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If I provide a template sheet, could someone make a font?

Discussion in 'Font Forum:' started by Armchair Ace, May 30, 2011.

  1. Armchair Ace

    Armchair Ace New Member

    I suppose begging isn't the best way to introduce yourself to a community, but oh, well, here goes.

    I've come across a US Military font (Mil-Spec 33558) that's *just* the font we need for a project involving the Open-Source flight sim, FlightGear. (We're developing an aircraft model, and the font is *THE* font for this part of the aircraft (text on most of the displays in the cockpit, in fact).

    So, that's all well and good, but we've hit a snag. The font (MS33558) is available already as a font, but it's licence forbids us from using it in the way we want to (by including the .ttf in the file we intend to contribute to the project). This sort-of scuppered things until I found a handy template sheet made by the helpful people in the DoD back in 1968. The template sheet basically shows you all the letters in the font (1-9 and capital letters from A-Z, no small letters or punctuation).

    If I sent someone with a copy of, say, Fontographer, would they be willing to make a font for us? (by copying and pasting the letters of the sheet).

    I hope you don't mind this perhaps unusual request...

    PS - I'm still in the process of restoring the template sheet - it's a 2000*3000 pixel .GIF, but it's scanned from a FAX sent in 1990, so it's a bit grainy. The restoration process is going well so far. :)

    PPS - The typeface and template sheet are both Public Domain since they're works of employees of the US Gov't, just in case that's a concern.

    PPPS - For reference: Download link to the (grainy, low-quality) template sheet : http://www.everyspec.com/MS+Specs/MS3/MS33000-MS33999/download.php?spec=MS33558C.013545.PDF

    DON'T use this version, I'll send you a restored version when it's ready in a couple of days. :)

    ~Tom
     
  2. Armchair Ace

    Armchair Ace New Member

    ^ The above should read "If I sent someone with a copy of, say, Fontographer a copy of the template sheet, would they be willing to make a font for us?
     
  3. Stationery Direct

    Stationery Direct Administrator Staff Member

    That would be copyright infringement would it not?
     
  4. dedwardp

    dedwardp Member

    Yeah, I imagine if the font has licensing restrictions, to simply copy it wouldn't be a legal way around it?
     
  5. Armchair Ace

    Armchair Ace New Member

    Well, that's the clincher - the font itself, or rather, the typeface, is in the public domain as it's a work of an employee of the US Government. The thing that's copyrighted, as it were, is the electronic file that makes the font.

    So you can make a font with comparative immunity, as long as it's made from scratch using the template sheet (which I still haven't finished restoring - argh!)

    ~Tom
     
  6. Ian Ellery

    Ian Ellery Member

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