Finding the right font style is probably your biggest concern. But considering the legality of the planned font use is equally important. Before you use a font, make sure it comes with a proper license. For retail fonts and other software products this is called an End User License Agreement (EULA). Fonts from questionable free font websites might not even have a license attached. But that doesn’t mean they can be used without limitations. Quite the contrary: Without a proper license, it will be impossible for your to prove your usage rights granted through a license and as such, you can’t be sure to use it for anything.
Once you found the license, read it carefully and check if it supports the intended use or uses. If applicable, consider future uses as well. For example: If you choose a corporate font for a company, you might only need a desktop license for the time being. But if the company might want to offer e-books or apps in the future, getting licenses for these uses might get very expensive. So it’s best to check the costs and limitations in advance and include the findings in the decision making process for the corporate font.
Typical license types are:
- Desktop license. Used for example to create any kind of “static” designs like logos and printed matter.
- Webfont license. The fonts are stored on a web server and delivered with the website to the visitors where the fonts are used locally to render the text on the website.
- App license. The fonts are embedded in an application.
- E-book. The fonts are embedded in an e-book and rendered within an e-book reader when the e-book is shown.
- Server use. The fonts are installed on servers and can be used by many people, for example over the internet.
- OEM licensing. The fonts are distributed with other products, e.g. shipped with computers.
If you want to learn more about font licensing, check out our full online course Font Licensing 101.