Rarely is there a time that I can manage to be articulate enough to carry on a sensible discussion when the topic of free fonts is brought up. Because of this, I am often quite relieved to read the contributions of others on this subject.
In response to Ellen Lupton’s Free Font Manifesto, presented at the 2006 ATypI Conference in Lisbon, Brook Elgie has crafted a well-worded response.
While you are on his site, among the other quality posts, don’t miss his response to “An Open Letter to John Warnock.”
Perhaps the best example of “free” fonts not mentioned on Lupton’s site is the Greek Font Society. Their fonts are free to download, because their organization secures funding in advance for their projects. In my opinion, this is the only way that we will continue to see more quality free fonts. Most of the quality fonts available “for free” and were commissioned either by corporations with the intent of bundling them with other purchases, or by organizations who fundraise in order to pay the costs of typeface development.