I remember my first purchase of fonts. It was at a state fair in New Jersey in 1992 (could have been 91). This man had about 500 different floppies for sale, each was $3. I bought his font disk and was really excited on the way home to be able to finally create better looking text. Today, fonts are basically the most important element to everything we see.
You can purchase fonts for thousands of dollars or search online for loads of free font sites which typically have a cruddy selection. Today I am taking a look at a free fonts site which changes all of that. The site is called Urban Fonts and is really a well put together site.
The first thing that stands out to me is how “rich” the site is. What I mean by this is the use of Ajax for quick pageloads and mouseovers for help. When you mouseover a font sample, you can see the letters that go along with that font before clicking for more details. Lots of Web 2.0 features including tagging.
Selecting a font will take you to the main font page. This page is very rich in function. You can see the uppercase/lowercase/special characters that accompany the font, change the sample font character color, background color and view samples. What I think is innovative is the ability for you to customise the sample text – this will help with perhaps picking a logo font. My suggestion here is that they add the ability to rate and comment on the font to the main font page. Currently those options are only available on the preview page. By adding it to the main font page, that should help to increase the number of votes and comments.
Urban Fonts also has several other sections as well including a paid commercial fonts section, blog and a forum. The blog has links to other interesting font sites and font items.
Editor’s note: The preceding was a paid review.