If you want to use custom fonts with Cloudinary, you need to upload them as authenticated assets.

While you can use Cloudinary Node SDK to upload custom fonts (or one of the other SDKs), it’s sometime more convenient to use the Media Library UI to drag and drop fonts. However, it’s not immediately clear how to upload fonts as authenticated assets.

In this post, we’ll look at how to configure the Media Library to upload font files as authenticated assets so we can use them with text overlays.

Create an upload preset

In your Cloudinary console, create a new upload preset by visiting https://cloudinary.com/console/lui/upload_presets/new — you can navigate to this page by clicking the gear in the top-right, then the “upload” tab, and scrolling down near the bottom and clicking the link that says, “Add upload preset”.

You’ll see the following screen:

Cloudinary app UI for adding an upload preset.

The Cloudinary screen for adding upload presets.

On this page, we need to:

  1. Give the preset a name — I recommend using something obvious, like “custom_font_upload_preset”
  2. Choose “Authenticated” from the “Delivery type” dropdown
  3. Click “Save” at the top-right of the page

Use the upload preset for raw files in the media library

Now that we have a preset, we need to tell Cloudinary to use it for “raw” files, which is any file that’s not an image or video.

Head to https://cloudinary.com/console/settings/upload — or click the gear, then the “Upload” tab — and scroll all the way to the bottom to find the “Media library’s upload presets”.

Under “Raw”, choose the upload preset you just created.

Click “Save” at the bottom of the page.

Cloudinary settings screen for choosing upload presets.

The Cloudinary settings screen for choosing upload presets.

Upload a custom font using the media library

Now that the preset is enabled, we can test it out by uploading a custom font. We’re going to use the delightful Snowballs font from Stereo Type.

NOTE: Make sure you have the appropriate licenses for any fonts you upload!

Drag the TTF file onto the media library at https://cloudinary.com/console/media_library — once it’s finished, we’ll see it show up in our list of assets.

Heads up! Depending on your settings, you may see the font uploaded with a random string instead of the font name — if this happens, you can click on the font and edit the name in the right-hand sidebar that appears.

Custom font displayed in Cloudinary’s media library.

A custom font displayed in Cloudinary’s media library.

We know that our upload preset is working because the font has a lock in the bottom-right corner, which means that it’s an authenticated upload — this means that there’s no public access to the font, which is necessary to avoid violating the terms of most font licenses.

Use the custom font in a text overlay

Once our custom font is uploaded, we can use it by adding its public ID as the font name in a text overlay transformation.

Using an image from our own media library, we can add the text overlay like so:


The URL above will display this image with a text overlay using our custom font!

A corgi with the text “Let it snow!” overlaid.

The Cloudinary screen for adding upload presets.

What to do next

For next steps: