Have you ever found yourself staring at a font in a movie poster, especially the one used in the title, and perhaps in the headings as well in a smaller size, and attempted to decipher what typeface style or category is being used?
Since famous fonts tend to be custom fonts for the most part, if not always, the typeface category, beyond serif and sans-serif, may not be obvious, and for some famous fonts —
Designers probably do this out of habit. As a designer, it’s probably a habit with you as well. Professionals like to categorize things, even when it means inventing new categories. Famous fonts is one such category, but is not much better than “Misc.” when it comes to describing the typefaces contained therein. As you can see below, the only common denominator is familiarity, and perhaps to some degree, readability.
Since there are hundreds of free fonts on the Internet to choose among, picking one for your logo or header can be a challenge, and as you search, you can sometimes find yourself a victim of information overload.
Nothing clinches a concept like a perfect font. Various brands, movies, and entertainment enterprises utilize custom typography. The web has gone to great lengths to capture the art in these fonts. While you certainly shouldn’t attempt to infringe upon someone else’s logo, there’s absolutely no problem in using the individual letters, which are free for non-commercial use.
We’ve collected a handful of famous fonts for you to browse among, and perhaps add to your design arsenal. If you happen to have a favorite font that’s not included here, and you believe it should be, let us know by sharing your love for them in the comments.
You may or may not be able to decipher exactly what there is about these fonts that resulted in their use for the various movies or brands. Each one was obviously selected for a reason.
Don’t be surprised if you have some difficulty on separating the font from the brand. Just bear in mind how powerful the right font can have on a brand, and don’t be afraid to select a “famous” one.
Examples of Famous Fonts
- The first font in this selection, Walt Disney, is arguably the most famous one of all. It has been with us for a good, long time. It is highly readable. It may be a take-off on Disney’s personal signature, but is certainly defines the Disney brand and its appeal to the young and the young at heart.
- Canon is an excellent choice for titles and headings. This font is an example of upper case and lower case being identical, but with a twist. Both have lower case characteristics, as opposed to some fonts which use small caps as the lower case letters.
- Rolling Rocker could best be categories as bold, serif, and as such it has many uses
- Calvin and Hobbes? A good choice for a kids site (even though more than a few grownups are Calvin and Hobbes fans).
- Star Jedi Hollow, Transformer Movie, and Dodger all fit nicely into the modern and futuristic font categories.
- Karate is an obvious candidate for anything Japanese, whether is a travel poster, a sushi bar’s website, or a martial arts advertisement.
How to Choose a Font
How do you choose the clothes you wear? The analogy is an apt one. Whether you’re in a specialty shop or a box store, you’ll typically find yourself having a selection of hundreds of styles to choose from. If you are a believer in the “clothes make the man (or woman)’ philosophy, you choose with care. Sometimes your choice is automatic, sometimes it can take a while to make your selection. It’s the same way with fonts.
Just as how you are dressed can lead people to make assumptions about the kind of person you are, your choice of fonts can influence what people will think of your business, and the products or services it offers. Maybe you’re somewhat of a free spirit, and you don’t particularly care what people think of you because of how you are dressed, or maybe you purposely try to mislead them.
It doesn’t work that way with fonts. If the fonts you choose send the wrong message throughout the web, your conversion rates could plummet. On the other hand, it the font(s) you select reinforce your brand, and your brand is a good one, the fonts themselves can serve as calls to action.
You don’t attend a Board meeting in a bathing suit. Neither should your corporate website use either the Calvin and Hobbes or Tooney Noodle famous font in its banner (unless of course you’re in the comic book business).
If you see one or more fonts you like in the above selection, we encourage you to download it for free and try it out.