Recommend a (free) font that fits these criteria

I’m looking for a font, but I only sort of know what I want. It should fit these criteria:

-Fairly heavy/solid
(It’s for a painted sign - I’m going to print it out with the letters about 3 inches tall and I need to be able to cut these out, draw around them and then paint in the outline)

-Neat and stylish (not cute, cartoony, bubbly)

-Not overly ornate or swirly.

-But also not too plain…

I realise these criteria are somewhat in tension with one another - which might be why I haven’t found anything that ‘clicks’.

I like the little pointy serifs on Copperplate Gothic fonts, but those are all a bit slender for my purposes. I want something that looks sort of classic/old fashioned, without being either too ornate or delicate, or being OTT-Victorian-stagecoach.

Any suggestions?

Comic Sans?

runs away giggling maniacally

<slaps the retreating garius with a large trout>

How about one of the Optima family or is that too plain?

They’re quite nice, but yes, just a little ordinary-looking - also, some parts look a bit slender, even on the extra bold versions.

I do realise that I might be asking for something impossible here…

I think it’s mostly the serifs that dictate the style I’m hoping to find (without having actually any clear idea in mind, or I’d just draw it myself)

If it’s any help, I quite like the dented serifs of Angegardien, but I think they’re a bit overdone there and the font contains decorative swirly things.

I like the way Caligula Dodgy curves into the serifs, but that font is too slender.

And I like the way the serifs are angled in Allencon Demo, but it’s a bit too calligraphic generally.

So I’m looking for a heavy/bold font with angled, dented, pointy serifs - one that has all of these things and still manages to look neat. is an encyclopediac collection of free fonts.

I once found a site that would have you answer questions about a font to identify it, but the list of fonts was somewhat small.

Catull family ? Otherwise as Zyada said, try a site such as identifont and answer the questions. Or try a logo rendering site such as cooltext which will do a lot of the work for you - will save you the effort of spacing properly, for one.

Identifont came up with Hess Monoblack, which is certainly pushing some of the right buttons (but it’s not free)

I vote for

Trajan Pro (Serif Font)

  • or -

Myriad (San Serif)

Both are clean and not to boring. Copperplate is too over the top and cheesy. It’s one of those fonts that’s easy to misuse… and often is.

It’s only to be used for one seven-letter word - I’m concerned that plain might look too plain.

In that case I’d certainly use the cooltext site 'cos it’ll render for you, which will give you a better idea of how you should put it together on your sign.

I’ve always liked Trebuchet. But, does the seven-letter sign contain any rhetorical emphasis? It’s hard to do rhetorical emphasis with Trebuchet.

More seriously, do you think you could work with one of the fonts from your OP? It sounds like you could start with Copperplate Gothic or Caligula Dodgy, which you like but are too thin. You could stretch or compress the letters in Paint before you print them. They’ll look terrible on paper, but you only need something you can cut out and trace.

The correct answer to the OP is check out Smashing Magazine’s free fonts of the month.

Everyone’s eye is different, but I think Vollkorn may fit the bill. Fontin could work, too, but it’s not as “old-timey”.

Thanks, but I found most of the templates far too fancy on the cooltext site. It’s only going to be white letters, possibly outlined in black, on a plain green background.

(It’s for the name of my boat).