How Designers Organize Fonts

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As a designer or creative, organizing your fonts is an inevitable struggle. All designers tend to collect different fonts as they create for distinct brands and visions. Overtime, these fonts can become unbearable to manage and it becomes even harder to find your favorites.

Sorting your fonts into multiple distinct folders will not only help you access them quickly but also improve efficiency. You can always sort fonts alphabetically but this is basic. Instead group your fonts based on the following descriptors,

Fonts should be grouped by:

  • Frequently Used Fonts: Most designers have between 15-20 favorite fonts. Start sorting by moving your best fonts to a single folder before handling the others.

  • Free/Commercial Fonts: It's very important to separate the fonts you download for free from those with a commercial license. Using commercial fonts can lead to copyright issues.

  • Font Categories: Designers usually sort fonts based on the category such as Script, Serif, San Serif, Decorative, Display and others. You can also create subcategories like monoline script, signature script, bold script, brush script, and others.
  • Theme or Feeling: Since different design tasks have distinct visions, it's an excellent idea to group fonts based on themes. Consider organizing your fonts in themes like Formal, Playful, Bold, Readable, Grunge, Thin, Old Style, Blackletter and Futuristic.

In addition, you can sort your fonts based on a specific brands or clients. 

It's better to put your fonts in separate family folders before categorizing them with a font manager. Regular folders work but the drawback is that you might be unable to put the same fonts into multiple categories.

The easy way to organize fonts in Adobe Photoshop is by using Fontshelf, a plug-in created to run within the software. Fontshelf allows you to create multiple font folders and edit or delete them with ease. What's also great is that the plug-in runs within your workflow, so you can work without pausing.



To find out more about Fontshelf’s amazing features, visit