How To Add Fonts To GIMP In 3 Steps

gimp-fontsWhether you’re using GIMP to design graphics for a project or using it to create logos, having a lot of font choices in GIMP is essential for creating designs.  Plus, it’s super easy to add fonts to GIMP and there’s a ton of really cool free fonts you can download to use.   When I look for fonts for my designs, many times I actually am looking for 2 fonts that complement each other.  If you’re interested in finding professional-looking complementary fonts to download and use, check out my article (“Complementary Fonts”) or subscribe for my freebie of 30 complementary fonts that are popular favorites.

Just as a review, While there are lots of font websites to choose from I prefer to use free fonts over paid ones. So for me, there are five main sources of free font websites I use: 1) Font-palace 2) Font1001 3) Fontspace 4) Fontsquirrel and 5) Google fonts, but if you start your own search there are more sites available.  I use these because of the large and varied selection to choose from.  Plus, after researching complementary fonts, these free sites generally have the popular complementary fonts I end up downloading so I don’t really look much further.  I don’t pay for fonts.  Unless your job is building websites for others, buying fonts just doesn’t quite make financial sense to me.  So, no I don’t use Adobe type fonts either.

Want the perfect fun, feminine, manly, grunge, fat or stylish font for your next logo or design? Hey, I’ve got 105 you can pick from and they are all popular downloads! 

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Now adding fonts to GIMP does depend on what device you’re using.  I happen to be a Mac user so I’ll dive into adding fonts for GIMP on MacBook but it’s just as simple on Windows.  As a mac user, I use the FontBook app which I absolutely love.  So I add the fonts to my Mac for GIMP and to Fontbook since it lets me peruse the fonts I’ve installed;  I like to think of it as my “table of contents” for fonts.  Finding fonts you want will take more time than actually installing because there’s a lot to choose from. I pick fonts for 2 reasons. First I look for complementary font combinations that look good together and maintain readability even on mobile devices. Second I pick “stand-alone” fonts that work well in designs and graphics.

Step 1 – Finding Fonts To Add To GIMP

1. This takes the most time since you have to browse the font listings unless you know exactly what font you’re looking for. Find and down the desired custom font. It’s generally downloaded as a zip file that will need to be unzipped prior to use.

I’ve found a popular Google font: Playfair Display that I’m going to use for this example. When you download fonts it pays to determine what “version” you exactly want. For example, the Playfair Display font comes as “regular”, “regular-italic”, “bold”, “bold-italic” and “black”, “black-italic”. Each obviously looks a little different, so if you’re trying to mimic a design or style pay close attention to whether the font is in bold, italic or regular since you’ll need that exact “version” to make it look similar.

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(Hint: Usually if I see a font being used on a website or in particular on a design, I’ll use Chrome’s “inspect” feature to determine the font-family.  Once I know what the font is, I can find and download it much quicker than if I randomly search.)
<p”>Again, depending on what and where you get it you may receive all the “versions” in one zip file. In Google’s case, you generally are downloading a very specific one at a time.

Step 2 – Adding Fonts To GIMP – Copy & Paste To The GIMP Fonts Folder

2. Now copy and paste the font file(s) into the ~Library/fonts on Mac. Use the Finder window and the Go > “Go to folder” to quickly access the fonts folder. It’s even easier on Windows because you can right-click the font and select the install button. It will place the font into the Windows\fonts directory where it can be used by Inkscape and other applications. The beauty of Inkscape is it detects all your locally installed fonts.

Here’s another hint for Mac Users:  Add the font into the Mac app FontBook.  I do that because I can easily open Font book and quickly see examples of each font.  It saves me time by letting me browse thru my locally installed fonts and deciding which font or font pairs I want to use in my designs.

Step 3 – Restart GIMP Confirming Added Fonts

3. Restart GIMP. Add some text and check to see your new fonts in the drop list.

Walla! You now have the ability to add any font (free or paid) in the same way and make it available in Inkscape for all your designs.

(Helpful tip: For those MacBook Users: Since I use a MacBook I also add my custom fonts to Mac’s FontBook App.)

It serves a couple of purposes. First I can better see and compare fonts quickly with FontBook before using any other design app. Second any fonts I add to FontBook are generally available to other apps installed on my Mac that use fonts. Plus, certain online editors seem to recognize locally installed fonts in FontBook so my custom fonts can also be used with those editors. Pretty cool.

Finally, Create Stunning Font Designs For Logos, Text Banners, and Graphic Designs With Your Custom Fonts

Now here’s the really cool thing you can do once your custom fonts are in place. Starting testing those fonts with GIMP scripts that add effects, patterns and textures to the font text.  You’ll be surprised at how you can change the look of the text by doing that.  If you check my article I mentioned earlier on creating a 5 minute logo with GIMP that’s exactly what I did.  If you’d like really good patterns and textures that work with GIMP scripts and text designs, subscribe and I’ll be adding that to my resource library in about 2 weeks.
If you’re still stumped on creating text designs and what to be able to make a lot of varied designs quickly then look at my Inkscape filter effects guide.  I can literally make hundreds of different text designs and wordart simply by using my SVG files (one for each effect) and then altering the text, font, colors and size.  It’s amazingly fast;  I spent about 3 weeks perfecting it and writing a straightforward printable PDF guide you can get here>
Interested in all my freebies and printables?  Just sign up.
Download the FREE Ultimate Fonts Cheat Sheet and get 105 Fantastic Font Ideas.

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