Hack Attack : Find The Font Used In An Image

by Karthik on May 31, 2008 · 12 comments


I’m one of the few kind who has more fonts on his system than any other type of stuff. Call me a font addict, but I love trying out the different fonts to see how it looks. Case in point, I’ve spent over 80 permutations and combinations of fonts for the business card that I’m designing for myself.

Everyday I come across fonts that are lovely and I want to try them out. But it isn’t all that easy to find which find the artist or designer has used. Earlier I’d drop the designer an email politely asking if he could share the fonts with me. Well not anymore, thanks to an awesome new service called WhatTheFont that makes finding the font used in a particular image a task of the past. In a few clicks you can download/purchase the font for your personal use.

WhatTheFont is a site that lets you upload a logo or any other image that contains text and shows you a list of fonts that are likely to be used in that image. WhatTheFont supports some common image formats like GIF, JPEG, TIFF, BMP, but you can’t upload images bigger than 360 x 275 pixels.

After uploading an image, you may need to enter the corresponding letters from the text, since the system can’t always detect them accurately. In the example below, the site recognized the font used in Google’s logo: Catull


The only thing that I don’t like about the service, is that after it detects the font correctly the only way you can get the font is by purchasing it. In my opinion an option to download the fonts for free would be nice too.

This would be definitely be a tool that I’ll be using regularly. Maybe one day I’ll finish off designing my business card ;-)

Via Sizlopedia

See more from: Web

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

FireFox May 31, 2008 at 11:42 pm

Cool app ! I think that wom can search and find a free version of the font $no?


IanG May 31, 2008 at 11:54 pm

Nice Find.


Jan June 1, 2008 at 12:32 am

Hi there, I really love your blog and everything, but this is rather old news. WhatTheFont.com has been around there for quite a while now. (See Copyright �� 1999���2008 Bitstream)

I must warn you that their search engine still has a lot of problems finding the right font – sometimes the displayed font is pretty easy to identify (for someone used to working with typography everyday), but the engine can’t find it. I hope they keep working on improvements, but it doesn’t seem like that. It has the same problems it had 2 years ago when I first tested it.

“In my opinion an option to download the fonts for free would be nice too.”
That is impossible if the font you’re looking for is a commercial one. Furthermore, there is a huge difference in quality compared to most free fonts. But that is another topic…

Excuse my bad english, and good luck with your business cards!
Maybe you can find some inspiration here: http://creativebits.org/cool_business_card_designs

Keep up the good work.


Mike Ryan June 1, 2008 at 4:06 am

Nice find, but I have been using this for a while now. You should mention that Corel Draw X4 has WhatTheFont?! built into it ;)


FireFox June 1, 2008 at 2:18 pm

Wow that collection of Bizz Cards is Impressive !


Roger June 1, 2008 at 5:48 pm

Wow this is really cool. Always wondered which fonts are being used by severeal commercial banners.


Jan June 1, 2008 at 7:18 pm


The ranking is based on the following factors:

Sales: 40 %
historical significance: 30%
Aesthetics: 30%

Based on these factors, you can’t really go wrong with one of those 100 fonts.


Karthik Kastury June 1, 2008 at 7:33 pm

@Jan, Thanks for the link, some of the best fonts are there..

@Mike Ryan, Nice to see your comment after a long time. I didn’t know that Corel Draw had whatthefont integrated into it.. Nice find.. :)


Jan June 1, 2008 at 7:12 pm

If you’re interested in finding really good fonts, you should take a look at this:

Most commercial banners are using the same set of fonts.

It’s in german, but you should be able to get enough information from there.

The fonts being ranked there are those which are used most often, due to their quality and aesthetics, as well due to traditional reasons (books are mostly set in Dante, Palatino, Baskerville or Garamond for example).

Hope that helps!


FireFox June 2, 2008 at 1:04 am

Why isn’t Comic Sans in the list ;) (I hate that font)


[G]orgeous June 5, 2008 at 4:37 pm

Hello Karthik,
A while back you posted about how to download your favourite songs using Google without the need of third-party P2P applications. I often use MyFonts.com to grab the file name of the font, and using your Google hack, I replace “mp3 OR ogg OR wav OR wma” with “ttf OR afm OR afp” and put the file name of the font, it will do pretty much the same — look up for the font in some sites’ apache directory listings — some fonts may not be found in that way, but a good amount of them should. And please, Mr. Karthik, I would love you to contact me by e-mail (my e-mail has been attached to this post privately) about something I would love to discuss with you.


Anthony June 9, 2011 at 8:29 pm

Hey, this post has been a lifesaver mate, thanks! I searched high and low for answer to my question and you’ve answered it brilliantly. Thanks you you mate, I now know there’s a font called Akagi Black!


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