Now that I have your attention, I’d like to discuss the other “F” word. A word that represents a data file comprised of glyphs, characters or symbols and can bring designers to their knees and their blood to a boil—all with the mighty power to crash a computer.
I’m speaking, of course, about “Fonts.” Not in regards to the aesthetic or technical aspects but on the matters of purchasing, usage, licensing and compliance. I’ve recently had discussions with many corporate creative managers on establishing best practices for moving forward with new font purchases, as well as ensuring that not only are the appropriate seat licenses in place but companies are compliant when interacting with affiliates (domestic/foreign) and third party vendors.
So to get the ball rolling, I thought I’d throw out a few questions to initiate an open discussion on the topic.
- Do you purchase fonts on a regular basis?
- Where do you purchase your fonts (Adobe/Émigré/Fontshop/House/Font Bureau)?
- How are they used (internal communications, advertising, sales, packaging, web, other areas)?
- What type of license do you purchase beyond the multiple seat license (extended, embedding, logo usage, product for sale)?
- Do you purchase fonts for any other groups beyond your design team (affiliates—domestic/foreign, production team, third party vendors including service bureaus, printers or design agencies)? Or are these groups responsible for purchasing their own licenses?
- Do you use a font manager (Universal Type Server, Fontwise)?
Feel free to include additional info on this often discussed and controversial subject. I look forward to hearing from you.
Glenn John Arnowitz is Director of Global Creative Services for Pfizer and co-founder of InSource. He is a designer, musician, composer, writer, actor and speaker, always looking for new ways to scratch that insatiable creative itch.