to buy every cool new font you see. But do remember that your font purchases are business expenses, which can help at tax time.” Point taken.
Amy Ehmann suggests shopping for fonts with a specific purpose in mind. “Ideally, I’ll be able to use a particular font for a minimum of two to three designs,” she says, adding that if she doesn’t envision using a font multiple times, in her mind, it’s probably not worth it.
As for pricing, fonts can cost between $10-$1,000, so keep this in mind as you’re establishing your design expenses budget. “The high-cost fonts are oftentimes large families of fonts such as Avenir that has 24 weights,” says Molly Wiggins, Minted’s Font Specialist.
Erika Firm, a designer who creates work for Minted and private clients, tends to steer clear of expensive fonts. “If the cost is more than $100 for the font family, I won’t use it in a Minted design. If the cost is more than $250 for a font family, I won’t use it for branding clients. I don’t source fonts that don’t include numerals or special characters. For branding projects, I don’t use fonts that don’t include ligatures.” But when she does find an affordable font she loves, she goes all in. “I buy the entire family—different weights, italics, small caps, etc.—so that it’s most versatile,” Erika says.
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