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Update: If you’re looking for free fonts for your Canva cover or for social media or marketing materials, check out my article Best free Canva fonts for sci-fi, fantasy, and horror.
If you’re looking for fun fonts to spice up your website or your social media posts — or to use on your book or short story covers — this is the list for you. I’ve got fonts from Google and from several other sites here. Google fonts are easier to use with WordPress, Canva, and Google Docs, but all the fonts can be downloaded and used on your local computer and all are completely free to use, including for commercial purposes.
Jump ahead to: Free sci-fi fonts from Google • Free fantasy fonts from Google • Free horror fonts from Google • Free sci-fi fonts from other sites • Free fantasy fonts from other sites • Free horror fonts from other sites • Free clipart fonts
These are all display fonts. They’re good for logos and titles, but tend to be hard to read for large blocks of text. I recommend against using them as your body font for books and websites.
Instead, for the main text on websites and ebooks, use a very basic sans serif font like Lato, Roboto, Montserrat, Source Sans Pro, or Open Sans, or a basic serif font like Merriweather, Lora, Roboto Slab, Source Serif Pro, or Caladea.
For print books, I recommend readable serif fonts like Merriweather, Georgia, or Palatino. Garamond is the most recommended, and you can buy it from Adobe, or use the free Google version, EB Garamond. Another great font for print books is Caslon, which you can buy from Adobe here, or use Google’s free Libre Caslon Text.
Use Google fonts for websites and on your computer
Google offers more than 1,000 free fonts, which you can use in Google Docs without having to download them first. Many WordPress themes also include the option to add Google Fonts. If your WordPress theme doesn’t include Google fonts by default, and you’re on a plan that allows you to install plugins, you can add Google fonts using the Easy Google Fonts plugin.
You can also download any of these fonts from Google and use them on your computer in any graphics or word processing program. Simply download the font and double-click on it to install it.
The other sources below are for fonts that you download and install on your computer — you can’t as easily integrate them into websites. But there are a lot more of those fonts!
Also, quick tip: if you just want to use the font for one or two phrases, such as for a logo, you don’t have to install the font on your computer. Most of the sites have an option where you can type the phrase into the “preview text” field, then adjust the font size of the preview, grab a screenshot, and crop in any image editing program — including Canva. If you do this, make sure to save the link to where you found your font so that you can get to it again next time you need it.
But don’t do this with paid, commercial fonts. The licensing hassles aren’t worth it, and there are so many free fonts to choose from, anyway.
And if you’re using a designer for your website or book cover, and want a particular font, just send the link to the designer.
Why stick with free fonts?
Buying a font isn’t a huge expense. No matter how much of a starving writer you are, you can afford a font… right? Well, maybe. Once you start playing around with different cover designs, or different social media post images, the prices do start to add up.
But that’s not the main concern.
The biggest problem with fonts that aren’t free, or that are only free for personal and not commercial use, is the bookkeeping overhead. You have to keep track of all those licenses. Ten years later, when you’re finally ready to publish that sequel and want the same font on the cover, are you going to be able to confirm that you still have a proper license for it?
If you switch designers, and your designer handled all the licenses for you, are you going to have to pay for all new licenses? See, it’s a hassle. And it’s a completely needless hassle because of all the great free fonts that are available these days. Nobody’s going to know whether you used a free font or a commercial font. You’re not being cheap. You’re being practical. But also cheap.
All the fonts listed below are free for both personal and commercial use.
I believe in supporting creators. I do. But there isn’t really a practical way to support font creators right now without dealing with all the license management hassles. If you are a font creator who makes fonts that are on this list, and have a page where people can support your work through Patreon or another funding platform, please let me know and I’ll add it to this article! You can email me at [email protected].
What are clipart fonts?
Some fonts, instead of letters, have little pictures — icons, or clipart. If you’re looking for a doodad on your book cover, short story cover, website logo, or social media post, this is a great way to easily get cute pictures that you can easily scale up or down.
What font is that?
Did you see a cool font on a book cover or ad somewhere and want to know what font that was?
There’s an app for that! Just grab a screenshot, crop it down to the text with the font you want to identify, and upload it to What Font Is, and it will find the closest commercial and free matches to that font. Another tool is Font Squirrel’s Matcherator, but it will only find matches from Font Squirrel, Fontspring, and Fontzillion.
Okay, let’s get to the fonts!
Jump to: Free fantasy fonts from Google • Free horror fonts from Google • Free sci-fi fonts from other sites • Free fantasy fonts from other sites • Free horror fonts from other sites • Free clipart fonts
Free sci-fi fonts from Google
Jump to: Free sci-fi fonts from Google • Free horror fonts from Google • Free sci-fi fonts from other sites • Free fantasy fonts from other sites • Free horror fonts from other sites • Free clipart fonts
Free fantasy fonts from Google
In this list, I’m including fonts that have a medieval feel as well as whimsical fonts that would go well with cozy or humorous fantasy.
Jump to: Free sci-fi fonts from Google • Free fantasy fonts from Google • Free sci-fi fonts from other sites • Free fantasy fonts from other sites • Free horror fonts from other sites • Free clipart fonts
Free horror fonts from Google
In this list, I’m including fonts that give me the creeps. If some of the texts below are in all capital letters, it’s because the font only has capital letters.
Free sci-fi fonts from Other Sites
Free fantasy fonts from Other Sites
Free horror fonts from Other Sites
Jump to: Free sci-fi fonts from Google • Free fantasy fonts from Google • Free horror fonts from Google • Free sci-fi fonts from other sites • Free fantasy fonts from other sites • Free horror fonts from other sites
Free clipart fonts
Use these for accents for book covers, websites, and social media fonts. All the fonts below are free to use, including commercially.
Jump back to: Free sci-fi fonts from Google • Free fantasy fonts from Google • Free horror fonts from Google • Free sci-fi fonts from other sites • Free fantasy fonts from other sites • Free horror fonts from other sites
Am I missing any cool sci-fi, fantasy, or horror fonts? Link in the comments below or email me at [email protected].
Edited by Melody Friedenthal
MetaStellar editor and publisher Maria Korolov is a science fiction novelist, writing stories set in a future virtual world. And, during the day, she is an award-winning freelance technology journalist who covers artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and enterprise virtual reality. See her Amazon author page here and follow her on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. Email her at [email protected]. She is also the editor and publisher of Hypergrid Business, one of the top global sites covering virtual reality.