For many designers, the prospect of buying a font is a mixed bag of excitement and trepidation. The idea of adding to your type arsenal can be exhilarating until you consider the uncertainty of whether the typeface will behave as expected when put to work in your project. Countless preview tools have been released to address these concerns, but none resolve them nearly as elegantly or effortless as SkyFonts.
The SkyFonts utility is a free, lightweight client that allows you to temporarily install fonts and synchronize them across multiple workstations. If you’ve been following along, you’ve heard us (and perhaps a few of your peers) talk about it quite a bit. Earlier this year, we teamed with Google to enable users to install Google Fonts through SkyFonts. We also made SkyFonts the delivery mechanism for desktop fonts within our Fonts.com Web Fonts subscriptions. Now we’re further broadening the use of the tool by enabling anyone to use it to try more than 30,000 fonts from over 100 foundries – all for free. Here’s how it works.
Visit Fonts.com and search for the font of your choice. If your font is available for free trial, it will contain a ‘download a free trial’ link on its product page, family page or search results listing. Click this link to initiate your trial. If you haven’t already, you’ll need to create a Fonts.com account and install the SkyFonts client (both are free). The site will prompt you to do both if you haven’t done so beforehand. Once you’re trial starts, the font is downloaded and installed on your machine and can be used like any other font. Open up your favorite design app, choose the typeface from your font menu and give it a test drive. Please remember that font trials are for evaluation purposes only. After five minutes, the font will disappear from your machine. From there its up to you to determined if this is the font of your typographic dreams or if you’d rather just be friends. Either way, you won’t see a heavy-handed offer to buy the font when your trial is over.
Fonts.com desktop font trials will give you an unprecedentedly up-close preview of your fonts before you buy them. And judging from the feedback of our previous implementations, we think you’re going to love it. Go ahead and give it a try and let us know what you think.