Font Factor: Types of Fonts

There's No Reason to Fear Fonts

Continued from Page One

There are plenty of websites out there that offer free fonts – many have fonts that are comicky or look handwritten for that custom look in logos, word bubbles and sound effects. Here is where the categorization of fonts varies so describing each would be difficult. Outside of the common categories that we’ve already mentioned, what one website may categorize as one thing, may be different on another.

To get specific in regards to comics, these two websites are popular: Blambot.com and ComicBookFonts.com. Both sites offer free fonts and are great resources. Blambot is cheaper and has more free fonts. Note – you should read the License agreements with any free fonts on any site to make sure you’re in compliance!

This article didn’t go into great depth regarding the various other categories – or even comic categories for one simple reason – you have a life and we could spend days investigating them.

This article didn’t go into great depth regarding the various other categories – or even comic categories for one simple reason – you have a life and we could spend days investigating them. So from this point, now that we have our basic descriptions and some resources, let’s look are important factors to consider when selecting your fonts.

If you had to categorize your comic in the sense of a font, what would that be? Would it be a Sci-Fi or Medieval type of comic? If so, then you should focus your search for a logo font and perhaps even your action fonts in those categories. You may also consider using bubble fonts that reflect that style as well. For instance, if you had a Science Fiction type of comic you may use ‘VanHelsing‘ for the logo and ‘Web Letterer‘ for the balloons and ‘NewsFlash‘ for display. All these fonts are from Blambot and free.

Examples of a Space Theme for Comics

These three cool fonts can be found for FREE on Blambot.com

Another thing to note regarding free fonts. Since they are free, they are likely to be more common. For instance, ComicSans comes with many computers and as a result it’s one of the more common fonts used. This holds true for not only comics but everywhere. For instance ComicSans is used all over the place at the Village Health Market in Tampa (http://www.villagehealthmarket.com/) on everything from the logo, aisle information signs and all the exterior signage. If a local retailer has access to a font like ComicSans it should be pretty easy to realize that you’re not really using a font that’s unique to your comic!

So what?

Glad you’ve asked. Being unique is what will help set you apart. It’s safe to assume you’re not going to develop a comic using someone else’s art style – or a story that’s been told the same way before. You’re going to use your talents, your story and add your twist to make something unique – why use fonts that everyone else is using?

Our next article will look at Leading, Tracking and Kerning – how to avoid looking like an amateur and show like a pro.

Ken Drab sporting the thin faced lookKen Drab is at it again trying to win you over with his expertise on fonts. If you didn’t think he was a nerd before, his passion for fonts should definitely convince you. Too bad he doesn’t take his own “unique” advice – as evident in his comic’s own logo.

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7 Comments

  1. I’ve got a project that requires that I look for some additional fonts other than what’s loaded on my machine right now, so this piece came at just the right moment. I’m going to try the two sites you mentioned and see if the next novel’s cover page can be improved with what’s available there; thanks!

  2. Thanks for the article. I’m worse than a nerd, I actually make fonts for a living. I should probably point out, maybe for a future article, that the Komika font that’s used here at webcomicalliance has horrible kerning, or maybe no kerning: see “Reply” above.

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