Font Licensing and Usage Rules

by jfjudah

So your project needed a typeface and you put in the hard work to nab a good one. You made the purchase for your company and now it’s up to you to track your licenses and who is using them, so let’s go over a few scenarios.

Scenario 1: You Outsource Work

You bought the license so it’s yours, but any designer, writer, editor, and printer is also covered while they are on the project. Just give them the font files they’ll need and do whatever it takes to encourage their creative mojo. When they’ve completed the project they either have to get rid of the font files or buy a license themselves if they like it. It’s perfectly legit to ask them what they’ve decided to do so you’ve covered your bases.

Scenario 2: You Use an In-house Team

The number of licenses purchased should cover everyone needing to use the typeface. Boom. Done. Easy.

Scenario 3: You’re a Solo Designer Using Other Company’s Typefaces

Same as the first scenario. You’re covered for the duration of the project, but you have to make a decision once you turn over the finished product. Good buy or goodbye?

Consider trying what I’ve done in a few situations. I of course would not recommend a poor choice to my clients, but only something that I would be impressed with if I were running their business. To show them I am willing to put my skills, my reputation, myself on the line for them, I will sometimes add myself as one of the license holders. If it’s not good enough for me to have, it’s not good enough for them. This is included in the contract and it turns out to be a win–win situation. We both get a top-notch typeface out of the process and the branding success of one is tied to the successfulness of the other.

Each type purchase will come with usage guidelines, so check their EULA. The bottom line in every scenario is that the font must either be purchased or deleted by the end of the project. Kudos to you for knowing this and keeping the process simple with your clients.