Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Using Dingbats as a Source of Free Illustrations

Made Using "Butterflies" font by Typeadelic
 Because I often work with new businesses who don't have a huge start up budget, I am always on the lookout for low-cost or free commercial use graphics. One source that many people (including myself!) often overlook is Dingbats. Dingbats are fonts that have pictures instead of letters. See the butterfly art above? It's something I created very quickly using the free font, Butterflies.

Because fonts work similarly to vector art, you can scale the art to any size and they will still look crisp and sharp. They work best as one-color line art, but if you want to add more color to them, you can "Rasterize Type" in Photoshop or "Convert to Outlines" in Illustrator and use the paint bucket or direct selection tools to color them in.

Volkswagen Font from, fun!

Your computer probably already has a standard "dingbat" font, but there are tons more - The most common ones are ornaments - flourishes, swirls& flowers, but you can also get animals, silleuettes, signs, US States, paint splatters and cars, just to name a few.  As with anything you download from the internet, if you are going to be using it commercially (whether it be for your business or as graphics on your blog or website), make sure it is free or freeware, and not just free for personal use. If it's not, don't fret, you may be able to pay a small license fee to use it commercially, just check the font's readme file.

"Floralia" font from
Ready to start browsing for some free art? Check out the Dingbat Selection at Font Squirrel or the even bigger Dingbat Collections at daFont!
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