Find Your Perfect Open Source Font: Introducing the Interactive Typeface Lookbook

Nan Xiao May 10, 2023 2 min read
Majesty Palm. Photo by Kara Eads.
Majesty Palm. Photo by Kara Eads.


There are more than 1,500 open source font families available on Google Fonts, presenting designers and developers with an extensive, yet often overwhelming, array of options. With such a vast selection, it can be challenging to sift through and find the perfect typeface for your projects, let alone remember the hidden gems you may have come across in the past.

To address this challenge, I started Open Source Typography, an opinionated, curated lookbook of outstanding open source fonts. This lookbook offers a practical tool that simplifies the process of discovering and experimenting with reliable fonts for your document, website, or software projects.

Structure and interactive features

The lookbook organizes the typeface collection into five categories: serif, sans serif, monospace, display, and small caps. Each typeface is chosen based on its license, design, and relative uniqueness to provide you with a versatile selection for different design contexts. Most importantly, in most chapters, the interactive, editable text components allow you to easily experiment with custom content and typographic parameters, such as font size, horizontal spacing, and line height.

Behind the scenes

I started the lookbook in May 2022 and it has grown from 5 to 37 typefaces. I have also migrated from bookdown to Quarto book to experiment with the new features provided by the new publishing framework. The interactive text component is derived from that on the Inter samples website and is detailed in the preface.

That’s all, folks. I hope this collection of open source typefaces can spark new ideas and help you create more compelling designs when working with text elements.