If you are working with you Silhouette vinyl cutter, using the right font can make or break your design.
That’s why you want to have the best fonts for vinyl cutting available to you!
When you are just starting out, you will have the choice of using several fonts that are already installed and in your computer’s fonts directory.
But if you are following some tutorials that explain how to use the Silhouette Studio software, you might quickly notice that you don’t have the same fonts available.
To expand the possible designs, you can make, today’s article will deal with how to download free fonts for Silhouette Cameo and install them properly.
Which Silhouette Cameo Fonts Can I use?
The fonts available when you are using a Silhouette vinyl cutter depends on the fonts that are installed on your computer. So buying a different model of vinyl cutter won’t change the fonts available.
So in principle, you are able to use any type of font that you can find on the internet. It only takes two easy steps: downloading the fonts and installing them on your computer.
As soon as you install the new font, you should be able to use it in Silhouette Studio as well.
Things You Should Know Before Downloading New Fonts
If you use Google, you will be able to find plenty of fonts available online. But not all the fonts are the same. There are two things to be cautious off when downloading new fonts to your computer.
First of all, free fonts have been a popular way to spread viruses and malware online. We all know that you shouldn’t download anything from a dodgy looking website. But hackers and scammers have upped their game and nowadays it’s not easy to judge the trustworthiness of a website just by scanning it. So only download fonts from websites that are well known and have a good reputation.
Secondly, if you download fonts online you should always check the license that comes with it. Especially if you get a free font, you are often not allowed to use it for commercial purposes. So using to make a personal item is ok, but using it to make items for sale is not.
Websites Where You Can Download Free Fonts For Silhouette Cameo
Technically any website that has fonts will do, since the Silhouette Cameo automatically imports the fonts installed on your computer.
Since there are so many websites you can go to, we just listed 6 popular places where you can start your search for the perfect font.
- The Hungry Jpeg: this website operates like an online marketplace that offers many different design tools, including fonts. They have a combination of free and paid fonts. And often you can even use the free fonts for commercial purposes. Since they update the site on a pretty regular basis with new goodies, you might want to come back to it every now and then.
- Creative Market: this is another marketplace that offers weekly free fonts. Unfortunately, the free fonts are normally for personal use. Since all the old free fonts are turned into paid items at the end of the week again, visiting once a week definitely pays off.
- Mighty Deal: if you visit this website you will be able to steep discounts on a variety of products including fonts. But there is also a “Free Deals” section with fonts that are temporarily for free.
- My Design Deals: unlike the other websites, this one focusses on selling bundles of items that designers might need. If you sign up for their email list, you will receive their “Designer Toolbox” which often includes a few free fonts (although the content constantly changes).
- Dafont: this might be one of the most popular places to find good Silhouette Cameo fonts. There are a lot of designers sharing their favorite fonts. It is set up similar to a forum, which means anyone can upload fonts. So to prevent downloading malicious software, only choose fonts that already received lots of download and good reviews.
- Fontspace: this one is similar to Dafont in that it is also a forum where creators to share their own fonts. Since it has a huge collection of free fonts they might have exactly what you need. But always exercise some caution before downloading.
What Makes A Good Font?
With the huge amount of different fonts available, even with only the 6 listed websites above, you will soon find a few fonts you love.
But just because the font is pretty doesn’t necessarily mean it is suitable for the Silhouette Cameo. Here are the 3 things that make a good font to use.
- Solid Fonts: if the fonts are solid they are more easy to print and cut for your Silhouette Cameo so they are normally preferred over other fonts.
- Complete Fonts: most font packages from with all the lower and uppercase letters. But many of the free ones don’t contain any other characters such as apostrophe, comma, hashtag, etc.
- Accessibility: some of the fancier fonts can include swirls or swashes that are coded separately from the letters themselves. Sometimes these special letters are only available in special design programs such as Photoshop. To use them with your Cameo, the font needs to be 100% accessible or PUA encoded.
How To Install A Font To Use In The Silhouette Cameo?
Once you know how to get free fonts for Silhouette Cameo, you will still need to install them before you can use them. Fortunately this process is pretty simple.
- Close Silhouette Studio, you don’t want it to run in the background
- Locate the download folder of the font you selected
- (If necessary, unzip the folder the font came in)
- Double click on the font to start the installation process
- Open Silhouette Studio and check if the new font appeared in the font menu
However, sometimes the font installs under a different name than the original file name. Try to go through the list of fonts available in Silhouette Studio and see if any new ones appeared since installing.
If you still can’t find it, try to restart your computer once. Sometimes a simple restart can do wonders for your computer.
To make the most out of your new fonts, you might want to check out one of these courses that teach Silhouette Studio that you can take online.
Sometimes while looking around, you might find a few new font terms you never heard of. After all, typography jargon can be quite tricky for beginners to wrap their head around.
- Glyphs: these are not the Egyptian characters you might think off. Glyph is a general term used to denote special variations of alphabet characters. For example, you can have a standard letter and a glyph of the same letter with swirly decoration you can often see in calligraphy. Not every glyph can be used in Silhouette Studio, so you should get fonts that are 100% accessible or PUA encoded.
- Ligature: this means that 2 or more letters are joined to form a single glyph
- PUA Encoded: without going into any technical details, this font term refers to the way the font is coded. Normally special characters and glyphs can only be used in specific design software. But if your font is PUA encoded you will be able to use it in Silhouette Studio as well.
- .OTF: is an abbreviation for Open Type Font and is a standard file format of fonts used with the Silhouette Cameo
- .TFF: is an abbreviation for True Type Font, this is the second common file format your downloaded fonts will be in. Only install either the .OTF or the .TFF file and not both.
- Serif: this is a category of fonts that use short lines or strokes at the end of letters for decoration and the guide the reader’s eye.
- Sans Serif: literally means “without line” and is the opposite of serif. Sans Serif fonts normally look simple and clean.