In the previous lessons we discussed all the considerations to make while choosing a font. This should narrow down the selection of typefaces for a project sufficiently. But how do we go about getting and activating the actual typefaces?
For fonts you have already on your device, it is highly recommended that you use a font manager. Font managers allow you to browse even large font collections without actually having to install each font. And font managers will usually allow you to categorize your fonts based on user-defined criteria. Take the time to categorize all your fonts and whenever you add a new font, add it to your categories as well. You can start by using broad stylistic categories such as serif, sans-serif, script, blackletter and so on. With more fonts and more experience, you can also create sub-categories.
Font managers will usually not force you to put a font in just one category folder. You can also link the font to different categories. Because of that, you can categorize your collection in various ways at once. So in additional to a stylistic categorization you can for example add categories for support of certain scripts or anything else that might be a selection criteria in the future.
With a categorization like this in place, it will be quick and easy to find a local font based on the criteria we discussed in the previous lessons.
Online font sources
On the internet we can quickly find tens of thousands of free fonts on thousands of free font websites. But both the quality and the legality of those offers is often questionable. To limit the risks, it it recommended to stick to curated free font collection like Google Fonts or Fontsquirrel. These sites will also offer filters to narrow down the selection based on the criteria you defined in advance.
For commercial fonts you might start by checking your favorite foundries one by one. With more experience, you will also learn what to expect from different foundries. Some foundries specialize in retro fonts for example or are known for their broad script support.
Instead of checking foundry websites, you can also use reseller websites like MyFonts and Fontspring or use a service like Fontstand. Such providers combine the offers of dozens or even hundreds of foundries in one place, which can be a convenient way to browse fonts and buy font licenses. But keep in mind that you will always put a third party between you and the foundry.