Originally published in Design + Sketch
Fonts are like clothes, no matter how much you want to buy this font, you will always find another even better font you just have to have!
Everyone has a thing for something. For some, it is makeup, others have a thing for video games, there are people who prefer shopping over everything.
For us, it is fonts.
It could be like a lipstick shade you keep buying over and over. Or the way half of your closet comprises of only one color because you always ‘reach out for it,’ and just ‘cannot help yourself.’
You might as well join Font-aholics Anonymous.
I’m a stickler for straight, thin-line, sans-serifs and I have a frightening number of similar-looking fonts. When I am in need of something different, maybe a brush type in script, retro, or something Art Deco, I find myself ending up buying fonts I am going to use or twice only. Bottom line: it gets expensive really fast.
Secondly, on a sober note, going against the licensing which comes with fonts (free fonts especially!!) may seem harmless but it can catch up with you really fast.
The first step to recovery is admitting the problem, accepting the fact that you have a problem.
Problem: We buy similar-looking fonts which are our type (pun unintended) and we buy fonts which look very attractive, are worth the price but we never end up using them enough. Lastly, we are scared of all the legal-licensing-tough-to-pronounce-big-words phenomena.
So, what’s the solution? How do you cut back on buying fonts like a kid in a candy store with a credit card (yeah, we need to update our references)?
Font Packs! There are many design resources available online and a number of them are generous enough to sell anywhere from 6 to endless number of fonts for a price of one (or two, at times) in one font pack. Sometimes, they are even free!
Here are five reasons why you should buy font packs over single fonts or downloading free fonts.
Free stuff comes with a price:
As mentioned above, licensing is the fine-print we skip going through. When it comes to free stuff, you will always find a catch. Free fonts have a single-use and/or personal-use license. That means they are limited to one user and that user cannot use them commercially. Imagine using this font in a logo for a client and the owner of that font sending a very angry letter to the client. The horror!
Free stuff is pretty much useless:
I just saw a couple of free font packs containing 7000 and 10,000 fonts for free. Let me cut to the chase: you are getting garbage. Imagine installing all these fonts in your computer, imagine spending hours wading through them, weeding out the useless ones, the incomplete ones, the ones without upper or lower cases, one without symbols… There are some high-quality free fonts, but come on! Who is going to sort them out?
No clutter. Complete license:
So, you buy a font pack containing 16 fonts for $9. These fonts are carefully curated, All of the fonts are available in different weights, have flourishes, outlines, bonuses, are multilingual, aaand come with a complete license. If you are buying them from a good resource website, you may also get full tech support. How many wins are these?
Font packs are thematic and cohesive:
This is important for bloggers, influencers, brands with a set theme and style. A lifestyle blogger who designs all the graphics for her blog, social media, maybe her Etsy shop in a specific style, she would always go for fonts that go with her theme. I have written more about thematic font packs, font combinations and what goes with what over here.
Each font pack has a specific style and contains fonts that work in combinations. Buying one font can be very cost-effective in this case.
Font packs come with font families:
If you are a designer (or a font hoarder), you must be aware of that crushing feeling when you see the entire font family in the previews but when you download it (for free), there is only one, the standard version available. You never get the complete font family for free. Some families contain as many as 52 fonts (I’m looking at you, Quiche) and all of those 52 versions are worth every penny.
Sometimes you need a font in a slightly heavier weight, at times you need this exact same font to be slightly thin or to have ornaments or outlines (humans are never satisfied) and the wishes keep piling up.
Do you know who fulfill these wishes? Font families. Do you know where you get those huge font families with a complete license and an affordable price tag? Font packs.
I rest my case.