18 comments

  • Stuart McCoyStuart McCoy, 3 months ago

    The biggest problem I see with this article is that it makes one too many assumptions about why fonts are licensed the way they are for the web. Perhaps, and I'm just spit-balling here because this is how investigative journalists do things, someone should interview a font company or two and find out the "why" BEFORE developing the "how" for a fix.

    6 points
    • Andrew LiljaAndrew Lilja, 3 months ago

      are you suggesting, on a design forum of all places, that user research might be an important part of designing a solution?

      2 points
  • Michael MckeeverMichael Mckeever, 3 months ago

    Look into licensing a font for a mobile app for a laugh. Its often £100s/1000s per weight. Completely ridiculous.

    5 points
    • Alina Sava, 3 months ago

      Indeed! I was so busy with web license that I forgot about the other ridiculous pricing. What format do mobile apps use? TTF/OTF?

      1 point
    • John PJohn P, 3 months ago

      End of the day they need you more than you need them your app can exist just fine without their typeface, vote with your wallet.

      Thousands of high quality free/open alternatives these days, it's not the 90s anymore.

      1 point
  • Nelson TarucNelson Taruc, 3 months ago

    As a mobile app designer, font licensing is incredibly frustrating to navigate. Unless your company/client is willing to build their own bespoke font for mobile, It is frustrating to try and level-up an app design with a pay-to-use third-party font. The price models from font to font are neither consistent nor scale predictably.

    4 points
  • Jon .Jon ., 3 months ago

    Licensing and prices for apps are just ridiculous. Usually ~$39 a weight for web/dekstop. Then BOOM $1000/ a year for app. What happed there?

    3 points
  • Dan GDan G, 3 months ago

    Desktop fonts aren't one time either.

    1 point
  • Alex Robertson-Brown, 3 months ago

    So much common sense in this article, the standard setup is so prohibitive. I really hope this changes soon

    1 point
  • nabeel khalidnabeel khalid, 3 months ago

    The current method of licensing is based on the fact that type faces are a design asset much like stock images. Unlike stock images, fonts can take years to design and perfect.

    While agreeing the current method isn't beneficial for you but it has worked up until now. Agencies pay for custom fonts for brands. Some fonts become more iconic than the brand they are made for and this issue itself has made the likes of airbnb, ibm and google to develop their own fonts.

    What do you suggest? Font sold like this it too lucrative to change. You could use adobe typekit.

    0 points
    • Alina Sava, 3 months ago

      Having no choice doesn't mean things work out. And it's not beneficial for the font authors either, ignoring a big well targeted buyer category is not a good thing.

      Nobody is asking for benefits. We're asking for logic, the same logic that is applied to desktop fonts.

      I do use Adobe, but that is restricted only to personal sites. Including in Adobe's case I can use the desktop fonts in commercial work, but not the webfonts. At all. Not even limited.

      Also, branding needs desktop fonts not web fonts.

      0 points
      • nabeel khalidnabeel khalid, 3 months ago

        There's plenty of choice. Smaller foundries offer competitive pricing and most have a simple commercial all license. There are some even on dafont which allow all free for personal work.

        I find this a none issure. If you want to pay for the font you pay for it. If you don't find a similar font for a better price.

        The logic is simple. There is a market to have fonts to be sold like this. Until the market changes nothing will.

        I simply push the expense on to the client and I haven't had an issue yet. In fact, no one I know in the design industry has brought up licensing as an issue. Then again i'm on designer within the world of design.

        0 points
        • Alina Sava, 3 months ago

          Would you pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for a web font for a website or app? And pay some more hundreds and thousands when you exceed the limited pageviews?

          And market won't change without someone pointing to the elephant in the room :)

          0 points
          • nabeel khalidnabeel khalid, 3 months ago

            Pretty sure if that was the case i'd just pay some one to design me a custom font for less, or use a free one. How do foundries enforce the page view check?

            0 points
            • Alina Sava, 3 months ago

              Some require scripts, some css, some other kind of tracking. Every external resource loaded is a minus for the performance of a website, and loading fonts and/or trackers externally is therefore less than ideal.

              There are sellers that do not enforce tracking, but for me it's out of the question not to pay for a license I agreed with. I wouldn't like somebody do that with my work, so I wouldn't do that to anybody else's work.

              1 point
    • John PJohn P, 3 months ago

      The current method of licensing is based on the fact that type faces are a design asset much like stock images

      Actually they're specifically sold as "software" to take advantage of stricter piracy laws around that.

      1 point