Brutalist / Typography

35+ Free fonts for brutalist websites in 2018

This article includes grotesques and neo-grotesques, sans-serifs, monospaced, duospaced and even some modernist, more unusual serif, sans and display fonts. ALL fonts are 100% free for both personal and commercial use.

Although grotesques and clear-lined sans-serifs are associated the most with brutalism, used in the right combination and composition almost any typeface would be a good fit. So this article is an extensive but not exhaustive collection of the best free fonts to use in your next brutalist web project.

This list will be kept up to date with new fonts, so be sure to revisit. If you’re a type designer or just know a great font that should be included, just email me at hello@brutalistthemes.com. Thanks & enjoy!

Updates:

  • Added VCR OSD Mono font in the Monospace/Duospace category
  • Added Michroma font in the Unusual category
  • All IBM Plex fonts are now available in Google Fonts! view on Google Fonts

Grotesque/Neo-grotesque/Sans-serif

Grotesque fonts, also known sometimes as gothic or grotesk are the earliest sans-serifs, created in late 19th century and early 20th century. They have clear, straightforward lines, limited variation of stroke width, and most of them feature a spurred uppercase G and two-storey lowercase g with ascending ear.

What makes grotesques a perfect match for an unusual design is not only their clear lines and great legibility, but also their rather raw and quirky appearance compared to other sans-serifs.

Bold and Black widths are perfect for headings and they are also ideal for an awesome CSS outline text effect (see code snippet on CodePen) using text-stroke and text-fill-color.

The neo-grotesques, also known as transitionals or realists, include many of the most commonly used sans-serifs. They are less quirky and much more refined than the grotesques, with almost no stroke width variation, and most often a single-storey lowercase g. The most famous neo-grotesque typeface is Helvetica.

Chivo font from Google Fonts
from Google Fonts

Chivo

  • 8 styles (4 weights + matching italics)
  • Language support: Latin Extended
  • this font is used in Glitch theme for body text

Download

Franklin Gothic FS font from FontSquirrel
from FontSquirrel

Franklin Gothic FS

  • 4 styles (2 weights + matching italics)
  • Language support: Latin Extended (see font page for language list)

Download

Archivo font from Google Fonts
from Google Fonts

Archivo

  • 8 styles (4 weights + matching italics)
  • Language support: Latin Extended, Vietnamese
  • see also Archivo Narrow

Download

Questa Sans font from FontSquirrel
from FontSpring

Questa Sans

  • Beautiful grotesque typeface
  • 1 free weight (Regular) + 9 premium styles (4 weights + 5 italics)
  • Language support: Latin Extended (see font page for language list)

Download

IBM Plex Sans font from IBM
from IBM Github repo & Google Fonts

IBM Plex Sans

  • 16 styles (8 weights + matching italics)
  • Language support: Support for 110 languages
  • Update: All IBM Plex fonts are now available in Google Fonts! view on Google Fonts

Download

Nimbus Sans L font from FontSquirrel
from FontSquirrel

Nimbus Sans L

  • 4 styles (2 weights + matching italics)
  • Language support: Latin Extended (see font page for language list)

Download

Work Sans font from Google Fonts
from Google Fonts

Work Sans

  • 9 weights
  • Language support: Latin Extended

In the CodePen snippet above, Work Sans is used in weight 900.

Download

News Cycle font from Google Fonts
from Google Fonts

News Cycle

  • 2 weights
  • Language support: Latin Extended

Download

UnB font from FontSquirrel
from FontSquirrel

UnB

  • 10 styles (2 variants + 5 weights + matching italics)
  • Language support: Latin Extended (see font page for language list)

Download

Rubik font from Google Fonts
from Google Fonts

Rubik

  • 10 styles (5 weights + matching italics)
  • Language support: Latin Extended, Hebrew, Cyrillic

Download

Karla font from Google Fonts
from Google Fonts

Karla

  • 4 styles (2 weights + matching italics)
  • Language support: Latin Extended

Download

HK Grotesk font from FontSquirrel
from FontSquirrel

HK Grotesk

  • 10 styles (5 weights + matching italics)
  • Language support: Latin Extended (see font page for language list)

Download

Cooper Hewitt font from FontSquirrel
from FontSquirrel

Cooper Hewitt

  • 14 styles (7 weights + matching italics)
  • Language support: Latin Extended (see font page for language list)

Download

Vremena Grotesk font from FontSquirrel
from FontSquirrel

Vremena Grotesk

  • 8 styles (4 weights + matching italics)

Download

Barlow font from Google Fonts
from Google Fonts

Barlow

Download

Arimo font from Google Fonts
from Google Fonts

Arimo

  • 4 styles (2 weights + matching italics)
  • Language support: Latin Extended, Hebrew, Cyrillic Extended, Greek Extended, Vietnamese

Download

Overpass font from Google Fonts
from Google Fonts

Overpass

  • 16 styles (8 weights + matching italics)
  • Language support: Latin Extended

Download

Didact Gothic font from Google Fonts
from Google Fonts

Didact Gothic

  • 4 styles (2 weights + matching italics)
  • Language support: Latin Extended, Cyrillic Extended, Greek Extended

Download

Alegreya Sans font from Google Fonts
from Google Fonts

Alegreya Sans

  • 14 styles (7 weights + matching italics)
  • Language support: Latin Extended, Cyrillic Extended, Greek Extended, Vietnamese

Download

Monospace/Duospace

Duospaced fonts (also known as duospace fonts) are fixed-width fonts, just like monospaced ones. The difference between monospaced and duospaced fonts is that in duospaced’s case some characters can occupy two widths of the fixed horizontal space instead of just one. This extra horizontal space allows better accommodation of wider glyphs (such as m or w).

For example, BrutalistThemes uses one monospace serif font (Knif Mono) and one duospace font (iA Writer) not used anymore — replaced with Acumin Pro, which is a neo-grotesque typeface

VCR OSD Mono font from DaFont
from DaFont

VCR OSD Mono

  • 1 weight
  • Language support: Latin Extended (see font page for diacritics list)

Download

Space Mono font from Google Fonts
from Google Fonts

Space Mono

  • 4 styles (2 weights + matching italics)
  • Language support: Latin Extended, Vietnamese

Download

IBM Plex Mono font from IBM
from IBM Github repo & Google Fonts

IBM Plex Mono

  • 16 styles (8 weights + matching italics)
  • Language support: Support for 110 languages
  • Update: All IBM Plex fonts are now available in Google Fonts! view on Google Fonts

Download

iA Writer Duospace font from FontSquirrel
from FontSquirrel

iA Writer Duospace

  • 4 styles (2 weights + matching italics)
  • Language support: Latin Extended (see font page for language list)

Download

Lekton font from FontSquirrel
from FontSquirrel

Lekton

  • 3 styles (2 weights + 1 italics)
  • Language support: Latin Extended (see font page for language list)

Download

Inconsolata font from Google Fonts
from Google Fonts

Inconsolata

  • 2 weights
  • Language support: Latin Extended, Vietnamese

Download

Overpass Mono font from Google Fonts
from Google Fonts

Overpass Mono

  • 4 weights
  • Language support: Latin Extended, Vietnamese

Download

Nanum Gothic Coding font from Google Fonts
from Google Fonts

Nanum Gothic Coding

  • 2 weights
  • Language support: Latin, Korean

Download

Roboto Mono font from Google Fonts
from Google Fonts

Roboto Mono

  • 10 styles (5 weights + matching italics)
  • Language support: Latin Extended, Cyrillic Extended, Greek Extended, Vietnamese

Download

Cousine font from Google Fonts
from Google Fonts

Cousine

  • 4 styles (2 weights + matching italics)
  • Language support: Latin Extended, Cyrillic Extended, Greek Extended, Vietnamese, Hebrew

Download

Nimbus Mono font from FontSquirrel
from FontSquirrel

Nimbus Mono

  • 3 styles (2 weights + 1 italics)
  • Language support: Latin Extended, Cyrillic (see font page for language list)

Download

Courier Prime font from FontSquirrel
from FontSquirrel

Courier Prime

  • 4 styles (2 weights + matching italics)
  • Language support: Latin Extended (see font page for language list)

Download

Unusual fonts

This section includes fonts that although are classified as sans-serif, monospace, or display, they are non-typical.

Michroma font from Google Fonts
from Google Fonts

Michroma

  • Sans-serif
  • 1 style
  • Language support: Latin

Download

Asul font from Google Fonts
from Google Fonts

Asul

  • Sans-serif
  • 2 weights
  • Language support: Latin Extended (tested succesfully with diacritics, but only Latin is specified on Google Fonts page)
  • this font is used in Glitch theme for titles

Download

Kalenderblatt Grotesk font from DaFont
from DaFont

Kalenderblatt Grotesk

  • All-uppercase sans-serif
  • 1 style
  • Language support: Latin + German diacritics (umlauts and ß as ss)

Download

VT323 font from Google Fonts
from Google Fonts

VT323

  • Monospace
  • 1 style
  • Language support: Latin Extended, Vietnamese

Download

Press Start 2P font from Google Fonts
from Google Fonts

Press Start 2P

  • Display
  • 1 style
  • Language support: Latin Extended, Cyrillic Extended, Greek

Download

Serif

Serifs are much less used and somewhat more difficult to integrate in a brutalist design. The best fit are OS defaults (if you want to create a website with the raw early 90s look for example), atypical/quirky serifs (like Knif Mono, a monospaced serif font used on this website) or with a more raw, unpolished or spiky look.

If you want to use system defaults and offer support Linux users, please consider that Georgia is not included by default and not all users install the extra package that includes Georgia. The problem is that the default serif fonts in Linux distributions such as Ubuntu are not metrically equivalent with Georgia, and your website will look different (for example a small text in Georgia can become too small and unlegible on Linux). A better alternative would be font-family: Georgia, "Bitstream Charter", Times, "Times New Roman", serif;, because Bitstream Charter is closer metrically to Georgia.

In general, if choosing serif in a brutalist website number of fonts used should be limited to only one.

IBM Plex Serif font from IBM
from IBM Github repo & Google Fonts

IBM Plex Serif

  • 16 styles (8 weights + matching italics)
  • Language support: Support for 110 languages
  • Update: All IBM Plex fonts are now available in Google Fonts! view on Google Fonts

Download

Cormorant Garamond font from Google Fonts
from Google Fonts

Cormorant Garamond

  • 10 styles (5 weights + matching italics)
  • Language support: Latin Extended, Cyrillic Extended, Vietnamese

Download

To be continued 🙂