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Typography for Logos and Commercial Rights

Discussion in 'Font Forum:' started by dasikins, Mar 17, 2013.

  1. dasikins

    dasikins Member

    For those that design logos either freelance or a design firm, do you purchase the commercial rights for the fonts? Technically, the user end agreement states we need to if the font is going to be used for commercial purposes. Any logo, print, web ect will be used for marketing or commercial endeavors whether the client 'advertises' or not.
    I contacted the major font databases in the US anyway and the issue was a grey line. Basically, since I am creating stuff for small businesses with limited marketing (think family members who employee themselves) a commercial right is not necessary. Still leave me confused.
    I know a lot of firms and designers create their own typography, but do you do that every single time?
    Plus there are the rules of changing a purchased font, which only muddy matters. You can present 'outlines' to print and not break the rule, but then the print companies say outlines will not be as good.
    What have you come across in your practices? If you want to see what others answered I will include the link, but didn't think it was appropriate to add a link to another design forum I used back in the day :)
     
  2. The Simulator

    The Simulator Active Member

    Not something that I've really ever considered. Being such a small fish in a very large ocean I'm not going to worry myself too much.
    A lot of the fonts I use are free fonts that are fine to use in commercial projects.
     
  3. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    I can't say I do that much with fonts but personally I'd add the cost on/in to my bill if I needed to purchase a font specifically for a project. I would tell the client this at the start though so it's not unexpected. Actually thinking about it, some might prevent the transfer of the font license so it might be best to get them to buy it instead, I've done this with stock imagery in the past due to the non transferable license - also saves you needing to pay out before they pay you in full :).
    Having said that I'd try for a free font first :)
     
  4. dasikins

    dasikins Member

    Oh yes Levi, I forgot about the damn stock photography! Font licenses act in the same way. There is no good information about licensing practices out there. I remember looking for this answer a year or so ago and after scouring the web I came up with nothing.
    Even after talking to the companies they were not helpful with the legalities.
     
  5. dasikins

    dasikins Member

    Yah, this is what I was told before. BUT, what if that amazing design you did for that small company grew? They grew so big they were advertising on TV and then the font you used was not purchased commercially? I am sure no one would notice, but I am already a noob, any credibility I would have with cliental would be ruined if it became an issue.
    IDK where everyone is from, but I think this is mainly an issue in the US. Our copyright and patent laws are a little screwy...amongst other things. Eh hum, health care :)
     
  6. JamesRobinson

    JamesRobinson New Member

    I thought about this too, as some of my work for uni has used typefaces that I don't own the license for. However if i was to commercially design, i'd just go by the general rule that if its on linotype then I'd only use it if i have the license.
     
  7. dasikins

    dasikins Member

    So your saying you would only use a purchased font if you had a commercial license rather than the regular license?
    I know it's hard to say what commercial is, but it seems like as long as a business is using it (other than internal) it would be commercial.
    I'm so confused.
     
  8. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    a little.... understatement of the year lol
     
  9. JamesRobinson

    JamesRobinson New Member

    For example.
    There are many ways to get typefaces that are genuine, ITC Johnston, univers etc, without paying. I would only use one of these typefaces commercially if i had a commercial license.

    However
    There are typefaces out there are always variants (some are plain knockoffs) like Jonathan Paterson's London Tube designed in 1994, which comes with commercial license and is free.
    This is just an example. I think its good practise to get into the habit of using fonts commercially only if you have the right to. You always here the apparent 'everyone downloads music illegally and no one gets caught', but someone somewhere has, and they're paying the consequences.
     
  10. Squiddy

    Squiddy Guest

    You can find plenty of free fonts on the internet, many of which come with free commercial licenses. This is what The Simulator was referring to, so even if the client did make it, there wouldn't be an issue because you/the client would have a commercial license for the free font.
    It's when you use a font without a commercial license that you'll get into trouble. Commercial would refer to anything that is used in the endeavour of producing revenue or in any type of business sense. For example, a not for profit would still be acting as a business, with goals and aims. In terms of law suits, it would also be about how much money that company/organisation is sitting on. If you are a hobbyist knitter with a simple knitting website that uses a font illegally, it's not going to be worth it for anyone to pursue that. However, if it's a huge company using a font illegally, well, there's a bigger chance of someone going after that because they know they can potentially make a lot of money out of it!
     
  11. dasikins

    dasikins Member

    Yah I know there are good free fonts that I can use commercially and I do use them. And I have never purchased a font without understanding the EULA. I won't purchase anything I can not use commercially.
    However, at least in the US. the foundries that are really great typically require a commercial license. Free fonts, in my opinion, are usually not very good. Not all, but a good majority. So my options are:
    1) Use a free commercial font and ensure the EULA allows us to manipulate them (again some do not)
    2) Purchase a commercial license and go bankrupt, because they are might expensive
    3) Create my own font
    4) Search to purchase a font that I need and then read the EULA in hopes I can use it commercially
    None of these are great. It takes time to find the font let alone to read the EULA which are all different and never straight forward. Oh well, such is life :) I asked this question else where and I got 12 different responses lol....looks like everyone is confused!
     
  12. Squiddy

    Squiddy Guest

    There are other options. I assume you want these fonts for web use. You can use some sites like fonts.com and pay a monthly subscription and get access to a huge number of fonts. They even have a developer account where you can host fonts on your website for demonstration and testing purposes! I haven't looked into it all that much, although I do have a developer account with them, I don't remember how it all works but it's another option to consider.
     
    dasikins likes this.
  13. dasikins

    dasikins Member

    Ugh I hate this! I thought I understood everything, but I don't think as designers we understand this concept very well. I use Macs, people across the world use Macs, so using a Mac font for logos, web design, ect will be the same across the diverse seas. I would think, but who knows :)
    Anyhoo, you can't use fonts provided by Apple for commercial usage (logos, ect). Well, some you can but you literally have to go through each and every font they provided. WTF. Am I reading this wrong? I have book marked 5 threads stating the same thing.
    https://discussions.apple.com/message/16898528#16898528
    Previewing the font info (as mentioned in these threads) is useless. It looks like this, but again, I am hopeful I might be wrong when interpreting this info :) For example, Zapfinos' information is provided below. Of course it's not copyrighted because you can't copy right type (at least in the US.) Ugh so confused! Help :)



    PostScript name Zapfino
    Full name Zapfino
    Family Zapfino
    Style Regular
    Kind TrueType
    Language Albanian, Basque, Catalan, Cornish, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Esperanto, Estonian, Faroese, Finnish, French, Galician, German, Hawaiian, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Irish, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Malay, Maltese, Manx, Norwegian Bokmål, Norwegian Nynorsk, Oromo, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Slovenian, Somali, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Turkish, Welsh
    Version 6.0d2e1
    Location /Library/Fonts/Zapfino.dfont
    Unique name Zapfino; 6.0d2e1; 2006-07-19
    Designer Hermann Zapf
    Copyright Copyright (c) 1999-2002, Linotype Library GmbH & affiliates. All rights reserved.
    Trademark Linotype Zapfino is a Trademark of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG, which may be registered in certain jurisdictions, exclusively licensed through Linotype Library GmbH, a wholly owned subsidiary of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG.
    Description Today's digital font technology has allowed renowned type designer Hermann Zapf to realise a dream he first had more than fifty years ago: to create a fully calligraphic typeface.
    Enabled Yes
    Duplicate No
    Copy protected No
    Embeddable Yes
     

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