Making custom fonts: how and why—It's easier than I thought!(

over 2 years ago from Koos Looijesteijn, Design Lead at BCG Digital Ventures

  • Johannes Neumeier, over 2 years ago

    Please be advised that even just copying parts of a typeface is oftentimes violating the EULA and does in fact constitute copyright violation. As you correctly researched, in the US typefaces are treated like software in regards to copyright. Your example, however, would be akin to saying you don’t clone all the code of Photoshop, only the code of some filters. I am sure in many cases the designers of typeface are more than happy to help you out with modifications or might even grant to explicit permission to make modifications if you approach them with your problem.

    Making a logo from a typeface, and even modifying the shapes of letters decomposed to vectors from a typeface, is different from modifying a typeface. I understand what you are going after with ease of use or efficiency of of distribution, but it still does not grant the right to turn modified font parts into a new font.

    In regard to SIL the requirement is if you redistribute the modified version it must be under the same license, and not using the Lato name. It does not, however, mean that your app would have to be distributed under that license, or that you need to make the modified version available, only that if you make it available, it needs to be under SIL (I wrote that too generally in my first answer). Indeed your app, or more precisely, the modified font in your app, would need to list the SIL in some way or form as per §2.

    Outlining a document before sending to print avoids exactly that: Having to provide the printer with the font. To my mind any reasonable font EULA will grant you the right to have a PDF with the font embedded printed, but opinion and practices on that vary.

    2 points