20Oct 2017

Basics Of Font Licensing Every Designer Should Know

A font license gives the authority to the owner of the license to use the typeface in his own manner as mentioned in the license. Every typeface available comes with a license, even those which are available for free like Canaro. Fonts are basically computer software and like other software you are not supposed to install it without a license. Fonts, typefaces and designs are often protected by copyrights, patents and trademarks and thus makes very important to grab a font license which will ensure that you are compensated for your original work. There are various types of font license which you can purchase as a designer.

It is a basic and standard font license that relates with most of the typefaces that is pre installed in your computer or any other software you install. This license grants you with a right to use the font present in your computer and use it to design something to print or create static images.

  • Web Font License

The font which is used on the internet is called as webfont. These are the dynamic fonts and both the creator and the user must have to font to see it properly. These fonts are formatted so that the browser is able to see it properly and furnish it.

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  • Open Source Licensing

As per the choice, open source fonts are at the top of the list of the digital designers, as these fonts are free to obtain, share and use. Open source fonts are available with standard Open Font License (OFL), which is created by the SIL International, which is an international language expert. OFL is a free, open source license and there are various advantages of it such as it can be modified and distributed, but one of the major rules is that you cannot sell it.

  • Commercial License

Commercial use of any type of typeface should be handled with care and even if the typeface says it is available for free it maybe not always free to use for commercial purposes. Most common example is, while working on a project for a client, the designers used the fonts which are licensed by their company and this include the typefaces that are used in the company logo and those used in the company’s style guide. Here the designers need to be careful that they cannot use these fonts unless the other clients have the license for them.

As a designer we all need font license. The type of license which you need depends on the type of work you are doing. While working on a personal project on your own computer simply desktop license is enough for whatever you do on your computer. While working for a client or someone else it is advised to work with the fonts for which your client has licensed for. You should be careful while working on commercial projects as these projects sometimes requires extended licensing, even if they are free sometimes they require payments for commercial use.

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Rajeesh PK

Rajeesh PK

Rajeesh P.K. is the Director and Creative Head at Acodez . With an experience of 10+ years in UX Design & User Interface Design, when coupled with his expert coding skills in HTML5, CSS3 and Javascript, makes him one of the top UX Architects in India, with more than 15 international awards to his credit.

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