Update: Make sure to note that there are all sorts of different licenses here and you’ll need to verify that these really are free for distribution before including them in your app.  I guess I wasn’t clear about that earlier.  Sorry if anyone has been mislead.  That said, there are a number of fonts here that are truly free for use in your projects.  Thanks to the couple of you who sent email or comments reminding me to clarify this.  Okay, back to the post…

In spite of my humbug perspective on text rendering from the other day, I’m a huge advocate for using type creatively in your project and WPF and Silverlight both make that easier by giving you the ability to embed fonts right in there with the code.  The catch: you need a license to redistribute the font.  That can be pretty tricky with professional fonts.  Generally the licenses limit you to rights for production, not redistribution.

Your best bet in WPF and Silverlight, then, are free fonts.  Even these don’t necessarily grant you a right to redistribute, but you’ve got a much better chance.

In addition to the Ascender fonts which shipped in the WPF SDK, and sites like dafont.com or urbanfonts.com (where you get some good and some bad), Smashing magazine proves again and again to be a great source of really beautiful typefaces at the low, low price of free!

The great thing about these is that they tend to be freebies offered directly from foundries who would otherwise be selling them.  The result is really high quality type.  Usually that means multiple weights, great scalability even at small sizes, etc.  There are of course hits and misses, but definitely more hits.

Unfortunately, there’s not a central repository.  Instead the fonts leak out in posts.  Sorry, that means lots of links.  Here are the ones that I’ve collected so far:

  • 15 High Quality Beatiful Free Fonts
  • 40 Excellent Free fonts for Profressional Design
  • Five More Free Fonts
  • Free Brilliant High Quality Fonts
  • Free Fonts You Shouldn’t Have Missed
  • 17 More Free Quality Fonts
  • Free Fresh Fonts
  • Free Font of the Week

Do you have favorite places to get typefaces for WPF and Silverlight? Any favorites?

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