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Using fonts

(14 Posts)
Basketofchocolate Wed 11-Nov-15 14:35:50

Does anyone know if I create a document with software on my laptop and use the fonts provided with that software whether I can then print that document and sell it with those fonts? Some are 'not for commercial use' I've seen but can't seem to find a clear answer as the focus seems to be about copying the fonts into software.

I've never come across this before in many years of marketing but then the agency would've have dealt with that. I hadn't thought of it until someone questioned my plans.

Anyone know?

chelseamorning Wed 11-Nov-15 14:49:01

The software and fonts are a tool, and you are using them to create a product to sell. There is no problem with selling your product, especially if it is a physical product which you have printed.

Typefaces/fonts have copyright and so there is an issue with copying them and giving them free to others, sort of like video piracy.

Could you tell me what 'not for commercial use' refers to, and where it appeared?

Basketofchocolate Wed 11-Nov-15 14:54:35

Once someone had pointed it out, found out that some fonts on Microsoft Word are not down as 'free fonts' - so can't find on Google, for example

Basketofchocolate Wed 11-Nov-15 14:58:07

For example, Font Squirrel say that their fonts are 'free for commercial use' but to check individual licences. Not sure if it means for software or print, but your explanation that they are the tool is a good one.

RedToothBrush Wed 11-Nov-15 15:08:55

Not for commercial use, means if you use for business purposes (to print and sell something for example) you are in breech of the usage.

I used to work in printing for many, many years. If we wanted to print something we had to 'own' the font, which meant paying for it. We could not use fonts which are not for commercial use.

They can only be used for something you use at home is the long and short of it.

The reality is, in practice, that you are unlikely to ever be caught if you do use it for commercial purposes. You are stealing someone's artist creation, which they have certain rights to. If you were caught you, could be fined or be liable to share profits of anything you have sold using that font.

I suppose it ultimately depends on how you feel about stealing someone's art and whether you want to take the risk.

chelseamorning Wed 11-Nov-15 15:10:31

I think they mean the fonts are not for sale?? For example, you could sell them on your website? If someone else feels differently then I would love to know too!

In my experience, you create graphics, marketing material etc with fonts you have bought - either from a font designer/company or by buying software with fonts included (Word, Quark, Illustrator) - and then you're good to go. Copyright is only an issue if you want to sell the fonts on to others.

Compare it to buying stock photos. These have no end of restrictions about how they can be used. However, in your case, I feel you're kosher - and wise to query it!

chelseamorning Wed 11-Nov-15 15:15:39

RedToothBrush, I agree with what you are saying. However, if the fonts have been bundled with software you have purchased, then this means you are licensed to use them.

I remember having to give any print suppliers my fonts on a disc to use when printing my jobs. However, they were supposed to delete them from their system when the job had gone to print.

Basketofchocolate, if in doubt, I guess you could contact the company who bundled the fonts with their software? It's an ambiguous phrase.

HortonWho Wed 11-Nov-15 15:16:22

I thought not for commercial use meant you can make money off it - you can print a t shirt with a logo in that font. Similar to photos with creative common license which prohibits you to profit from the image itself (again on a shirt or selling it as a poster, etc) but you can use it to produce an advert for your service or a brochure, for example.

HortonWho Wed 11-Nov-15 15:16:40

Can't make money off it

chelseamorning Wed 11-Nov-15 15:19:06

I guess you could always resolve the issue by buying the font directly from the designer/company too!

RedToothBrush Wed 11-Nov-15 15:47:00

I remember having to give any print suppliers my fonts on a disc to use when printing my jobs. However, they were supposed to delete them from their system when the job had gone to print.

You own the right to print the font. If you get a third party to do the actual printing, you are not breaking the rules.

The one that really annoys me, is charities using a font that is not free to use and then expecting all their branches to purchase the font for their advertising.

There are plenty of free to use fonts out there which are commercially licenced and widely available. Use them or buy the font. That way you don't have any problems.

Re Photos, again you need to properly look at the terms. This is why royalty free photo websites exist to sell images. Again, they are regularly stolen, and it is very hard to prove this even if you are caught doing it.

Basketofchocolate Wed 11-Nov-15 15:56:21

So, if I use a design software that has a font (let's call it Pants) on it so I can use it to design some stationery, if I send the artwork to a printer to print it so I can then sell it, I'm ok......or not ok?

If I want to use the company name as the logo and I use the Pants font for it, am I ok or not..... It has occurred to me that I should something than a widely available font as the logo to avoid it being copied.

HortonWho Wed 11-Nov-15 17:52:18

fonts that are bundled in free with software still come with a license and restrictions. Google yours. If it's Adobe, there's a whole section on it

sminkypink Sat 19-Dec-15 11:35:20

If you want fonts for commercial use, go on DaFont. You can set the search parameters for fonts that are completely free for commercial use.
Basket: its common, when developing logos to take a font and alter it a little, although I do have quite a few clients who have not altered the font they used, at all, but it's not been a free font either.
When you are getting logos printed, change the font to outlines, you then can scale it and the actual font isnt needed by anyone who handles it, including the printers.

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