Typically I try to encourage small businesses or startups to seek out the help of a design firm or design professional for all their graphic and marketing content. Unfortunately, the plethora of startup costs can easily push design related expenses out the door.. WAY out the door! Pretty soon you find yourself trying to design your own logo, make your own letterhead, and/or create your own business cards. If you find yourself gravitating towards Comic Sans – STOP. RIGHT. THERE.

Comic Sans was initially created for a children’s Microsoft product back before public internet officially existed. It was inspired by, not surprisingly, comics. It was to be a friendly font, something polar opposite from it’s structured counterpart that ended up being used in Microsoft’s product – Times New Roman. Sadly, the product was a flop (perhaps due to using Times New Roman in lieu of Comic Sans); however, the child-like font was adopted by Microsoft Movie Maker thus finding its way into Microsoft’s font bank introduced in Windows 95.

For those interested, check out: Just My Type by Simon Garfield. It’s a great read with more information than you’ll ever want to know about typefaces, their meaning, and the designer’s behind them.

If you’re just looking for resources to find solid, clean, and virus-free fonts. Hold on to your britches, it’s important you understand a few key factors here.

1) Is it a free for commercial-use font?

In other words, do you have the right to use it for commercial purposes? Yes, your small business is considered commercial.

2) Is it for personal-use only?

Some designers will allow you to download their font for personal-use and with a quick visit to their website you can pay a fee to use it for commercial use.

3) What does the commercial license entail?

So, even though some fonts say they are commercial-use friendly, verify if this includes mass distribution of the font (say, selling a multitude of hats)

4) Is it a desktop font, web font, app font, or other?

Typically if you’re designing your own logo, you’ll be looking for a desktop font.

“Free” Font Websites:



Almost-Free Fonts: