I needed a font that a client used and it happened to be free. When I went to download it, I was invited to sign up for a newsletter where I receive free fonts weekly. So, I signed up.
I've received about 6-7 free font download offers. Not one of them has been downloaded to my computer -- and then I realized something. The reason we see so many badly designed marketing materials out there, is that everyone is trying to save a buck. Some of them are bad because they use their nephew, or someone who knows photoshop and calls themselves a designer. Others are bad because they are using fonts that are out of date, or not right for the message, just because they are free. Most of these free fonts lacked any kind of sophistication, elegance or contemporary style. They are fonts that no experienced designer would have ever purchased. Now, I'm not saying you can't find good free fonts -- to the contrary, you can -- but a professional would know how and where to find just the right ones.