Originally appeared as the subgenre of alternative rock music, grunge had turned into a whole culture or, to be more exact, into a subculture during the 80th-90th of the previous century. Grunge had a great influence on people’s minds and creative design trends, and though the glorious times of grunge have already faded away, its traces can still be found in many aspects of modern life and culture. Inspired by grunge music with its denial of social standards and clichés, apathy, and the strong desire for freedom at the same time, many font designers did their best to transpose grunge feel from music into graphics, and below is just a small, yet vivid part of grunge fonts, which are available for free download online.

1. Gothical

Gothical nevermind

Nevermind was one of the albums of the Seattle grunge group Nirvana – an icon of grunge music. So, never mind that this font is called “gothical” instead of “gothic”, because denial of basic rules is one of the grunge principles. The font is pretty reserved, but due to the eroded and distorted background in many characters, this free font looks pretty grungy. The Gothical font contains Basic Latin character map, though it is a bit pity the designer did not include capital letters in it.

2. Blood Crow Expanded

Come as you are, as you were
As I want you to be
As a friend, as a friend
As an old enemy

Simply one of the grungiest free fonts I’ve ever seen. Not much dirty, but with definite eroded elements in each letter, Blood Crow is a must have font for every designer working with creative projects in the alternative style. Besides, this font is made really-really professional. The font designer offers 11 versions of the font (above you can see only 4 samples), varying in style from regular to condensed and to shadow. Along with Basic Latin character map, Latin Extended character map (for special accented characters) and Punctuation Marks are also included in the Blood Crow Expanded Font by Iconian.

3. Tiza

Tiza, Tiza, Tiza

This free grunge font looks as if a designer used sandpaper to create the feel and look of erosion on some commonly-used Arial font with serifs. Whether it is used to design a print poster for an alternative band concert or to add grunge look to a special website design project, Tiza font is definitely worthy of your attention. Besides, Tiza font contains supplemental character map with specific accented letters, which makes it perfect to use with French, German, or Scandinavian languages, requiring special characters.

4. HVD Peace

HVD PEACE 1.2.3…

HVD Peace free font, designed by Hannes von Dohren, looks like a mixture of erosion, distortion, and stamp-like effect. Some letters are bleached, making particular elements almost invisible. However, all those designer’s tricks make the font look very interesting, appealing, and pretty alternative… Entering numbers gives you the feeling of using an old stencil-plate with the paint licking under its edges.

5. 28 Days Later

28 Days Later is another alternative grunge free font with the sand-paper effect. However, here it looks like a designer worked much harder with sand-paper, making letters more eroded and threadbare. Another association, coming to my mind when I look at 28 Days Later free font, is the fingerprints effect… What really highlights this font among the others is the strongly thematic asterisk mark (find it in the sample above).

6. Anarchy


“Anarchy forever” seems to me as a good definition for this font. It is a complete denial of rules, and it is always unexpected. The mixture of regular and italic letters in one character set and an artful combination of different styles are the distinctive features of Anarchy free font. A designer experiments with every font feature from characters’ size to their direction. Do not be surprised if you see letters or number upside down while you are typing using this font – it is a complete anarchy. With this font you would better not make suggestions on how it is going to look like – just believe in anarchy and enjoy it…

7. 80’s Hero

The 80th of the previous century were the years of grunge emergence and its peak popularity. This free font symbolizes the search for something new and alternative. No strict and even lines, no order and no common clichés in font design. This font may look even a little bit funky, but that is another story and another style in both music and free fonts design… What is important is that grunge is still with us, and it does not matter how it manifests itself – through music, fashion, or fonts design…

About the Author

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Mirko Humbert

Mirko Humbert is the editor-in-chief and main author of Designer Daily and Typography Daily. He is also a graphic designer and the founder of WP Expert.