Google fonts are amazing. It’s a huge library of free, open-licensed fonts that give web designers a huge new palette to work with, going beyond the same old tired “web safe” fonts. (Look around! I use them extensively on TedCurran.net. Nice, huh?) They’re hosted on Google’s servers and can be added to your website or blog with a single line of code, making it easy to bring exciting typography to your online work. Since they’re all open licensed, they’re also a great way for budding designers to build up their font collection knowing that nobody is going to come ‘round asking for royalties.
Until now, it’s been difficult to download all the Google fonts to your hard drive so you can experiment in your desktop design apps. Recently, Google and Skyfonts announced a new tool/service to automatically sync Google Fonts to your desktop. Skyfonts is looking to profit by making Google’s free fonts available offline, but there’s no sense in paying them to do something you can do easily (and freely) yourself.
Luckily for us, W0ng created this Github repository of the entire Google Font directory in one convenient folder.
Now, you could just go there, press download, and copy all the files into your computer’s Fonts directory. Easy. The only problem is that Google’s fonts are updated constantly, so you want to ensure that you’re receiving all the updates.
When that’s done, go back to W0ng’s Google Font directory page and press “Clone in Mac” (or “Clone in Win”). This will tell your desktop GitHub app that you want it to check W0ng’s Font Directory for updates any time it opens.
Once that’s all set up, you can just open your GitHub app from time to time and refresh your app collection, all for free.
[I’m sure there’s probably a more direct way to do all this if you like using the command line, but I don’t. If you do, please feel free to leave instructions in the comments. Thanks!]
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