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Font License

Supriya Bisht avatar
Written by Supriya Bisht
Updated over a week ago

What is a font license? Do you need one? Do you need a license for a font that you’re not using commercially? This article provides straightforward answers to the most common user questions about font licensing and the licenses included with Monotype Fonts subscriptions.

What is a font license and why do I need it?

A font license (also known as a EULA or end-user license agreement) is a legally binding document authorizing you to use font software under pre-defined conditions.

You need to secure the proper font licenses for the fonts that you are using or planning to use because:

  • Typeface designs (and the font software that generates those designs) are entitled to intellectual property protection.

  • Each font is a piece of software that needs to be appropriately licensed.

  • Fonts are painstakingly hand-drawn by artists over months (or even years), and artists deserve to be paid for their hard work.

  • Paying for fonts ensures that artists can create more.

  • Sooner or later, misusing creative assets like fonts will give rise to a legal claim.

What are the most common font licenses?

The most common font licenses include:

  • Desktop licenses: For use in print/static image formats

  • Web content licenses: For use on websites

  • Embedded licenses: For distribution with physical products like medical devices, cars, and software programs

  • Mobile app licenses: For use in phone/tablet apps

  • ePub licenses: For use in electronic commercial publications

  • Server licenses: For web or cloud-based services and SaaS use cases

  • Digital marketing communications: For use in digital ads or emails

What is a production font?

A production font is a font that is utilized for a purpose described by a license that you hold for the font. For example, this could be a font that is utilized under a desktop license, on a web page, or within a software application.

A subscription to Monotype Fonts gives your users access to our full library of fonts, for prototyping purposes. Once content containing the font moves beyond the prototyping phase and is deployed in one of the use cases described above, the fonts used will count as production fonts.

Keeping track of which fonts are licensed for which use cases can be complex and difficult to manage, especially when your existing inventory includes fonts from different foundries, with different license types and terms. Monotype Fonts simplifies the process through its standard subscription model that applies to all fonts in Monotype’s library, regardless of whether the font is owned by Monotype or one of our Foundry partners.

What are seats, ad impressions, and page views?

Monotype Fonts plans are designed to ensure that you only need to pay for the fonts you need. These needs are simplified in terms of seats, ad impressions, and page views:

  • Seats: Also known as “users,” this is the number of team members who can access Monotype Fonts’ library of over 150,000 fonts.

  • Monthly ad impressions: If you’re planning to use the fonts for HTML5 digital ads or emails, this is the maximum number of times that ads/emails containing the font can show up on a recipient’s screens.

  • Monthly page views: If you’re planning to use the fonts for a website, this is the maximum number of times the page(s) containing the font can load on the recipients’ devices.

What are swappable fonts?

If your Monotype Fonts plan includes swappable fonts, it means you can swap out your commercial production fonts once per calendar quarter.

How do I decide which subscription plan to choose?

Purchasing a subscription plan that suits your current needs is one thing, but it helps to think ahead. You should also account for the licensing changes that might be necessary as your scope of use and distribution for a given font increases.

If you’re still unsure, you can reach out to us; we’ll be more than happy to help you identify the right plan for your needs.

For details on Monotype Fonts plans, refer to Font Subscription Plans | Monotype Fonts.

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