Mental Floss

This New Service (Finally) Makes Fonts Affordable

Hayley Harding
iStock / iStock

Fonts are notoriously expensive, and can be cost prohibitive for anyone looking to design casually or break into graphic design as a profession. Now, thanks to new app Fontstand, typefaces are about to become a lot more affordable for those whose work depends on the ability to shift styles.

Fontstand users can rent specific fonts by the month, testing each out for an hour before they commit. Most fonts can be rented for about $10 a month and can be shared with other people for a low fee. If you rent a font for an entire year, it's yours to keep afterwards. You can also choose between renting just one font in a family (for a discount!) or getting every style.

In addition, there's a comprehensive search feature that lets you search by foundry, or even the language you need your font to be compatible with.


The fonts you rent can be used personally or professionally. The only catch: If you want to use the font on your website or for a broadcast, you'll have to contact the foundry separately for the licensing.

The application already has over 3,000 fonts available; in a release, the company has said they hope to become the "iTunes of the digital font market" [PDF]. Fontstand is currently only available for OS X users, but those on Windows won't have to wait too long: a version for your system is in the works.