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I need a websafe alternative to DIN font. It needs to be free for commercial use. Anyone know of a good one?

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up vote 15 down vote accepted

The situation has changed since this question was first asked in 2012.

There is now an OFL-licensed, completely version of DIN called Alte DIN.

This is legal because DIN 1451 is a product of the German government and is so in the public domain, only the individual interpretations of it by various font foundries are protected and copyrighted. Thankfully Peter Weigel traced it for us! :)

Original answer:

I don't know how close you need to come to the DIN typeface, but I found a couple possibles on Google Web Fonts. Using the letters aGgQqlJ to narrow down the letter shape matches, I found:

Wire One -

The lowercase letter shapes are quite similar. The overall font is a bit more more condensed than DIN and some of the capital letter shapes are different.

Abel -

Also, not an exact match but the feel is quite similar.

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None of these come close. – Clarus Dignus Jan 26 at 16:29

Here's a bolder version inspired by DIN:


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Cabin is a pretty good free alternative to DIN. Well, it may be fairly different in design but bear with me - sometimes it can feel as if it is similar:


DIN 1451



Dosis is a pretty good free alternative to FF DIN Round if you were interested in a rounded version.

Also, League Gothic could be a decent alternative to DIN Engschrift (ie DIN "compressed") though it has slightly less of a "German" feel to it.

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Nice! Thanks a lot! – Django Reinhardt Dec 21 '12 at 2:26
I'm so sad that these nice fonts like Cabin do not support Hungarian language. (DIN has a CE version which includes Hungarian accented characters) – szajmon Feb 16 '14 at 17:39
Dosis is an excellent match. The "v" of the "M" is a little higher in Dosis but otherwise a very decent alternative and superior to all the other answers thus far. This should be selected as the correct answer. – Clarus Dignus Jan 26 at 16:33
The middle leg of "E" is shorter in Dosis too however the variation of the M and E combined with the subtle roundedness of Dosis makes for one of the rare cases where font substitution is an improvement on the original. Lowercase matches very decently too. – Clarus Dignus Jan 26 at 16:49

Try Gesta from Typekit. I's very similar.

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Not really. Many stylistic nuances that differ. Dosis is a much better recommendation. – Clarus Dignus Jan 26 at 16:54

Titillium Web is also a free alternative:

DIN Next from Linotype would be the commercial version with webfonts available:

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Titillium Web is nowhere close when dealing in uppercase. – Clarus Dignus Jan 26 at 16:58

I like Gesta as a stand-in for DIN. It's not actually all that similar (Gesta is more stylized) but the x-height and overall mood seem to match very well.
(webfont on Typekit)

John's suggestion of Abel seems good, too. I haven't compared the fonts very closely, but it's got a DIN feel to it at non-display text sizes with a character width sitting somewhere between Engschrift and Mittelschrift.
(webfont on Google Web Fonts)

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TRY roboto .It looks almost like DIN and it comes in so many styles . Its feels really premium.

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As good and increasingly popular Roboto is, Dosis is still superior in terms of Google fonts. – Clarus Dignus Jan 26 at 17:02

"Oswald" font is a pretty good alternative. It's a google web font, so it's the best possibility for websites ;-)

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Do you mind posting a screenshot and link? – Darth_Vader Nov 10 '14 at 16:53

I have used Babel Sans as an alternative to DIN:

Although it is bit thin.

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Babel Sans is pretty much Arial Narrow, with a few modified figures. – user22869 Apr 29 '14 at 21:52
The right leg on "R" is a but too stylistic and the "v" of the "M" is too low. By far, not the worst of the matches suggested to this question however. – Clarus Dignus Jan 26 at 17:00

protected by Darth_Vader Nov 10 '14 at 16:53

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