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Wondering about commercial use fonts.

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Stephen PickeringWondering about commercial use fonts.
by on Mar 28, 2014 at 9:44:05 pm

This might be a NOOB question...

What do I look for when downloading fonts for commercial use? I'm really only interested in free fonts at the moment. Some clearly say "Free for Personal use" while others have licenses for different applications, for example: Desktop Use, Web Use, Server Use, eBook Use, etc.

As a side-note, even a video for a public school promoting a free event or program would be considered "commercial use", right?


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Mark SuszkoRe: Wondering about commercial use fonts.
by on Mar 28, 2014 at 9:57:24 pm

Technically, yes, because the school is also a business.

You're on the right track if you look for "licensed" fonts. Veer is always annoying me with new fonts for sale; you might check them out.

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Stephen PickeringRe: Wondering about commercial use fonts.
by on Mar 28, 2014 at 10:44:21 pm

Thanks Mark, that's what I thought about the school.

So, is there a specific licenses I am looking for? It would of course be installed on only 1 system (on the edit system) but would be used in an end product available both online and closed circuit TV. Is there such a thing as "Broadcast Use" or such? I'm probably overthinking this but just want to play it squeaky clean.

Thanks again Mark,

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Stephen SmithRe: Wondering about commercial use fonts.
by on Apr 1, 2014 at 6:29:34 pm

There are lots of great Free font sites. Check out Google Fonts, they are free for commercial use:

Another site that has already done the licensing leg work for you is Font Squirrel, their licensee is easy to understand:

I could list about 30 other sites, my point is...there are lots of great free font sites that have made the licensing very easy so you don't need to worry about it. Hope this helps and best of luck.

Stephen Smith

Utah Video Productions

Check out my Vimeo page

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Todd TerryRe: Wondering about commercial use fonts.
by on Apr 1, 2014 at 6:44:02 pm

Read the license agreement for the font you purchase, of course... but keeping in mind this as a general guideline....

The vast vast majority of commercial fonts' licenses allow you almost any use that would come up in most of our usages... television commercials, industrial films, print, posters, billboards, magazine ads.... almost anything like that is virtually guaranteed to be included in a commercial usages license for a font.

The exception that that blanket is usually anything that is resold. For example, you'd probably be perfectly free and clear to use a particular font on a band's tee-shirt design that they give away to fans. Key words being give away. If the band wanted to actually sell that item, you'd likely need a different (and more expensive) license for that.

Again... just a guideline, but it will apply almost all of the time.


Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.

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