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Fundamentool

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Hi all,

So we've designed a playing card deck which has Typography theme to it. I would like to know if anyone has had a similar experience and can share some advice whether or not we will be running into any legal issues down the track. This is for a Kickstarter campaign which we are planning to launch soon, which means it is for commercial purposes (but will be a one-time print run). Someone has flagged it with us that we may get sued for this (we'd be getting sued by several font owners if that is the case, which we do not want fall victim to!).

What we did:

  • Created font pairings using System Fonts from Windows and Mac operating systems (so no external downloads of fonts was used and we won't be distributing any of these font files either, just the distributing the printed decks if we get funded on Kickstarter).
  • Added the name of the fonts we used for each font pairing (shown at the top and bottom of each card) - see attachment for a photo of the cards.

We did do some prior research to check whether if we can use windows or mac fonts for commercial purposes and it didn't appear there would be any issues

We have even printed the physical mock-ups and created marketing material already, so we'd really be grateful if anyone could shed some light on this, whether it is safe to proceed or ditch and don't risk it.

We see it as a reference deck, so we are merely using different fonts and referencing the fonts we used to create those combinations.

Thank you in advance!

Fundamentool - Typography Playing Cards.png

  • very interesting! 1
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Yes, this is fine. The fonts are there to be used and the license to print the fonts is part of the license of the operating system. 

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20 minutes ago, Ralf Herrmann said:

Yes, this is fine. The fonts are there to be used and the license to print the fonts is part of the license of the operating system. 

Hey @Ralf Herrmann thanks for the quick response! The decks will be printed in USA, would you know if the interpretation of these licenses would be recognised differently around the world? We really just want to be 100% sure that we are protected before we decide to go ahead with this project. Hope you can understand our concerns. 

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Different jurisdictions don’t really matter here, as a license is just a contract with another party, in this case Microsoft and Apple. So, the only thing that matters is what’s in the license agreement. A certain use (e.g. printing) with the fonts is either allowed or it is not. Doesn’t matter in what country that happens. 

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I just checked the licence terms for "Arial" font (attached) - it says we can print, but doesn't mention anything to do with for commercial purposes. If our Kickstarter campaign is successful, this will typography deck will be sold to backers with a commercial value. Do you think for our purpose still gives us the green light to sell a printed product using these system fonts? For us, it feels a bit concerning with that last phrase, would you know for certain by any chance?

Any other use prohibited.jpg

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25 minutes ago, Fundamentool said:

 it says we can print, but doesn't mention anything to do with for commercial purposes.

It’s not mentioned because it is irrelevant in this case. If they would want to limit the usage to non-commercial prints, they would state that explicitly. But since they don’t, every kind of printing is allowed.

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What you're saying does make sense indeed. Since we are new to this, I'm hoping to hear from a few more people before we make a decision on this, if anyone could share similar experiences that would definitely help! Appreciate your input Ralf 👍🙏

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9 hours ago, Fundamentool said:

Created font pairings using System Fonts from Windows and Mac operating systems (so no external downloads of fonts was used

What Ralf said. If you want to be extra-cautious you could double-check that none of the fonts you used were installed by other software outside the operating system (for example Office, Adobe apps, etc.) and, if so, look at those EULAs.

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