Ask a Font Creator: Manly Fonts for Dudes

Posted on 24th January 2017

Ask a Font Creator: Manly Fonts for Dudes

A question I see an awful lot is: “What fonts can I use on something for a guy?” And it's a good question - there are so many swirly, girly, floofy fonts out there, sometimes it seems like there's nothing that would work on a project for the men in your life. So I'm going to throw a bunch of font options out there for your dude-related projects.

And even though I'm in the business of selling fonts, I know that everyone loves freebies. So every single font I'm going to recommend to you today is free! Most of them are free for both personal and commercial use, while some are personal use only. But all of them can be downloaded for a test-drive immediately.

(I'm also very choosy when it comes to which sites I'll download free fonts from. The majority of these are from Font Squirrel or Dafont, with only a few from other sources that I trust. See the notes for each font regarding where you can download it, and what kind of license each font comes with.)

I'm going to break manly interests up into categories. That's not to say these aren't also girly interests (after all, I'm a lifelong Trekkie), but these are the styles I see requests for the most often. Also, I've opted to use almost the same preview text for all of these genre fonts: the classic bumper sticker line “MY OTHER CAR IS A _BLANK_”. Onward!

FONTS FOR COMIC BOOK DUDES


Manly Fonts: Comic Book Dudes

Want to label your guy as a superhero? (Or a supervillain, I won't judge.) Create something in one of these fonts! The comic book look is often a little bit oblique, hand-lettered, and usually all caps (because lowercase can be harder to read when reproduced tiny in a comic book or on the comics page of a newspaper).

Search terms: “comic book font”, “cartoon font”

Komika Axis: 100% free commercial desktop license at Font Squirrel.
Obelix Pro: Free for personal use only at Dafont.
Luckiest Guy: 100% free commercial desktop license at Google Fonts.
Badaboom BB: Free for personal use only at Dafont.

FONTS FOR SPORTS DUDES


Manly Fonts: Sports Dudes

We're covering a wide variety of stuff here, so I've tapped into a few different styles. Besides the bottom option with the baseball uniform-style script and swash underneath, sports fonts tend to be clean and sharp. Frequently you'll find nice slab serif fonts, or a sans-serif with clipped corners.

Search terms: “sports font”, “college font”, “school font”

Race1 Brannt (4 styles): Free for personal use only at Dafont.
Sports World: 100% free commercial desktop license at Font Squirrel.
Bombardier: 100% free commercial desktop license at Dafont.
Fabulous (from the makers of Brannboll): Free for personal use only at Dafont.

FONTS FOR SCI-FI DUDES


Manly Fonts: Sci-Fi Dudes

There are a lot of ways we could go under the header of “sci-fi,” but you can't go wrong with these styles. Common style features include sans-serif fonts that are wider with semi-squared curves; sans-serif with horizontal lines cut through the letters; or fonts styled after specific films. (Star Jedi is a common font for Star Wars fans, but Distant Galaxy here is a less well-known choice with a similar feel.)

Search terms: “sci-fi font”, “futuristic font”

Distant Galaxy: 100% free commercial desktop license at Font Squirrel.
Johnny Fever: 100% free commercial desktop license at Dafont.
Orbitron: 100% free commercial desktop license at Font Squirrel.

FONTS FOR COUNTRY/WESTERN DUDES


Manly Fonts: Western Dudes

For the true DUDE dudes in your life, these fonts will evoke a feeling of the wild west. Oddly enough, it was very hard to find good options that were 100% free! Though there are tons of personal-use-only options out there for your gift projects. Many of the fonts in this style have heavy slab serifs, and they frequently have decorative notches on the sides of the stems.

Search terms: “western font”, “tuscan font”

Edmunds (2 styles): 100% free commercial desktop license at Font Squirrel.
Rustler (2 styles): Free for personal use only at Dafont.
Saddlebag: 100% free commercial desktop license at Dafont.

FONTS FOR GAMER DUDES


Manly Fonts: Gamer Dudes

I'm going for throwback looks here, primarily because the resolution on modern video games is so good, they're using just regular fonts these days. (And there are certainly tons of fonts out there styled after specific video game graphics and titles, if you want to look those up.) But for a lot of people, when they think “video games,” they picture either sharp blocky pixels, or something from the '70s or '80s.

Search terms: “pixel font”, “retro font”, “video game font”

Arcade (3 styles): 100% free commercial desktop license at Dafont.
Karmatic Arcade: 100% free commercial desktop license at Dafont.
Retro Stereo Wide (2 styles): 100% free commercial desktop license at Dafont.

FONTS FOR HIPSTER DUDES


Manly Fonts: Hipster Dudes

This is a relatively recent category of fonts, and can cover a ton of options: if you dude is in an indie-rock band, or dresses in plaid flannel and wears a giant bushy beard, or wears a fedora and waxes his mustache, or if he rides a pennyfarthing bicycle around town and lives in a tiny house, he'll dig a hipster font. (Even if he protests that he's definitely not a hipster.) You'll have to branch out from Dafont for most of these font styles; a lot of the cutting-edge designers are using other platforms to distribute their work.

Search terms: “hipster font”, “woodcut font”, “geometric font”

Bushcraft (5 styles): 100% free commercial desktop license at PixelBuddha.
High Tide (3 styles): 100% free commercial desktop license at FontFabric.
Silverfake: 100% free commercial desktop license at FontFabric.

FONTS FOR MILITARY DUDES


Manly Fonts: Military Dudes

Nothing says military quite like a good stencil. Fortunately, there are tons of good stencil fonts out there! Many of them come pre-distressed to look like an actual painted-on stencil, but there are also nice, sharp stencil fonts out there. (Check your computer -- you may already have one called “Stencil” that's a classic!)

Search terms: “stencil font”, “army font” (sorry, other branches)

Capture It: 100% free commercial desktop license at Font Squirrel.
Armalite Rifle: 100% free commercial desktop license at Font Squirrel.
Octin Stencil: 100% free commercial desktop license at Font Squirrel.
Top Secret: 100% free commercial desktop license at Font Squirrel.

GENERAL HANDWRITING FONTS FOR DUDES


These are non-genre options, for those who want a nice handwriting look that isn't too girly. I've switched my preview text up; now I'm going to quote some manly quotes from some manly movies.

Manly Fonts: General Manly Handwriting

Blowbrush: 100% free commercial desktop license at FontBundles.
Broken Wings: 100% free commercial desktop license at PixelSurplus.
Edo: 100% free commercial desktop license at Font Squirrel.
Fvriosa: 100% free commercial desktop license at Dafont.

Manly Fonts: General Manly Handwriting

Miserably Lose: Limited free commercial license at Kevin and Amanda. (See page for commercial limitations)
Razing: 100% free commercial desktop license at Dafont.
Road Rage: Free for personal use only at Dafont.
Rock Salt: 100% free commercial desktop license at Font Squirrel.

REGULAR FONTS FOR DUDES


Last but not least, here are a few regular non-handwriting fonts that will work great on your manly projects. Plus, extra bonus: At least one of these would pair well with every single other font I've presented here today! ChunkFive would pair great with anything that isn't a slab serif or serif font, and the various weights of Bebas Neue would work with almost any script, serif, or slab serif font.

Manly Fonts: General Manly Fonts

ChunkFive Roman: 100% free commercial desktop license at Font Squirrel.
Helsinki: 100% free commercial desktop license at Font Squirrel.
Londrina (4 styles): 100% free commercial desktop license at Font Squirrel.
Bebas Neue (5 styles): 100% free commercial desktop license at Font Squirrel.

Most regular serif or slab serif fonts that aren't too fancy will work in a pinch for guys as well! (I've left regular serif fonts out, mainly because they tend to be a little more elegant. I'm not saying guys aren't elegant; I'm just saying that if you're putting something on a t-shirt or coffee mug for a guy, elegance might not be what your going for.)

If there are ever any other dude-friendly styles you need help with, you can find me (and tons of other helpful folks) over at the Fonts & Typography group on Facebook, so stop by and ask!

Missy!

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