Essential tips for good font management

Organisation – especially of fonts – is likely to be at the bottom of your to do list. But effective font management can save you plenty of time and hassle, so it’s worth keeping on top of it.

We’ve listed some of our favourite tips to help you manage your fonts better and improve your workload and mindset as a result.


1. Make a note

One thing we hate is coming back to a design several months later only to find out you can’t remember what font you used. If you saved your image with layers then it’s not so bad, but sometimes you can’t find the original file on your computer.

Save on the stress by uploading a copy of the font to the folder/directory where the image is also stored (or upload to a password-protected directory, or simply list it in no-index text file if you’re worried about licensing or competitors).

2. Put your fonts in storage

Every time you download and install a font, upload another copy – along with any licensing information – to a secure cloud storage solution, like Dropbox. As well as providing a much-needed backup, it also means you can access fonts from different devices and test them out with clients.

3. Always keep all versions

Avoid deleting different versions of the same font – whether it’s a Mac/PC difference or a bold/italic variant – you never know when they may end up coming in handy. If you have a lot of fonts, storing the less likely to be used varieties in a different, but still readily accessible, location helps cut down on loading times and finding what you need.

4. Consider categorising

Categorising your cloud fonts in a way that makes most sense for you can save you hours of time. Even if you’re just dividing the names up into short lists in a text file, you can still find the style of font you need very quickly this way if you have thousands of them.

5. Refresh and renew

Refresh your font collection on a regular basis and invest in new fonts to keep your designs looking fresh. Most of us only search for a specific font for a project, but downloading fonts as you come across them (for example in web design articles) and setting aside a couple of hours for a font browse now and again helps grow your collection and means you’re never stuck for choice.

6. Marry web fonts and downloaded fonts

Whenever you use a Google Web Font, have a search to see if it’s also available to download. Having the ability to use both forms strengthens your design capacity and consistency. Make a note in the text file that accompanies your downloaded font to remind yourself there is a web font available.

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