Lesson 26: "Must Have" Fonts

Tonight I started working on a page, and couldn't find the font I wanted in what I already had--which is saying something because I have a million fonts. So I started looking for the right font on xfreefonts.com. And SCHLIIICK!! I got sucked into font land.

Font land is a fun and scary place that is highly addictive. Soon my page was forgotten (and still is forgotten) and I am finding myself searching madly through hundreds of fonts, downloading right and left. And as I was doing this, I thought "what a great idea for a post on my blog!" (Ironically, as I was creating this post I found the font I was originally looking for already installed on my computer--it comes with Windows and isn't a download at all!)

Now, I've already talked about fonts before on this blog. In Lesson 21: Digital Titles & Ideas, I briefly explained how to choose a font and how to download it, and then gave a lot of examples how how to do titles. My purpose in this entry is to talk about which fonts I have used in the past that are my absolute MUST HAVE's.

A Note about Copyright and Downloading Fonts:

Most fonts online are free downloads. But occasionally you will find fonts that are commercial use fonts and you have to pay. I have found in making this post that the simple, journal fonts are actually the ones most likely to be pay fonts. The obnoxious title ones are more often free. I have attached a link for each font that I mention here--some of them are pay, but most of them aren't. A lot of the pay ones I got for free years ago when they were still free! Make sure as you go to these various websites to download fonts that you look at the site carefully before clicking the first "download now" button you see. Most of these sites have ads for software that are disguised as the font you are trying to dowload. Some of the fonts I haved linked will require you to enter a code before it will let you download, but you CAN still get the font once you do.

Where to Get Fonts:

There are a lot of font sites out there--I've gotten mine from all over the place for the last few years. There are your typical sites like http://www.dafont.com/, and http://www.1001fonts.com/. Some of my best fonts come from doing a specific search for "digial scrapbooking fonts." I've found that fonts I got on various digital scrapbooking sites are a lot harder to find later or become pay fonts. And if you are willing to pay, there are a lot of really awesome pay fonts.

Ok, I want to divide this post into the different types of fonts: Journaling, Journaling/Titles, and Block.

Journaling Fonts - These fonts are for doing a lot of journaling. I rarely use the standard fonts like Times New Roman or Arial. I usually choose one journaling font for my entire book and use it on every page unless for some reason it doesn't work with the design.  These fonts below are all ones that I've used for a lot of journaling on a page. Some of them come with Windows and you won't have to download them at all. To download, click on the link below each image. It will take you to a font website where you can immediately download it. Directions on how to get the font ready to use will be at the bottom of the post.
This is a fabulous font from Creatinve Keepsakes is one that I used for all the journaling in my Third Year book. It's clean but personable and I use it a lot! I had a hard time finding this one--I hope this link is correct!
I love this font because it looks "Cursivey" but isn't, and it's very readable. I used this as my main font for an entire book.
This is a classic font you've probably seen before. Great for journaling--easy to read but cute to look at.
I used this font for my Pregnancy Announcement book. It's a great childish font that is easy to read.
I am currently using this font as my main journaling font for book six. Unfortunately its a commercial font so you can't get it free.
I have used this font for years--more in my classroom than in scrapbooking, but it certainly is a great journaling font.
This is a great cursive looking font for journaling. I've used it for a lot of different projects.
I added this one because I haven't used it much, and am making a resolution to do so! I forgot about it--and it's a great font for journaling! This is also a commerical font you have to pay for.

Avante Garde
You should already have this font installed on your computer--it often comes with windows. Very clean. I've used it A LOT--more than almost any other--for many different projects.
I used this font for a whole book too. Another one that may already be installed on your computer.
I've used this one so long, I can't remember if I found it or if it comes with Windows--I think it does, though.
I love this one for making titles that look old. I've used it for journaling, too, but never a whole book. Only if the old style fit a certain page.
Pretty sure this one comes with Windows. Just used it for a whole book.
A good cursive font that is still readable. Probably wouldn't use it for a whole book but it's good for one page.
I've used this one a long time--may come with windows.

Journaling/Title Fonts - These are fonts that are like handwriting but are a bit too obnoxious for journaling and are better for titles.
I got this font from a scrappy website and I think it's absolutely adorable!
I've used this one a lot for titles--especially in invitations and stuff. It's so cute, but it totally does NOT work for journaling.
I've used this font for a lot of projects. I like that is' that business-like font, but not too boring.
A pretty print font good for tittles only
An old standard--I've had this forever.
This was the font for most of my titles in my daughter Afton's book, and now for both my twin's books.
You see this font EVERYWHERE. I used to use it a lot, but it is overused by other people so I kind of avoid it now. Still, its a great font. I've seen it as a pay font on some sites, but it found it free, too.
This is another font I've had forever--I think its such an elegant script. It's my go-to font for cursive. Apparently it's now a pay font--I got it free about 15 years ago!
This one actually could be good for titles or journaling. I think I got it from a scrappy site, too.

Block Fonts - These are wide fonts that are really great for using actions and/or manipulating in Photoshop. They are wide enough that you really can work with them and change them to what you need. A lot of block fonts are available with your computer as part of windows and won't require a download. These are just a few of my favorites.

Pay font--comes with your computer

Fun Title Fonts - There are a million fonts out there, some so specific to a certain theme that you would only use it once. But if you are doing a page on a theme, try searching for it and see if you can find a matching font. But consider deleting it if you know you'll never use it again. Here are some fonts I've used a lot in the past for various reasons--basically, miscellaneous "must have" fonts:

Ravie - I found some wooden letters at Hobby Lobby using this font, and used them in my baby nursery.

No Mystery

ACME Secret Agent




Floralies - I've had this font for years, and its amazing that despite how obnoxious it is, I have used it so many times.


Disney Print - I love this print, whether its for a Disney related theme or not.


Fabulous 50's

Cafe Rojo





How to install a font:

First of all, these instructions are for a PC only. I don't use Macs! But there are plenty of websites that explain how to do this.

When you download a font, it will be either a .zip file or a .ttf file. If it is a .zip file, you have to unzip it first using winzip. I would assume that, if you are digitial scrapbooking, you are already familiar with winzip. Most kits come in a zip as well. You can find winzip by doing a google search and then dowloading it for free.

Once it is unzipped, it will now be a .ttf file. All you have to do to install it is to copy (or cut) the file by doing CTRL C or CTRL X. Then go to the start button in your lower left corner (or the round Windows button, depending on what operating system you have) and click on "Computer." Then click on your hard drive, which is probably "Local Disk C:". From there, choose the "Windows" folder. Then go to "Fonts." Then all you need to do is CTRL P or Paste the file into your fonts file. That's it! You can now access it in all programs.

Getting your own font made:

Can you make your own fonts? Well, I'm not the one to ask on that. All I know is that in order to do it you need specific programs to create it. But what I DO know is that you can pay have a font made. I am an avid journal keeper, and a few years ago I stopped writing my journals and started typing it up in Word. Then I'd print it out on good paper and keep it in a binder. I wanted to be able to print my journal in my own handwriting, so I had a font made of my handwriting. This would also be a fun font for the journaling in your scrapbooks. Personally, I don't use my font for that because my handwriting isn't so beautiful.
In had this font made by fontgod. I had to send in several copies of my handwriting and each letter written many times. It cost about $70 bucks to have done. And I have never regretted it!

So there is my little lesson on "must-have" fonts. I've learned a lot making it--namely that a lot of good fonts I've gotten for free over the years are now pay fonts, so I'd better not ever delete them!

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