Eric Button

Font Discovery for Design

great font is mind control. If a “picture is worth a thousand words," a font is a collection of pictures (the glyphs) that come together to form a larger picture (a word) that form a yet larger picture (the body of text). There’s a reason some typefaces cost hundreds of dollars.
Good fonts aren't cheap

Designers will tend to fall in love with a specific typographic style or theme, or even a specific typeface. So they’ll collect their favorites somewhere and hopefully remember them. Or they’ll save them in Adobe Fonts and hope that Adobe doesn’t uninstall them to prevent you from using them in Figma (yes, they really do this).

Your best font curation tool is the internet itself. I use the WhatFont Chrome Extension to identify fonts as I notice them across the web. If it’s a good one, I’ll Google it and purchase it immediately.

WhatFont Chrome Plugin identifying Forma DJR on a website

Then, I’ll add it to my Figma file titled My Favorite Fonts. This huge document contains about 40 of my favorite typefaces, each displayed in 5 or so weights. This serves as my visual reference when I am searching for a good font for a project. 

In this file every sample uses the same word—in this case, “handgloves”—so that I can use the Find and Replace Figma plugin to change all the fonts to a custom phrase or word. This is especially critical when designing text-based logos or wordmarks, as the interaction between the individual glyphs is of utmost importance.

Replacing "handgloves" placeholder word with "stripe"

This solution helps me to not forget a great typeface, and allows me to try out hundreds of fonts in seconds, not hours. By presenting myself with 300 fonts, I explore styles that I might not consider if I experiment in a less efficient way.

Feel free to duplicate my big Figma font repository. Here it is: Favorite Fonts

Don’t skimp on fonts. It’s mind control.