If you’re looking for free alternatives to DIN, here are 6 of the highest-quality look-alikes and similar fonts.
- D-DIN (closest match)
- Barlow (best overall)
- Golos UI
- Clear Sans (underused alternative)
- Bai Jamjuree (more stylized option)
For each, I’ll mention the advantages, disadvantages, and why you might choose it. Ready? Let’s get started.
The free D-DIN is a fantastic match, though of somewhat limited practical use.
It all boils down to D-DIN only shipping with 2 weights (and one italic weight). That’s open source fonts for ya! Nonetheless, if you need a spot-on match for DIN in nothing but regular and bold, look no further.
DIN shines in uppercase, and it’s worth directly comparing some free alternatives in that setting. Here you can see D-DIN continues to be a fantastic alternative.
What it’s got: 2 weights + 1 italic weight
Get it at: D-DIN at Font Squirrel
The single-weight Gidole at Github was a nice side-project, but is tough to use in the real world.
Hopefully the type designer will flesh this one out a bit. Gidole is a nice DIN-like open source font, but having only a single weight (and no italics) renders it somewhat impractical.
What it’s got: 1 weight, no italics
Get it at: Gidole at Github
The more versatile Barlow at Google Fonts is closest Google Font to DIN, and perhaps the all-around best free alternative.
While the “g” is perhaps a bit too distinctive for my tastes, there’s no real reason why Barlow isn’t the best all-around free alternative to DIN. Plenty of weights, some letterforms even look better than DIN’s (why does DIN have a curved “l”, for instance?). What’s not to love?
In similar fashion, you’ve got to love Barlow’s uppercase “Q”. Once you see it, the vertical tail just makes sense. But: I digress.
What it’s got: 9 weights + italics
Get it at: Barlow at Google Fonts
4. Golos UI
The new Golos UI is a shockingly close alternative to DIN.
The biggest downside is the lack of weights – only 3, and no italics. That being said, if you hear about Golos, it’ll probably be in the context of another feature: it’s uniwidth, meaning each letterform takes up the same width, whether it’s light, normal, or bold. For UI designers, this means you can use bolding to distinguish active elements in a list – and not risk them running onto another line when bold (causing the whole layout to “jump”).
Golos is just as solid a free DIN-alternative for uppercase as it is for lowercase!
What it’s got: 3 weights, no italics
Get it at: Golos UI at Befonts
5. Clear Sans
Less a DIN-lookalike than an interesting alternative, Clear Sans remains completely underused.
No one is going to mistake Clear Sans for DIN, but everyone can understand it’s got the same overall vibe – squared-off, punchy, and technical. Add to this the fact that you’ll basically never see it in the wild, and this makes a quite decent option for a free DIN alternative.
What it’s got: 5 weights + 2 italic weights
Get it at: Clear Sans at Font Squirrel
6. Bai Jamjuree
The Google Font Bai Jamjuree is even more squared-off and technical than DIN.
This one is a bit like DIN, but with the brand amped up until it feels like it almost belongs in a video game. Nonetheless, for being a very high-quality Google Font, you’ll almost never see this one in the wild. This is one I recommend to all my students.
What it’s got: 6 weights + italics
Get it at: Bai Jamjuree at Google Fonts
Other DIN Alternatives
If you’re looking to branch out from DIN, it’s worth checking out some of the other alternatives in this guide. For instance, the Futura alternatives also have a punchy uppercase, and work in many of the same contexts as DIN. Likewise, the Helvetica alternatives are clean, simple, and neutral.
One Final Note 😎
If this is your first time here, you might also be interested in:
- Learn UI Design, my full-length online video course on user interface design
- The Design Newsletter, a 40,000+ person newsletter with original design articles aimed at giving you tactical advice to improve your UX/UI skills.
Some people have some really nice stuff to say about the newsletter.
A joy to read! Please post me when you will have published a novel. Your writing style is marvelous!
I just wanted to say that this was a GREAT and really helpful email, I learned so much and got so many ideas I hadn't considered before. I read a ton of UX related articles daily but this was something different and new that I can apply to my work right away. Thanks a lot!
UX/Product Designer, Freelance
The Design Newsletter
Over 40,000 subscribed.
No spam. Unsubscribe anytime.