Free serif font for lyrics?

I have used Minion Pro for all my projects with lyrics for the past several years, but I’m working on a project that needs to use a free font with no licensing restrictions. I would like it to be a serif font that is nice and compact. Something in the same style as Minion would be great. Any suggestions?

I have no experience using it (as I have a Creative Cloud subscription and Adobe licenced fonts are acceptable for my needs), but is Vollkorn any use? This seems to be close to Minion Pro but is SIL OFL licensed.

If you hit any problems, the project unfortunately seems to be abandonware.

Just how free does your free have to be?

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I do not dare making font suggestions (only steal them), but I also use Vollkorn from Google Fonts and love it!

Crimson Text maybe? It seems pretty compact.

Minion Pro:
EB Garamond (Google Fonts):

Thanks, I’m not a fan of EB Garamond. Too wispy for small point sizes.

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Yes, I actually just found this one and love it!!

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Crimson Text is basically a generic “Humanist” font, not unlike Garamond. I’d suggest Arno Pro or Warnock Pro as alternatives in a similar vein.

I do not comprehend. If you have purchased Adobe software that bundles Minion Pro or makes it available via Adobe fonts e.g. Creative Cloud then you have a full license to use the font for either personal or commercial purposes.

So what are you referring to? I find this very strange. And where would you be getting Minion Pro from if not from Adobe Fonts/Creative Cloud?

“The full Adobe Fonts library is cleared for both personal and commercial use.”

Can you elaborate?

I’m working on a project that requires only OFL fonts. That’s as clear as I can make it!

I did settle on Crimson Pro, which is working great.

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Same licencing as any Adobe font.

Re OFL, sorry, does not make any sense given the ability to use Adobe fonts that they grant you. I’ll hush.

I still have a gazillion Adobe fonts from back when they came bundled with various versions of Adobe Creative Suite in the 00s. Plus a few other collections like Adobe Type Basics that I purchased back then. No OFL obviously, but there definitely are legal ways to access Adobe Fonts that aren’t through CC. Minion Pro was always included with the various CC versions so if you got it legally back then, it’s still legal. (That said, I have a CC license now anyway.)

I’m guessing he needs to share with co-workers or publishers that won’t have access to Adobe fonts.

That’s correct, the project itself will be shared and cannot be dependent on any licensed fonts other than OFL.

Exactly what I said, re bundled fonts.

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Sorry, reading comprehension fail on my part. My eyes just skipped to the “e.g. Creative Cloud” line.

Just 'cuz, here’s Minion and some various freebies, roughly scaled to the same width:

Well if you are going the whole OFL hog, why not Gentium from SIL, the creators of the OFL licence? I think it’s a nice font and it has 4200 glyphs covering many many languages, so you’ll never be short for glyphs.


Gentium is very black - like Bravura (which is, of course, SIL licenced!).


Gentium is really useful if you need some really obscure figures; it’s one of the most complete fonts out there, I gather. It has been specifically designed to support multiple languages (and their respective scripts) as well as to include oodles of special characters which are relevant for medieval and linguistic work. It’s a fascinating font, really.

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You can use them in your projects (i. e. create graphics or embed them as text in publications) but that doesn’t include redistribution of the raw font files. So if @dan_kreider were to use a licensed font in his project, he could use it in generated PDFs, but if he shares the Dorico files, every party will have to have their own font license in order to benefit from the font, he can’t bundle and distribute the font with the Dorico files.