Occasionally do-it-yourself webmasters have to put on the designer’s hat and one of the considerations of good design is font choice. Below are some resources to help you out.

  • Font Picker Online is a simple application that previews your text using all the different typefaces available on your computer. To use it simply highlight any of the example boxes and type in your own text, which will be replicated to the rest of the typefaces (representing all those present on your computer). Use the check boxes to select your favorite fonts and the ‘x’ button to remove individual fonts you don’t like (or use the Clear button to remove all but the fonts you selected as favorites). You will finally be left with a smaller list of fonts to choose from.
  • Dafont offers a repository of free fonts that you can browse. Select a font that interests you and then you can type in your own text to get a preview of how it will look. Instructions for how to install the fonts are also provided.
  • Google Fonts
    Google fonts are quickly becoming the favorite of most Web designers. You will find a large selection of fonts here that are completely free to use for personal or commercial projects. There are also various WordPress plugins that will help integrate them if that is your platform of choice
  • Font Squirrel
    Free fonts have met their match. It’s hard to find quality freeware that is licensed for commercial work. This site has done the hard work, hand-selecting typefaces and presenting them in an easy-to-use format.
  • FontStruct is a free online tool that lets you quickly and easily create fonts constructed out of geometrical shapes, which are arranged in a grid pattern, like tiles or bricks. Once you’re done building, FontStruct generates high-quality TrueType fonts, ready to use in any Mac or Windows application. You can keep your creations to yourself, but you are encouraged to share your “FontStructions”. Explore the Gallery of fonts made by other FontStruct users and download them or even copy them and make your own variations.
  • FontFriend is a Web browser bookmarklet. With this tool you can simply open up your Web site, click on FontFriend, change the font and font styles as FontFriend makes the changes in real time, and then, once you have found the right font and font styles, apply those changes to your CSS files as needed. You can also set the text to all Small Caps, Initial caps, Bold, Normal, Upper case, Lower case as well you can effect body text, paragraph text, header text, and you can even roll your own. If you decide to roll your own make sure you take a look at the jQuery JavaScript Library link within the FontFriend overlay so you can see the types of tags you can use. You can also see a TechRepublic review and tutorial for FontFriend
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