Get inspired by the spirit of past decades and transport your designs back in time with this compilation of retro fonts that will cost you nothing!
The aim of a retro design is to transport the audience to the past, so it’s important to choose typography that reflects the era that you’re representing. There are hundreds of zero-cost typeface collections available online, ranging from the hip and happening to the cheap and cheesy. We’ve selected our favourite ones so you don’t have to spend time searching – here are some awesome no-cost designs…
Unique was created by designer Anna Pocius aka Artmaker. She describes her design on Behance as ‘a display hybrid typeface, which is a little bit flashy, retro but still contemporary font designed specially for headings and logotypes’.
Vincent was desinged by graphic and product designer for NBC Universal Ben Suarez. Created at the end of last year, this vintage-inspired design was Suarez’s first fully functioning typeface.
“Vincent was intended to be used as a title font,” explains Suarez.
It was named after his grandfather, “who drove a 76′ Chrysler Cordoba and smoked out of an old wooden pipe”, Suarez adds. And it’s totally free for personal projects!
Designed by New Yor based creative Christopher J Lee, Canter is an all caps, condensed typeface available in six different weights. It was designed as a display type for titles, headlines, and posters and will work well with any retro execution.
04. Alt Retro
Alt Retro Typeface is a free five-weight typeface that channels all the art deco inspiration you can muster. Perfect for eye-catching creations, Alt Retro is a playful font that will serve as a brilliant experimental offering. The intricate design makes it a stand out retro font.
This retro typeface was inspired by designer Konrad Bednarski’s new hometown. The free test version is available to download for free, with
a corrected and extended version with more weights soon to be available. Like this font? You can also get Rispa Regular T-shirts, prints, tote bags, pillows and much more from Society6.
06. Betty Noir
This typeface was developed Blambot, a company ‘proudly provide comic fonts and lettering’. You have to pay for many of its brilliant designs, but the team generously offer Betty Noir free for use in personal projects. One of our favourite free retro fonts, it’s definitely worth checking out.
07. White Rabbit
Inspired by eras gone by, this is one of the coolest free retro fonts we’ve seen in a long while. Developed by Alice Creative, this typeface is available free for personal use, with donations to the author, as always, greatfully received.
Looking for retro fonts to use in your personal project? Then you can download this baby for free. The gorgeous vintage-style font comes with two styles, with letters featuring both a curved design (as seen above) and more basic approach.
An old-school-style of retro fonts, Sesame wouldn’t look out of place on any vintage poster design. Developed by designer Dieter Steffmann, the font comes with a full set of uppercase letters, numbers and selection of special characters.
Arwen is not just the name of a Lord of the Rings character. It’s also one of the most beautiful retro fonts we’ve found – and it’s totally free to download. Created by Keystrokes, the typeface includes a full set of uppercase characters for you to incorporate into your designs.
This cool retro typeface was created by web and UI designer Tyler Galpin, a runner-up for Young Designer of the Year in this year’s .net Awards. He describes the font as “a charming slab-serif that draws inspiration from National Park posters of old”. It’s been available as a download on Lost Type Co-op, with any donations to its creator gratefully received.
Designer Olinda Martins developed this vintage-style font from a selection of commercial signage in and around the city of Porto. Collecting several samples, Martins reinterpreted them into this stylish design, which she generously offers as a free download for all to enjoy!
13. Quid Pro Quo
Quid Pro Quo is an old-fashioned handwritten script created by designer David Kerkhoff. The typeface comes complete with a full set of upper and lowercase letters, numbers and a selection of special characters. Free for personal use only, with the option to donate to the author should you wish.
Ray Larabie of Typodermic Fonts is the man behind this bold, game show-inspired font. Larabie comments on his creation: “Pricedown is based on a late-Sixties font called “Pinto Flare”; famous for its use in the titles for the TV program “The Price is Right”.” The font is free for personal use only, but donations to the author are much appreciated.
This stylish, retro set of numerals and punctuation was developed by designer Andy Mangold. Offered online by Lost Type Co-Op, the design is described as “a chunky, display numeral sets inspired by the 1950s Rockabilly Hairdo. The numbers, which each fit perfectly inside of a square, are best used in large sizes.” Available as a free download, with any donations to the author gratefully received.
Transport your designs back to the 1920s with this beautiful Riesling font, created by Bright Ideas. The elegant typeface includes a full set of upper and lowercase letters, numbers 0-9 and special characters.
This cool Carnivalee Freakshow would fit in perfectly to any Western-inspired design. Created by Christopher Hansen, this popular font has amassed over 1m downloads since its release. Free for personal use only.
18. Top Speed
This cool retro font has more than a hint of 1950s Chevrolet to it; you can virtually smell the rubber and gasoline. Designed by Jason Vanderhill, Top Speed comes in these three different variations. To link letters, simply use the underscore key. Free for personal use.
19. Echo Deco
Perfect for a retro-style music poster, typeface Echo Deco was created by GreyWolf Webworks. Free for personal use only, this font comes complete with a full set of uppercase letters, numbers and special characters.
20. Deftone Stylus
This beautiful script, retro-style font is another by Ray Larabie of Typodermic Fonts. Larabie comments on his typeface, “Deftone Stylus is a structured, industrial script from the late 20th century. It was rebuilt in 2011 and now features custom letter pairs to make words flow.”
This elegant typeface Bellerose is a popular choice, having been downloaded almost 1.5m times since its release. The sophisticated design was created by James M. Harris, includes a full set of upper and lower case letters and numbers and is free for personal use only.
This is just one of many retro fonts designed by Nick’s Fonts but Airstream just pipped it as our favourite. The designer has over 100 designs to choose from, which collectively have been downloaded over 13m times. Free for personal use.
This elegant font by type designer George Williams has the feel of old Paris about it. One of 57 fonts created by the designer, this is one of his most popular, having received over 200,000 downloads. This font is also free for both personal and commercial uses.
This Kilogram font was created by KalleGraphics and based on Nick Curtis’ font Anagram. The bold design includes a full set of upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters. Free for personal use.
This flashy marquee font wouldn’t look out of place on posters at the Moulin Rouge. Another creation from Ray Larabie of Typodermic Fonts, this set includes four font files, all different variations of the same design. Free for personal use.