Free fonts from Urban Fonts

Posted in on 28 February 2007 by Clive Walker

Website: http://www.urbanfonts.com/

Rating: 4 out of 5

Urban Fonts is a fonts showcase website that offers free fonts, commercial fonts, and dingbats in an attractive, modern, blue and green website design. There's a slightly Web 2.0 look to the site with a familiar tag cloud of popular searches - and there are over 8000 fonts that you can browse, search, and preview.

Urban Fonts screenshot



First impressions

This provides a useful glimpse of a font in that category

On first look, I particularly liked the mouseover pop-up font previews on the home page. This provides a useful glimpse of an example font from a specific category and allows you to decide whether to view more fonts in that category. Another mouseover functionality is also provided for the Featured Fonts section where there is an image rollover that shows all letters in the alphabet when you mouseover the font name.

The fonts are categorized to enable you to find similar fonts. This may all seem fine but some of the categories contain a large number of fonts. Browsing though multiple pages of a particular category may take a long time although the number of fonts per page can be changed by the user.

The AJAX functionality provides a better user experience

If you find a font that you like, the font preview section on each individual font page allows you to type some text and a preview in 12 different font sizes appears in AJAX fashion before your eyes. This is a much faster way of previewing text than some other font websites. In this case, the AJAX functionality definitely provides a better user experience. The font preview also allows you to choose text color and background color. One caveat, the commercial fonts are links through to an affiliate site so the preview functionality is not the same.

The free fonts have different licenses which will require the user to read the license after download.

Famous fonts

I browsed the 'Famous' category and was able to discover fonts from some of my favorite TV shows and movies, including Alias, Angel and Blade Runner, and others famous fonts like 'Walt Disney'. One neat feature is that the AJAX font preview functionality works on each font category page which allows you to to preview text with 12 (or more) fonts per page. This is a great idea.

Urban Fonts also features many dingbats.

This type of advert does not really fit with the rest of the site.

On the negative side, there are adverts on the site and some of these were rather visually painful. If there is one thing that is guaranteed not to make me click on a banner, it's a fluorescent, blinking, banner that says 'click here to win'. This type of advert does not really fit with the rest of the site.

As the site grows, it might be useful to have different ways of categorizing the fonts and the ability to store your font favorites for future reference.

Summary

Overall, I think Urban Fonts will be a useful addition to my font website bookmarks and I'm looking forward to browsing it some more.

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» This article is a paid review. It may be paid but its my honest opinion «

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