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What is the Chicago font?

This Apple system font was designed as a bitmap by Susan Kare, and used for menus and buttons throughout the operating system — a large part of the Mac’s cute appeal. (The friendly icons were also designed by Kare.) More recently the Chicago design was made into a scalable TrueType font by the Bigelow and Holmes studio, but at small sizes on screen the new font is identical to Kare’s.
For Mac OS 8, Apple decided to discard this wonderful part of their brand’s identity, and commissioned David Berlow of the Font Bureau to design Charcoal.

Chicago Font families

The Chicago includes the following font families:

  • Chicago

Chicago Preview

Here is a preview of how Chicago will look. For more previews using your own text as an example, click here.

You're probably thinking - Is Chicago available to Download for free?

The short answer is no. Chicago is definitely not available as a free download font. This is a premium font which mean that you will have to pay to download and use it in your project. We showcase fonts on SharedFonts that are almost all premium fonts. Feel free to waste valuable hours of your time searching for a free download of Chicago, but take it from me, you will not be successful in your quest. Just think how much time and effort you will save if you just pay for Chicago and be done with it.

It is always best to pay for a premium font rather than trying to find an illegal download. The benefits of paying for Chicago is that you get the license to use it leagally. If you're using an illegal version of Chicago and you get caught, you or your client could get into some trouble legally with the publisher of Chicago. Also it is highly unlikely that you'll be able to find Chicago for free. Doing various searches on Google such as "Free Chicago Download" you will see a lot of websites that will say "Free Download" but these are just attempts to get you to click on a link which will either take you to an ad landing page or you risk getting viruses on your computer. In the rare occasion that you do find a free download for Chicago remember that it's illegal to use a font if you didn't pay for it!

If you really want Chicago and you want to truly own it the legal and safe way, then click here to visit the download and purchase page on Here you will be able to obtain the proper license. The designer and publisher deserves to be paid for their work, as they have put in the hours and the creativity to produce such an amazing font. Good luck with your purchase and future use of this font. :)