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Tracing a Font?

What are your thoughts about tracing or redrawing fonts? I know it's unethical, and maybe ilegal some times, but what about when you don't have the budget to buy a font family, but would like to use it on your projects? And by tracing, I mean doing the curves from zero, using the font as a guide, then using the vector shapes to "set" the type.

It happened to me when I worked on a little shop where the projects had a very little budget. We focused on poster design, and surprisingly, each poster design costed about what a regular font costs. We loved Helvetica, but obviously didn't have the money to buy it, so one time we thought about drawing all the characteres and setting each one of them manually in our projects. We didn't, and instead, focused on using free or really cheap fonts...