Lights, camera, action! — here’s 76 Free movie typefaces with the glitter and glamour of Hollywood from popular films both past and present…
My personal end credit favorites aside from the traditional Arial, Arial Black or Arial Narrow is use of Eurostile or Avenir typefaces. Of course these look techie or even futuristic, so stick with the tried and true fonts. Remember… just because it looks good on paper doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll look good on the big or small screen!
Per BRussell from Creative Cow…
…you can still work up plenty of exciting designs around simple fonts.
If your work is going to be final output and not color corrected by anybody, then you should observe a few rules. Set your working color space to HDTV (709, found in “Project Settings”, which is also a good profile for projected film). Don’t let your white letters be totally white!! They can do weird things (like vibrate, and on TVs can even cause an audible buzz). Use an almost white, around 90% (or 95% if you want really white) white. Same with any color, don’t let it’s brightness reach a full 100% — bring it down to between 90-95%.
If white is to be seen over a large area, like a white background instead of a black background, or a large dominant shape is white, then bring it all the way down to around 75%. Yes, indeed, the big “white” bar on NTSC color bars is actually only 75%! 75% looks slightly gray on a computer screen, but quite pleasing (not blaring) on a video or film screen, when it is the dominant color.
Back to styles. If you want fancier font styles — especially fonts that have custom “textures” or “roughness”, I find these fancy fonts can fool you. They look best in print or on a computer screen, but really jagged and messy when projected or on a video screen. So go for the font style you want then “pull back” by choosing the more conservative of options — ie, fewer curlies, smoother details, etc. A little goes a long way with fonts. You can get away with more in HD. But if you are in standard def, then best to go very conservative.
Interlacing as well as the just low resolution of SD demands sufficient smoothness. For that matter, in both HD and SD, people think sharpness is the key, but really its smoothness. Even softening things very slightly can do wonders for a good steady clear result, and for getting rid of artifacts such as crawl or moire.
Don’t forget title safe area! After Effects has a safe area guide box — all video applications do — the outer box is picture safe, which is the total area that will be visible on most televisions, SD or HD; the inner box is title safe, you don’t want to go beyond this. In fact, broadcast quality checks will reject video masters if text goes outside of title safe. Your layout may look great on a computer monitor, but then you’ll go to screen for an audience and shed tears when all your text is cut off at the sides and bottom. Some DLP projectors can be set to show every pixel, but is rare and not to be counted on. It’s a tricky world now — you gotta make the whole picture “safe”, but still be “within safe”. Rather Zen, huh?