Fonts EULA question

manyaldesign's picture

Please correct me if I'm wrong about these statements:

1. embedding fonts in software/games is considered commercial use

2. making a logo for a client is considered personal use

3. embedding in a book/pdf for sale is considered commercial use

are these statements true?

Diner's picture

1) True

2) False - It's being used for a commercial business, it's a commercial use . . . Even if you're not getting paid for the logo (which you likely are if they're a client), a commercial use license is required.

3) True

manyaldesign's picture

Thanks, just wanted to clarify.
I guess it depends on the font designer/foundry then.
Generally speaking, making a logo is considered as commercial use, but some designer/foundry might consider making a logo as personal use.

aluminum's picture

If there's a client involved, it's a commercial endeavor. I can't think of any foundry that would consider logo design work different than any other commercial design work.

John Hudson's picture

Indeed. Insofar as some foundries consider logo design to be different from other types of commercial design work, it is usually considered a premium. Some foundries require special licensing for a font to be used as a substantial part of a corporate identity.

Frode Bo Helland's picture

Also, many foundries require special licensing for embedding fonts in software or PDF-files.

altsan's picture

What about logos and advertising for one's own non-profit organization?

Jackson's picture

What about logos and advertising for one's own non-profit organization?

Are you going to suggest that advertising and branding aren't commercial activities?

aluminum's picture

While some foundries may have exceptions for non-profits, whether an entity is for or non-profit doesn't change the fact that it's a commercial endeavor.

hrant's picture

I'd say the litmus test is: are you making money (directly) thanks to the font? Although each font house does see things differently.

hhp

oldnick's picture

are you making money (directly) thanks to the font?

I can’t think of another reason one would purchase a font license for commercial use, silly me…

charles ellertson's picture

I can’t think of another reason one would purchase a font license for commercial use, silly me…

Uh, thinking you would be making money with a font purchase, but in the end, failing...

quadibloc's picture

Actually, I'd say 1) false, 2) false (since in that question you were asking if it was personal use), 3) false. Because while 1) and 3) are definitely not personal use, they aren't covered by authorization for commercial use either.

If you have a license for commercial use, you can do (2): make a logo for a client for which you get paid.

If you have a license for commercial use that also permits PDF embedding - reasonably common, but not true of all commercial use licenses, you can do (3): embed it in a PDF that you distribute.

If you want to do (1), use the font internally in some software you will distribute, you will have to negotiate a special contract with the font provider in most cases. (I've run across one company that charges $69 for a font and $690 for a license to do this, so there are cases where this type of licensing is routine. I believe the company makes fonts of comic book typefaces.)

hrant's picture

What I meant was that "personal use" is restricted to stuff like buying a font to use on your wedding invitation. Even if some guests give you money for a gift. :-)

hhp

JamesM's picture

I believe that Adobe Acrobat (the application that pros would use to make a PDF in many situations) doesn't permit the embedding of fonts unless that font permits it; that menu option is automatically grayed out.

aluminum's picture

I'd argue pros have long stopped using the frustrating beast of a product called Adobe Acrobat to create their PDFs. ;)

manyaldesign's picture

^lol
if you want to spam, don't name yourself "spam-er'

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