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Reusing old blackletter type specimens / legal implications

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Zoe Anspach's picture
Joined: 10 Mar 2017 - 5:20am
Reusing old blackletter type specimens / legal implications

Does anyone know the legal implications of redrawing and potentially digitising elements of an old blackletter font found in a type specimen book? I have found an alphabet I would like to use elements of for a logo design. The specimen is from an alphabet from 1579 in Lewis F. Day's book 'Alphabet's old and New' published in 1910 - the only details I can find about the alphabet is that it was Flemish and was taken from a rubbing of a memorial inscription. But in general what are the rules about redrawing/digitising potentially out of copyright non digitised alphabets? I am not looking to create a digital font file and sell it I just want to use elements of the font for a logo. Any advice or feedback on this comment would be greatly received!

George Thomas's picture
Joined: 24 Apr 2000 - 7:46pm

Given its age, you should be just fine -- even if you wanted to make a font from it. Bear in mind, I am not a lawyer. :-)

dl's picture
Joined: 3 Aug 2007 - 8:27am

It's beautiful! I agree with George that it's age would seemingly make it public domain. If you want to be sure, this copyright lawyer spoke at our AIGA meeting and she was very helpful: http://www.ogdenglazer.com/

Andreas Stiftung's picture
Joined: 6 Apr 2017 - 12:10pm

I can see no reason whatsoever to refrain.