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Whatever you do, don't use Trajan: The Movie Font!
Seriously though, use a font or fonts that matches your movie's subject, theme, and feeling. A decent sense of design will guide you.
For free fonts, check out www.dafont.com. There are a lot of terrible fonts there, but there are also some very nice ones. If you want to use some classic tried-and-true fonts, Google for "fonts" and check out Adobe, Monotype, Linotype, ITC and other font foundries. Expect to pay hundreds to thousands of dollars for a particular font family!
I am firmly with Colin on finding something that conveys the "style" of your movie.
I'll usually do the layout in Adobe Illustrator, since it allows for a better "preview" of the fonts, especially with the Glyphs Palette open. I'll then most often take the AI output into Photoshop and create the .PSDs there, using the appropriate preset for a New Image, say NTSC 4:3 720x480 with Guides.
I also have a printout of most of my fonts, but the program that I used, FontMinder, is no longer in production. Adobe bought them, and killed the progam. It was only officially ported up through Win 3.1.1, but did work well through Win2K. My current font management programs do not do such a good (and easy) job of printing out all fonts - I miss old FontMinder... I've got about 200 pages of legal, that showed each font in great detail.
Beware of serifs (just check 'em out closely, if you go with a serif font), and thin lines in the font anywhere.
For body text, that needs to be read and understood, a sans-serif font with good leading used is often the best. You can add design elements, such as "corner treatments" to change the overall look of your Titles, and still keep the font simple and easy to read. For "main" Titles, you can get a lot more creative.
Might want to check out Chank for a lot of "headline" fonts. Most are priced quite well.
In the end, one can never have too many fonts (just not installed at one time!), to choose from. Still, a simple sans-serif will be best for body copy.
Ruud Blauw has posted a link to a couple of articles on getting the most out of Titles for video. I know I have these bookmarked someplace, but cannot find them right now. When I do, I'll post to this thread.
Be creative, but remember that you are designing for video and its limitations.
[Edit] Still looking for Ruud's link, but here are two books that I like regarding Titles:
i Title Design Essentials for Film and Video
by Mary Plummer, Peachpit Press, ISBN 13: 978-0-321-44576-6
i Photoshop for Video
by Richard Harrington, Focal Press, ISBN 978-0-240-80926-7
Look at post #7:
Harm Millaard, "Imported PSD files "jumping" on screen when project is exported" #1, 4 Dec 2008 7:22 am
and follow Ruud's links for better Titles on DVD.
Thanks for the reply guys, lots of useful tips there. The short I'm doing is a horror comedy, quite quirky and lots of colourful visuals. I'm not looking for a font that's too over the top, I just need something does its job and fits in with the rest of the feature. I'm also looking for something that is free, or at least not too expensive. I have made the rest of the video with very little money, but at the same time I have tried to make the video look as professional as possible.
For the type of titles in between shots, I'm looking for something like this:
Its quite a basic font, these are two which I have found so far, but still not entirely sure.
Bell Gothic Std - My fave so far.
Gill Sana Ultra Bold - Alright, but a bit cartoony.
I'm still not sure what to use for credits, I don't want anything too serious.
Edit: I actually think Bell Gothic Std is a little to epic looking, I would like something a little more modest.
Have a look at Lithos Pro. I think that it might split the differences between those two.
For the credits, I'd dispense with "style" of the film, and go for 100% legibility, with good leading.
Obviously, you have a lot more latitude with your main titles.
Check out Chank Diesel's fonts
(http://www.chank.com/freefont_detail.php?sku=1078), as their prices are quite good, and I have yet to encounter any problems with any of them. He also offers several as free fonts, but you'll probably be more interested in his font families. He does a lot of display fonts, that have a great deal of character.
Hi, thanks Bill. I had a look at that one, but I think it is a little too kooky for what I want. Although the short I'm finishing is a little weird, I wanted to the text in between to be fairly simple. I took a screen shot from the trailer and got one of thouse online reginition websites to find something, it found a font that was fairly similar...but not quite. I had a look at the rest of the font family for that particular one, and found one that pretty much hits the nail on the head.
So I might go for that one, shame there is no way to try it though.
Nice font. Buy it.