Fonts and fairness

Some notes about licences and typeface font files.

The facts about font licensing

Unlike digital products such as music or movie files which are an end unto themselves, digital fonts are software programs that lead to an end. They are tools that allow you to make information accessible and visually effective, and also generate revenue for you, your business partners and clients. Type families are the result of hundreds of hours of work over months – often over years – until thousands of glyphs in several weights and styles have been developed into a useful, creative tool. Due to their ubiquitousness, they are often taken for granted, and so users often lack sufficient licensing for the fonts they're using.

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Five basic rules for buying fonts

Although most people speak of "buying fonts," you are actually purchasing a license to use them. The instantiation of the design in a digital font remains the property of the foundry or designer. Usually, the permissions and restrictions described in the End User License Agreement (EULA) must be accepted before purchasing and downloading the font file(s). It is safe to say that most font EULAs are similar to each other, but often differ in specific points, so it's always wise to familiarize yourself with the licenses for your fonts. Here are five basic rules to be aware of when using fonts.

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