Custom Font Licenses for Colleges

Diner's picture

I was recently approached by the design department of a college to generate a custom quote for them for some fonts they'd like to use for thier department and while it's a nice opportunity, it seems also riddled with problems.

Here are some questions that came to mind:

How many computers do they wish to put the fonts on?
How many students enroll annually in your program?
Will the students have access to the font files for use outside of school?
How many years do they intend to use the fonts on your computers?

Knowing that piracy is so rampant on college campuses, how can I willingly quote this knowing that my faces will be vulnurable to piracy?

Any suggestions?

hrant's picture

Dude, would you rather make some money, get exposure, and generate positive word-of-mouth, or would you prefer to sit by the fireplace with the sole copy of your precious design? Don't let your anger against piracy (which is a *certainty*, btw, and really only a matter of degrees, in college or wherever) cripple your productivity. Enough people are making that mistake already these days.

Depending mostly on how much money they have and what size family they want, quote them somewhere between 2000 to 5000 US$, do it, and move on. If they want exclusivity, add anywhere between 50% to 100% to the price, depending on the duration.


Jared Benson's picture

Stuart, before giving them a quote, how about asking the university what mechanisms they have in place to prevent font piracy among students?

hrant's picture

Nice. Just add a "baa" sound!

BTW, Stuart, I might have misunderstood you:
Does the school want a custom font (what I thought), or a site license for some of your retail fonts, or what?


Stephen Coles's picture

That rules, Joe.

Diner's picture

The school wants a site license for several of my retail fonts. I found out a few more details since my original post:

These would be loaded on 22 computers (PCs) and would be used for a maximum of three courses a year at a maximum of 22 students/class. (Typically only 2 of the 3 courses get enough enrollment to "go". Typically, there are about 10 students in each course.) The fonts would not be made available to students for use outside of school. The fonts would probably be retired in three years along with the computers.

I like many of the suggestions presented here. Overall, it's nice to understand the different directions I can take knowing where the fonts will end up before the license is created.

Stuart :D

Joe Pemberton's picture


You'll be introducing your fonts to a bunch of students.

You'll be introducing your fonts to a bunch of students.

Some of them may copy them (likely will copy
them.) Some of them will remember your work later
when they're professionals, when it really

Along with technical methods to prevent piracy,
what does the University do to teach students
about the ethics and effects of font piracy? I
think this has the potential to be more
effective in the long run.

Joe Pemberton's picture

A sneak peek at our upcoming banner campaign:

application/x-shockwave-flashtypophile public service announcement
psa_sheep.swf (2 k)

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