Using Fonts Copyright Question

Good day everyone, I’m new in accepting clients for graphic designs.

Before I don’t mind using any fonts I found on the internet.

But since I’m accepting payments from my clients I wonder if there is an issue about using Free fonts for Personal Use?

I don’t know where you get your fonts. I am sure they have some sort of licensing or fine print somewhere about usage.
I acquire fonts from Typekit and Fontshop. The later having specific licenses for computers, web usage etc.

I think personal use would be for your personal use and not for a mass market of a product.

Right off the bat where I work we don’t use anything font or image that doesn’t have some kind of license.
All of the typefaces you use should have an EULA. READ IT. I’ve been seeing some very strange things lately that you can’t do with some typefaces out there.
Free for personal use means you can use it for your scrapbooking hobby, not for your Etsy store items, not for client work. If you can’t get a commercial license for the typeface, DO NOT USE IT. End of story.


I second what PrintDriver said. Always check the license, and just because you license the font doesn’t mean your client legally gets to. So if you package up native files for them, you may not legally be allowed to provide the fonts to them.

You also need to consider quality of the typeface and if it’s allowed to be embedded in a PDF for online use or printing. You don’t want to design something, get client approval, go to create a PDF and find out you can’t embed the font.

Unicode and OpenSource fonts are a good choice. Google Fonts are a good choice because then you can use them free and also use them across print and web.

I won’t use Typekit because when you cancel your Adobe subscription, they could potentially come after you, as you’re no longer licensing them at that time.


Like PrintDriver and Creativeboost said, read the EULA that came with the font. It will specify exactly what rights you have in using it. You can probably assume that any font without a EULA is either pirated or put together by an amateur.

I use very few free fonts. The exception being Google’s web fonts. Like Creativeboost, I stay away from Typekit (Adobe Fonts, I think it’s called now). They’re good fonts, but I don’t like the idea of renting type any more than I like the idea of renting Adobe’s software.


Fonts have gone berserk in the last 10 years. Seems there’s a font for every mood… I used to be able to identify and name any font, not so much anymore. A lot of fonts are free to use, but never for resell. As tempting as that may be, I work in my own toolbox. If a client requests a specific font, chances are they own it - just ask, and use it for their work only. I work with several corporate accounts that have and own their font license, and I follow their guidelines for use.

One good thing about Adobe Typekit is your printer is easily able to access those fonts without having to purchase the license for them. If you use some off the wall free font made by dogrot@whateverdotcom I’m not likely to want to download or use it. If it isn’t available for commercial use, you are completely out of luck.

Also, it can’t be said enough that about 25% of freeware fonts do not rip properly. They are cheaply made, with bad outline files. I’ve had glyphs drop out, letters vanish, and sometimes when done up large like for a banner, the poorly drawn letterforms become very readily apparent. Sometimes you do get just what you pay for.

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