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How to Identify your Favorite Font

So you find yourself surfing around the web and you fall in love with a font or maybe you picked up a printed brochure or direct mail piece and wonder – what font are they using? You may say to yourself I will never find THIS exact font. Below I will name how to identify your favorite font through 10 resources and tools.

Fonts are difficult to find because there is said to be over 100,000 fonts in existence. Don’t lose hope you can find the font you love or maybe one you love even more when you search in the right places. I will admit finding the exact font can feel like tracing the origins of your personal genealogy – tricky huh?

You should know that graphic designers go through this same process matching up the best solutions for client needs. We put our hunting gear on and lace our bootstraps tight as we head out to hunt for that “perfect” font. I might be hunting for period style font or capture a specific personality trait through the font selection process. This resource guide will help you track down your killer font and hopefully won’t leave you feeling like you really just need a shot gun for your hunting experience.

1. Flickr Type Face Identification

Flickr has a special group called fonts in use dedicated to identifying fonts. You can try this as a quick reference to discover the name of the font you love.

2. My Fonts – What the Font Tool

What the font is a well known and successful font finder identifier tool but if you don’t know about it – you need to know. This is an online tool that lets you to recognize the font using three methods below.

  • you can upload an image
  • you can enter the url address of a website in their search box
  • you can chat on their forum which is filled with font enthusiasts, graphic designers and type designers

3. Typophile

This website is a resource rich free membership site full of type geek users. There is not a tool here to identify type but you can post to the forum for help in identifying your font from the knowledge of other type lovers.

4. Identifont

This site identifies fonts by either appearance, name, similarities, by picture and fonts by designer or publisher. If you don’t know or understand the font jargon they have pictorials to help you along the way to finding you font you love.

5. FontFeed

The FontFeed is a website dedicated to all things about type with a particular emphasis as to what works best on the web but there are a lot of references to fonts and their names.

6. Fonts

Fonts dot com works the similarly to identifont using a Q & A related to the characteristics of your font but it is less visual in the reference. While on the fonts.com has solid information about type design but not to worry if you don’t have time to brush up on your type history go ahead and skip it and go right to the investigative search feature.

7. List of Fonts

You can find anything by googling but a direct source for finding font names of high profile logos is to look at existing lists of fonts. Just as art can be inspired other artists it is also true of font designers and their final typography sets. You will find in your search that many fonts share similar characteristics and the differences are very subtle details. Reference these types of lists to narrow down your search.

8. Dafont

While this site doesn’t have a tool to identify fonts it does have a forum where you can post your type searches to gain the eyes of type aficionado in your hunt for a specific font.

9. Fontbook

While the heavy weight holy grail of font reference books is now sold out  in printed form you can get the iPad app for digital reference guide to finding the fonts you love on your smartphone or iPhone.

10. FontStruct

I just discovered this site and I can’t wait to try it. I usually create my fonts by hand and then turn them to vector art for logos. But this cool online tool is supposed to create real TrueType fonts for Mac or Windows use. If you have tried this already leave a comment ’cause I can’t wait to give it a whirl and I would love to hear you thoughts as well.

11. People

People are important knowledge hubs so go ahead and ask someone. Ask a graphic designer, web designer, print designer or font addict. You can contact the web master if the font is on a specific website. Comment on their blog or ask via twitter. You might be surprised when the mysterious font name is revealed to you!

*Disclaimer – in no way does the author of this post receive monetary compensation for the above links. To be clear the featured links are not affiliate links. This list is provided as a resource to my readers.

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2 Comments

  1. I love that you did this! Lots of great info!

  2. Thank you – I hope you found resources that were new to you. – Andrea

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