Designers: How do u handle thousands of fonts?



To all you graphic designers out there, can I get some feedback on your font handling techniques? I understand all the different font programs out there, and I try not to keep too many fonts in my Windows Font folder... but my dilemma is, I am not a master typographer... when I need to design a new web site or logo etc., I know what theme and feel the font should have, but I cant equate that to a specific font in my head. So basically what I have been doing is using AMP or Font Xplorer to basically look through all 7000 fonts if this is an important aspect to the design. So unless it is one of the 10-15 fonts I know, I have to spend 10-20 excruciating minutes looking through all my fonts with the text I need.

There is no way every designer who doesnt have 7000+ fonts memorized do this every day for a new project. And even if you can group them in folders, are you supposed to suck it up and spend one day grouping all these fonts yourself? And even when you do, there will be a ton of fonts that can be categorized as 2, 3 or 5 different types... so then you put them in every one of the applicable folders?

I guess I just need a general tutorial on how to pick a font from thousands when you know the feel but not the name of the font.



Jul 12, 2010
To be honest I don't know anybody who considers thousands of fonts every time they start a new project. I also don't know anybody who relies on software to choose typefaces. I certainly don't.

It's all down to knowledge of what is suitable for certain tasks and what kind of features are desirable for your targeted audience. It takes practice and study - don't beat yourself up for not knowing what to do straight away. Just be patient and keep at it... Whatever you do though, don't rely on software.

When you get a brief, ideally you should have an idea about what 'sort' of typeface you will need. To get to that stage I suggest you look at what professional designers do and look through a few good typography books from Amazon


Jul 11, 2011
No professional in their right mind would spend valuable time searching through all of those fonts. They may brainstorm which type of lettering that would be most appropriate for the task/project at hand (the feeling they want to convey to the audience) and search through a few fonts to get a sense of what they want. A lot of times they will choose a general font that resembles what they want, and they will alter and skew it to the exact look they want via a vector application (i.e. Illustrator).

7,000+ fonts is sort of a marketing thing. Kind of like an editing program with ????+ effects... professionally, you wouldn't spend hours (or perhaps days) searching through these presets - You would just create your own with a style you find suitable.


Jan 10, 2010
While I'm not suggesting a piece of software, what I can suggest is a website that can help you find a font based on the characteristics you are looking for.

Go to:

You will find on the left, find fonts by appearance. It will ask you a series of questions slowly narrowing down your selection to one font, and then it will offer very similar fonts close to it. Now having 7000 fonts, if you don't have the first one it suggests you may quite possibly have the next.

I have found this website useful also for trying to find a font of a specific graphic/logo/website etc.
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