Typography, calligraphy and lettering

25 Free Typography Resources to Inspire Your Designs

Discover this expert-curated list packed with the best blogs, newsletters, and YouTube channels all about type design

Typography offers endless opportunities for expression and communication, which is why it's important to understand how to choose the right typography to convey and enhance the messages of your designs.

Graphic designer and co-founder of Naipe Foundry, Álvaro Franca (@alvaroefe)—who works with clients like TV Globo and Sony Music—is always reading and learning about the world of typography, drawing from a large pool of inspirational resources for designs projects.

To help you find useful reference materials, keep up to date with trends, and explore examples of typography in use, Álvaro shares recommends a list of great blogs, newsletters, and YouTube channels all about typography.

Álvaro Franca is an expert graphic designer and lettering artist.

1. Alphabettes

A blog created by the women's collective of the same name, Alphabettes covers everything related to lettering. The creatives share works in progress, research projects, and events.

It's also a space for discussion around design and politics, drawing attention to issues like gender equality, anti-racism, and anti-colonialism, among others.

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Image credit: courtesy Alphabettes.

2. ATypI

The Association Typographique Internationale is a global forum and the world's largest typography association. Featuring talks from type designers, type publishers, and typographic designers, the ATypI YouTube channel is packed with content from global speakers.

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Image credit: courtesy ATypI.

3. C-A-S-T

An independent digital type foundry founded in Italy, the Cooperativa Anonima Servizi Tipografici (C-A-S-T) shares excellent articles for inspiration and other reference materials.

As Álvaro put it, "the articles by the Italian designers at C-A-S-T are great research reads and offer stunning visuals."

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Image credit: courtesy C-A-S-T.

4. Font Review Journal

Created by "design director and typographic enthusiast" Bethany Heck, the Font Review Journal shares detailed reviews of both new and old fonts, and how they are used.

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Image credit: courtesy Font Review Journal.

5. Fonts in Use

An independent archive of typography, Fonts In Use is one of the best online resources exploring the world of typography and fonts. Explore a curated selection of "staff picks" from the Fonts in Use collection for real-world examples and detailed breakdowns.

The platform also has what Álvaro calls, "the best-organized catalog of digital and non-digital sources that exist."

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Image credit: courtesy Fonts in Use.

6. Fontsmith

This blog from British design team Fontsmith offers all kinds of educational content. Think industry news, pieces exploring the inspiration behind famous fonts, analyses of current typography trends, and lots more.

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Image credit: courtesy Fontsmith.

7. Frere-Jones Type

A project by world-renowned American type designer Tobias Frere-Jones, the Frere-Jones Type blog is the place to discover articles about ephemeris, typography history, launches, news, and more.

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Image credit: courtesy Frere-Jones Type.

8. Fresh Fonts

Monthly newsletter Fresh Fonts features a curated selection of the latest news from the world of typography. Álvaro adds the caveat that it's, "a bit biased towards European type foundries," but still a good resource for keeping up to date.

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Image credit: courtesy Fresh Fonts.

9. Identifont

A tool created to help designers identify or discover fonts, the Identifont blog catalogs all new additions and features a curated selection of new releases in the font market.

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Image credit: courtesy Identifont.

10. Klim Type Foundry

With "97,700 words about letters" (and counting), the Klim Type Foundry blog offers educational content by type designer Kris Sowersby—who Álvaro says, "writes very well and with a lot of substance."

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Image credit: courtesy Klim Type Foundry.

11. Ohno Type Company

The Ohno Type Company blog is the place for what Álvaro describes as, "Very irreverent and fun educational articles written by the kindest guy in Type Design, James T. Edmondson."

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Image credit: courtesy Ohno Type Company.

12. Plau

Writing about fonts for a wide audience, the team at Brazilian font design studioPlau share content that's informative and irreverent, in both English and Portuguese.

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Image credit: courtesy Plau.

13. Scannerlicker

An interesting resource for people new to typographic design, Scannerlicker is a blog that offers introductory and educational articles.

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Image credit: courtesy Scannerlicker.

14. Scriptorium

A blog by South America's "first and most experienced independent font foundry" PampaType. Look through Scriptorium and, as Álvaro says, you'll find "many cool articles in English and Spanish about research, references, founder's projects, and the typographic world in general."

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Image credit: courtesy Scriptorium.

15. Shady Characters

A passion project by punctuation enthusiast Keith Hou­s­ton, Shady Characters explores the history of various typographic symbols and non-alphabetic icons. "It's fascinating to understand where such different symbols come from and how they have become anchored in our culture," Álvaro notes.

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Image credit: courtesy Shady Characters.

16. Type Directors Club

The Type Directors Club is an international organization for anyone who loves typography. Via the group's YouTube channel you can browse all kinds of lectures and interviews from Type Directors Club talks and events.

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Image credit: courtesy Type Directors Club.

17. Typefoundry

A specialist website by James Mosley for those with an interest in the history of type, Typefoundry offers interesting reads for curious minds.

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Image credit: courtesy Typefoundry.

18. Type Journal

Type Journal is a Russia-based journal exploring type design, visual culture, and typography, with a focus on the Cyrillic alphabet.

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Image credit: courtesy Type Journal.

19. Type Republic

A great blog from Catalan font foundry Type Republic, it introduces their fonts and also offers interesting articles about the history and culture of typography.

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Image credit: courtesy Typerepublic.

20. type.today

Font foundry type.today's online journal looks at both contemporary and future type designs considering technology, new styles, and (more broadly) the Cyrillic typographic scene.

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Image credit: courtesy type.today.

21. TypeTogether

Browse this blog from type foundry TypeTogether for informative articles about typography, including interesting content on non-Latin script typefaces.

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Image credit: courtesy TypeTogether.

22. Type Thursday

As well as being "a meeting place for people who love letterforms," event network Type Thursday also shares a backlog of curated interviews and articles broadly exploring the world of type design via its website.

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Image credit: courtesy Type Thursday.

23. Typographica

Typography blog Typographica publishes typeface reviews, selected and written by leading experts in the field.

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Image credit: courtesy Typographica.

24. Typotheque

Coming from a type foundry Álvaro believes to be the "best in the world", Typotheque's articles cover culture, history, and the stories that lie behind their new releases.

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Image credit: courtesy Typotheque.

25. Underware

This blog from massive typography enthusiasts, the Underware trio, shares content about technology, culture, and typography.

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Image credit: courtesy Underware.

More resources in Portuguese

As well as the English-language resources listed above, Álvaro also recommends the following for Portuguese speakers:

- A Letra Dela: a blog about typography by a collective of Brazilian women that tells stories about the world of lettering with special emphasis on the role of women in this profession.

- DiaCrítico: Diego Maldonado and Érico Lebedenco's YouTube channel with various interviews about typography, lettering, and much more.

- DiaTipo: Content from the largest typography conference in Brazil.

- Entreletras: An excellent podcast with interviews about typography works presented by typographic designer Diego Maldonado.

- Tipo Aquilo: A Brazilian newsletter written by Cadu Carvalho on all things typography that Alvaro says, "delves into the layers of culture and history and leaves no stone unturned."

English version by @acesarato.

Learn more about typography

Continue exploring the possibilities of using typography to convey and enhance your messages in Álvaro Franca‘s online course, Basics of Typography from A to Z. Plus, read on for more typography content...

- Love hand-lettering? Find the perfect app to turn your tablet into a blank page with these must-try calligraphy and lettering apps for iPad.

- Learn all about OpenDyslexic, a font that helps people with dyslexia.

- Explore your personality and the pop culture references you identify with to create a unique design that combines hand-lettering with illustration with Rich Tu's course, Vibrant Lettering: Find Your Style Through Pop Culture.

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