A Buyers Guide
Things you need to understand
In the past sourcing the correct font license to cover the required usage was relatively straightforward – it was simply based on the number of desktop computers that the fonts were going to be installed on.
The advancement of digital document technology, increasing use of server applications, growing use of web sites, multiple technology platforms, tablet apps & international commerce has led to an increasing complexity in terms of font licensing requirements. This document is designed to explain what information is required in order to select the correct font licensing solution that ensures both compliance & best value.
* Which weights of the font are required – e.g. light, regular, bold, italic etc?
Most fonts come in a variety of different weights, although some fonts do only have a single weight available, the majority have at least 4 weights (typically regular, italic, bold, bold italic).
Some fonts have dozens & dozens of different weights available including light, heavy & ultra etc. as well as extended & condensed character sets, to name a few.
* How many desktop computers will these fonts be installed on?
The majority of typefaces include desktop license as standard, typically covering 5 users (although some fonts are only licensed for a single user as standard).
1 user = 1 desktop computer (PC or Mac) that the fonts will be installed on.
* Will the fonts be installed on any servers (if so on how many cores) or used in any server based applications (if so how many)?
As well as being installed on desktop computers, many fonts these days are also required to be stored on servers to be used by a variety of networked applications – so fonts shared in this way also need to be correctly licensed.
Whoever looks after the server infrastructure will be able to clarify how many cores the server has.
* Will the fonts be used on any web sites (if so how many page views will the web sites have per month or year)?
If fonts are to be used on a web site then a web font license will be required.
Typically web licenses are based on the number of page views that a site gets & is usually charged as an annual fee.
Whoever runs the web site will know the number of page views – if it’s a new web site just being launched then the number of page views should be estimated until an accurate figure can be obtained.
* Will the fonts be used in any ePublications / eBooks (if so how many different publications)
Increasingly specific fonts are required for eBooks, so you need to ensure that any fonts used in ePublications are licensed correctly.
* Will the fonts be used in any Apps (if so how many and what platforms e.g. iOS, Android, etc)?
When fonts are embedded in Smartphone’s or tablet apps then they need to be licensed for each app.
* What language support is required (as standard all fonts will cover Western European character sets – is additional support required e.g. Central European, Cyrillic, Baltic, Turkish, Greek, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Arabic, Hebrew, Indic etc.)?
By default most fonts will have support for Western European (Latin) character sets as standard.
If support is required for other languages then it may be that the font has a version available that supports an extended character set, or otherwise an additional or alternative font with the required language support may be required.
* By default most fonts are supplied in OpenType (.otf) format – is there any other specific font format that is required e.g. TrueType (.ttf) etc?
In the past fonts tended to be available in either TrueType or Postscript format for PC or Mac. Most fonts are now available in OpenType format that allows cross-platform compatibility across both PC & Mac platforms.
* Custom font Solutions.
If you would be interested in having a bespoke font created for your specific requirements, with the benefit of having no licensing restrictions, then we can offer a range of custom font solutions.
Fontware has experience since 1987 as an independent supplier of corporate fonts & licenses – so if your particular requirement isn’t featured above or you have ANY questions then please contact us & we’ll be delighted to discuss your needs in more detail.