Site licensing?

idlebunny's picture

Hello, The organisation I work for is rebranding and considering choosing a font as our main font for use on letters, publications, signage, etc - that everyone in the place should have this font installed on their PC. What no one seems to have considered is the potential cost implications as we have about 400 people working here!

I think our first-choice is Futura, which I know is not free. How would we go about getting a license to cover 400 people? (And is that ridiculous?) Are there site licenses for font? Alternatively, if we went with a font that seems to be installed on most of our standard-issue PCs (Gill Sans etc) would we need some kind of additional licensing or is that free to use? We are based in London if that makes any difference to the legalities.

Help greatly appreciated. I've Googled this but I still don't understand. Thank you!

hrant's picture

A site license for hundreds of users is not ridiculous, but it can indeed get expensive; you have to contact the foundry and negotiate. However if you're picky about your visual identity you shouldn't go for a free solution (whether it's bundled in the OS or simply a font that's free to use*) mostly because everybody and their mother can do that too, but also because of quality issues (although OS fonts are rock solid).

* Although some of those put limits in terms of commercial use.

One interesting solution that some companies go for is the commissioning of a custom design. One drawback to that is that you have to wait for it to be completed, but the advantages are: it can actually cost less than a large site license for an existing prestigious typeface; and you own the results, so it's 100% exclusive to you (and you can even sell the font yourself).

hhp

idlebunny's picture

Thanks very much for the info - very helpful. Hadn't considered a custom design because I assumed it would be too expensive but if it's comparatively cheaper... might look into that! Cheers

Karl Stange's picture

What Hrant said. Other considerations when using system and application fonts for any kind of commercial work include, whether the license covers you for everything you want to do, e.g.,

http://www.microsoft.com/typography/RedistributionFAQ.mspx

...and versioning. If you are running more than one operating system, more than one version of an operating system (Windows XP and Windows 8 for example) or have any other peculiarities in your computer set up then you may find that people have different versions of the same fonts installed which can cause problems when sharing documents, templates, etc...

David Vereschagin's picture

You can often use the foundry’s or reseller’s website to quickly find out how much a site licence would cost. For example, on MyFonts, add the fonts you want to your shopping cart, then change the number of users to the required number. You’ll get a revised price that you can use to help you make your decision.

hrant's picture

Laura, there are many people reading this who could make a custom typeface for you at a fair price, including yours truly! Please ask for a quote: hpapazian at gmail dot com

hhp

idlebunny's picture

Thanks for the additional information. I will check things out online and also with our IT dept to see about the potential OS issues. I certainly am learning a lot! (And Hrant, I may very well email you.) Thanks again!

dinobib's picture

If you wish Futura for a site license.
Best is probably to contact directly the Bauer foundry to directly see with us what could be done.
http://bauertypes.com/productos/comprar/Futura%20ND/PEDIDO

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