A Complete Guide to Font Identification
Font identification tools allow users to identify fonts used in other digital media; learn about the importance of this process and some free tools that can help.
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This article is a complete guide to font identification, containing all the important font tools and methods that we can use to identify fonts. Most of them are absolutely free to use and can be used with no registration which is very useful because everybody wants to keep their money in their pockets, right?
Usually, font identification is a “skill” used by marketers, web developers, web designers, ad makers, and online entrepreneurs. Using fonts daily in their projects, they are adept at identifying new fonts and implementing them to make their designs even more attractive. Improvement is a process that never ends, and this process definitely involves identifying and selecting fonts.
Even if you are not from these categories — if you love fonts and you work with them ever — you should learn how to properly identify fonts. It is very simple and useful. We all browse the internet daily and see things that we like. We save pictures, videos, links, and ideas that strike a chord. Why don’t we identify fonts and save them in our own library? It is possible and very simple.
By the end of this article, you will learn to identify fonts from pictures and from the web, whether they be in email newsletters, standard emails, websites, landing pages, online contracts or documents.
The Importance of Font Identification
Fonts play a major role in all designs — websites, landing pages, books, ads, magazines, emails, contracts, and many other places. While a great font will enhance the design of the item by making it more attractive, a font that is not the right choice will destroy the product.
Imagine a phenomenal book that uses a font that is extremely hard to read — this would be problematic because the design and size of the font are equally important as the content of the book. If the font is difficult to read, people will not read your book, regardless of the information it presents. The same goes for websites, emails, documents, and anything else. The font should match the character of the design and content.
In the last few years, most companies have started to offer us the possibility to change the fonts in our web browsers, phones, apps, and in almost any software we use — even in games. Soon, we will be able to change fonts everywhere, including on our TV.
So why is font identification important? If we know how to identify fonts, we will most likely have better fonts in our projects. Whenever we see a font that we like and which will work in one of our projects, we will be able to easily identify it and implement it right away. With font identification, we will have better fonts in our collection.
Don’t wait for articles about new fonts — most of the time, everybody presents the very same fonts in each article anyway. Browse the internet and find out what fonts your competition and other people are using.
How Font Identification Was Developed
Some time ago, font identification was a very inefficient process — it was time-consuming and usually led to a lot of inaccurate results. Before useful web tools to identify fonts were developed and launched, this process of niche, font identification was made on forums, messenger apps, and over the phone. Essentially, when you saw a font that you loved, you would have to ask everywhere if somebody knew the name of it — imagine how weird and inefficient this process would have been.
As you can easily guess, it was a nightmare. But luckily, font identification tools appeared.
Best Services for Font Identification
Below you will find the best web tools and services available for font identification. I tested each solution several times, and I will review each thoroughly. I am not a fan of articles that praise all of the solutions and disregard flaws (no matter which industry) and which do not offer neutral, realistic opinions.
This article is totally different. If a web tool or service doesn’t work well, I will ensure that you know before spending your own time or money finding out. The order of the presented web tools and services is totally random and are not ranked by preference. It's also important to note that are many more solutions than these five.
WhatFontIs is by far the most popular font identifier tool on the market, but is it the best?
- Can identify both free and paid fonts
- Has a huge database of over 700k indexed fonts
- Can identify fonts from both pictures and from the web
- Very efficient.
- The identification process is simple, quick, and straightforward
- For each identified font, you will get 60+ free and paid font alternatives. Let’s say you find a cool font but it is very expensive. With this feature, you will get similar fonts that free or which cost way less than the font you identified.
- Free to use and no registration needed
- Super community to discuss fonts and font identification.
- Regular software updates with new fonts and cool features
- The browser extension is available only for Google Chrome.
I loved WhatFontIs and with its help, I identified around 30-40 fonts. Half of them were from objects that I use daily — laptop, phone, motorcycle, books, etc, and the other half from websites and landing pages. In conclusion, WhatFontIs is a great font identifier.
WhatFont Tool has a very basic presentation page and you can use it only for identifying fonts from websites. You will have to install a Chrome or Safari Extension to use it.
- Free to use
- Decently easy to use
- The presentation page is extremely basic and lacks aesthetic updates
- Only offers basic information.
It is much harder to use other solutions that are presented in this article.
WhatTheFont is a font identifier tool developed by MyFonts. You can use it to identify fonts from pictures.
- Free to use
- Offers many similar fonts with different prices
- Quick and simple to use
- Simple interface
- Straightforward process
- Does not identify fonts — shows similar fonts
- Doesn’t show free similar fonts
- The software is capable of showing you only 20 similar fonts
- Very basic database of fonts
I was expecting much more from WhatTheFont — the software is useful but does not really identify fonts. Instead, it will only present you with similar fonts to the one you are trying to identify.
Additionally, all these similar fonts cost money because the software does not show free fonts.
Fonts Ninja is a very cool free browser extension for Chrome, Safari, and Firefox. You can use Fonts Ninja to identify fonts from websites, landing pages, emails, and everything which is online.
- Fonts Ninja browser extension is available for Chrome, Safari, and Firefox
- Very simple and quick to use
- Free to use
- After you identify a font, the software lets you see how it looks for your own text. There also tons of options to test-drive the font for your text (different weights, sizes, and colors).
- For each identified font, you will find out complete info and where to get it from
- Extremely easy font installation
- Works only for identifying fonts from the web. To identify fonts from pictures, you will need to use another tool.
- It doesn’t offer similar free and paid font alternatives like WhatFontIs.
I liked Fonts Ninja; it is a top solution that works fantastic. If you want to identify fonts only from the web, Fonts Ninja can be the right tool for you.
Quora can help you identify fonts, but it is not the most accurate tool available. I included this solution as many people are using and praising it, but I believe other tools are more effective.
- Awesome community discussions with real people about fonts — the Quora community may be able to help you when no other font identifiers can accurately identify fonts for you
- Free to use
- Quick replies from Quora members
- Quora is not a true font identification solution
- Not efficient in identifying fonts
Quora is not bad for font identification but it is not as efficient as I would like. It is much easier and faster to use an actual font identifiers tool.
Now you should know how to identify fonts from pictures and from the web, for free and with no registration.
You saw very different solutions, some being complete for any kind of font identification (pictures and websites, landing pages, etc.), while others can help you only for identifying fonts from the web but they work perfectly.
Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.