A design studio creates a logo containing font characters. Does this purchase require a special license
for the designer and the client?
Logo use is covered by a desktop license, the size of which is determined by the number of permitted
electronic devices on which the font is installed during operation.
Having purchased a font, an independent contractor — in this case a designer — changes the outlines of
the font glyphs (converted into vector) during the design process. Would a Desktop license allow this?
Yes, we only forbid the alteration or modification of the font file.
Let’s say a design studio has bought a desktop license for a font, developed packaging layout design,
and submitted it to their client in vector. Does this require a license upgrade on the part of the
No, it does not. A license upgrade is only needed if the client plans to use the font in the future.
A design studio buys a desktop license for a font, develops the design of a slogan, and hands it over to
their client in vector. The client intends to print this design on T-shirts, posters, use it on their
site, on social networks and on static advertising banners on other sites. Does this require the
purchase of licenses by the client — if so, which ones and in what quantity?
No, it does not. A license is needed only if the client plans to use the font in the future.
If a design incorporates a font that was purchased from a distributor/foundry whose license does not
restrict the distribution or circulation of the image of the font on various surfaces can other legal
claims (on the part of the distributor/foundry) to this font use arise if they have this restriction?
The distribution or circulation of the image of the font on various surfaces implies the protection of
font graphics. Type.today’s licensing focuses on the fate of the font file. All our partners agree with
this logic, and there would be no complaints from either of us.
Do all distributors/foundries have equal rights? For example, if a font was purchased from a reseller
with a license that allows quite broad authorized uses under the basic desktop license, can the font
author lodge complaints against the end user who purchased from this store if they themselves sell this
font with a stricter end user license agreement?
Yes, everyone is equal.
A publisher ordered a cover from a designer in 2005 (before changes to the EULA rules by several of the
sellers). The designer — an independent contractor — purchased a font license before they delivered the
cover design to the publisher in vector. In 2019, the publisher decides to reprint the same book. Does
this publisher need to purchase a license for the font used in this design?
We have been around since 2016, and have never changed the terms of our licenses. But theoretically, if
we wanted to do this, the answer to this question would be: all previously issued licenses would be
viable and would not need to be updated.
A German publisher orders a cover design for a book reprinted in Russian. The designer/ independent
contractor has paid for the font license that they’ve used, and converted it into vector. If the
publisher begins to distribute the book in Russia (or in another country where the font is protected not
only as software, but also as a graphic work), would the copyright holders consider this to be a breach
of authorized use? Could they restrict the circulation or distribution of media containing the image of
the characters of this font?
We distribute limited, simple (non-exclusive) licenses without territorial restrictions. The need to
upgrade a license in connection with the entry into other countries’ markets would arise in regards to
huge global brands. Territorial restrictions become important for these type of end users, as they
determine the scale of use, since, for example, creating new models adapted to a specific market
increases the number of employees and, therefore, installations of the font, plus there is an increase
in the number of unique visitors per month to their sites.
A clothing brand produces a T-shirt with the inscription LOVE, using a font that was purchased in
accordance with the distributor/foundry’s requirements. An unrelated advertising agency takes a photo
for a mobile operator ad, which shows a close-up of a young man in the same T-shirt. Can the
distributor/foundry make claims for prohibited commercial use against the advertising agency or mobile
We’re interested in the fate of the font file, not photos. The photo with the font image would not be
considered as use of the font per se, and would not require a license.
What makes lettering a logo?
When the lettering is used as the basis of the brand, of its identity — as a repeating visual anchor
with which the brand associates itself.
A food brand labels some of its products with the inscription “Bio”, typed in the same font, in the same
composition, on a green fill. Is this mark a logo?
If a logo features a font that was purchased at a store with a license that doesn’t prohibit this type
of commercial use, are there legal grounds for claims from other owners of this font, if their
authorized commercial use for logos is restricted? If so, who would the complaint be addressed to — to
the author of the logo (the copyright holder), or to the company for whom this logo was created?
No there aren’t.
A designer has created a logo and delivered a vector version to their client. The client intends to use
it on their site and in a mobile application. The font used to make the logo is not overtly active in
the design of this product in any other way. Who needs to purchase the font license/s here? Plus which
licenses should be bought and how many of them?
Only the designer who created the logo needs a license.
A designer (independent contractor) has paid for the font license for a specific project. At the end of
the project, the designer does not intend to use the font. Can a designer transfer the rights to use a
font to a client after the completion of the project?
Yes, perhaps by informing us in writing of their intent. However, as a rule, the extent of use of a font
by a designer and a client is different. It is very likely that the client will not have a sufficiently
transferable license and they will need an update.
A restaurant has bought a limited simple desktop font license. Later, the restaurant needs to slightly
update their menu design, and engages a freelance designer. Does the designer making the new menu for
this restaurant have the right to use the font under the same desktop license, provided that they
destroy the font files after they finish work?
This depends on the number of desktop licenses purchased. If the restaurant initially paid for an
"extra" number of licenses, then there will be no problems. If the restaurant has a minimum license (for
most fonts in our collection the minimum license allows installation on three computers, but be careful
— this does not work for all our fonts), then you will need to purchase the necessary license updates.
Let’s take the example of a small internet startup. Three people work there, one of them is a designer.
If only a web font license is purchased, does the designer have the right to use the .ttf font file to
sketch layouts in Sketch or Photoshop, as well as create images in .jpg, .png, .gif formats to promote
the product on social networks and on other sites?
If it involves sketching using web formats — yes. If it’s connected to creating raster images for
promotion — no; this type of use is subject to the terms and restrictions regarding authorized use by
the desktop license.
A company launches a site. A freelance designer (independent contractor) has created the interface
layout using the Sketch program, and has given the layouts to a development bureau, where the layout
designer has opened them in the Sketch program to look at point size and the indentation. The bureau and
the designer are not legally connected either with each other or with the client’s company. In order to
release the site how many licenses need to be bought, which licenses and by whom?
In short, the possible options here are that each of the participants can theoretically buy licenses
“with some wiggle room” and with their licenses will cover the entire development chain. We prefer that
the client themselves be the licensee, but in practice, this is sometimes impossible and the design
studio or a specific designer acts as a licensee. It’s important that the licensing covers both the
number of installations on electronic devices and the total authorized scale of the font use by any of
A small media firm releases a controversial article, which is suddenly read by significantly more people
than usually visit their site in a month. Is it necessary in this case to update the license to reflect
a larger number of visitors per month?
We are interested in the average statistics for the last six months. The once-off peaks and dips
described in this case would not affect the scale of the license.
A small publisher buys a limited, simple desktop license. There are three people working for the
publication: an editor, designer and layout designer. The designer and layout designer are not members
of the publishing house and work remotely, i.e. they are independent contractors. Do they have to pay
For most fonts in our collection, the limited, simple license allows installation on three computers,
however one does need to be careful — this does not work for all of our fonts. In the case of the
transfer of fonts to a printing house, for example, additional licenses must be purchased.
A design studio buys a desktop license, develops a slogan design, and converts it into vector. An
animated clip for social networks was made from this file. Does this require a video license? If so, by
whom — the design studio or the client for whom the video was made?
This type of use would require a separate license, which we would calculate individually, due to the
fact that our partners have different conditions and prices. The question of who pays for the license is
A video blogger edits their episodes in AdobePremiere. They broadcast their shows exclusively on
YouTube, which comes out once a month. What are the licensing terms for the font for captions in these
This type of use requires a separate license, which we calculate individually, due to the fact that our
partners have different conditions and prices.
A designer creates a banner in Photoshop that contains a slogan typed in a font for which a limited,
simple desktop license was purchased. After that, they put alternating colored fills under this font and
record an animated banner in .gif format. Is a video license required? Who should buy the license, the
designer or the client who ordered the banner?
We don’t see much difference between gifs and other video formats — they both involve animated graphics.
Nevertheless, our different partners have varied interpretations, conditions and prices, so in this case
you would need to write to us, and we would be able to say whether you need a video license and what
prices this author/copyright holder has. Who exactly pays for the license is not important to us,
although we would prefer it to be the client. The reason why we strongly recommend that designers
approach us for licenses directly in lieu of the client is simple: designers are usually more familiar
with font licenses and do not violate them, while clients are often less informed and only learn about
some prohibited commercial uses at the time of commission purchase or later.
A designer creates film title designs in Photoshop using a font for which a limited, simple desktop
license was purchased. They place a .png against a transparent background and send this file to
post-production, where the editor inserts it into the film editing file in AdobePremiere. The film is
bought by the distributor that is releasing it. Is a video license purchase required ? If so, who should
buy this video license: the designer, the film production company, or the distributor?
This type of use requires a separate license, which we calculate individually, due to the fact that our
partners have different conditions and prices. Precisely who pays for the license does not matter to us.
A clothing brand produces a LOVE print T-shirt using a font that was paid for as required by the
distributor/foundry. A popular singer stars in this video clip. No other font images appear in this
clip. The singer shoots the clip with her own money. The clip is distributed on the Internet and on
television. Does the distributor/foundry have any legal claims against the singer, the production
company that made the video, or the TV channel that broadcasts it?
We are interested in the fate of the font file, not the clip. A t-shirt with a font image like in this
example would not be considered as use of a font and would not require a license.
For example, a museum releases souvenir stickers for an exhibition: all the letters of the Russian
alphabet are on separate stickers. All these letters are in the same font. Each sticker is sold
separately. Does this require the purchase of a special license and who should buy it—- the designer who
made the stickers, or the museum?
Yes, this type of use would require the purchase of a separate license. Theoretically, we don’t mind who
pays for this license, but it would be more appropriate if the museum does it, as it is the beneficiary
of this merchandise.
A manufacturer of children's toys has released an educational game — a set of cubes with all the letters
of the Russian alphabet on different sides. Does a limited, simple desktop license cover this use?
No, it does not. Such use requires the purchase of a separate license.
A souvenir manufacturer releases a candle in the shape of the Russian letter “Я” . This is the only
product in the line that uses this font sign. Does the basic desktop license allow this use?
Yes, it does.
A clothing brand has released a series of T-shirts with the lowercase letters б, в, г, д, ж, и, й, л, м,
н, т, у, ф, ц, ч, ш, щ, э, ю, я, — all typed in the same font. There is one large letter located on each
shirt. Does a limited, simple desktop license allow this use?
Yes, it does.