Because of a EULA, I need something similar.

Miss Tiffany's picture

I think one valid reason to need a typeface which might look similar to something else is that of the foundry's EULA. This is the problem I'm facing at the moment.

I LOVE Whitney, I licensed the entire package, and have used it in different projects, but suddenly find that I cannot use it because of the potentially cost-prohibitive need for extended licensing. I want to cry because I cannot afford it.

I've replaced it with Myriad, for now, because I do have that and it didn't create too much of a switch-a-roo hassle. But, it isn't as interesting. Boohoo.

Anyway, if anyone has suggestions for a super-family--condensed, compressed, regular plus all the weights--which also has a EULA that allows for embedding in PDF and Flash (presentations) which can be posted on the web I'd be curious to see it.

paul d hunt's picture

can't use it for what, miss tiff? on your website?

(there there)

Stephen Coles's picture

FontFont allows embedding as long as it's secure and uneditable: FF Strada, FF Scala Sans, FF Fago, FF Dax, FF Meta

Miss Tiffany's picture

This is for a presentation project for a client. Created in Keynote, exported to Flash and PDF. The Flash file will be used as a full-screen presentation. The PDF will be used as a download (eventually, still in the future) from my clients site.

I need to update my EULA chart so I can pin-point friendly foundries and then narrow it from there.

Stephen Coles's picture

Too bad about Font Bureau. Amplitude would be a nice substitute.

Stephen Coles's picture

OurType has a lenient embedding policy. Even editable PDF files are OK. How about Fresco Sans or Versa Sans?

Stephen Coles's picture

Less humanistic than Whitney, but Proxima Nova certainly has a full complement. Mark's refreshingly concise EULA says nothing about embedding, but I'm sure he's reasonable.

Si_Daniels's picture

>FontFont allows embedding as long as it’s secure and uneditable

Recently had an off-list debate about this. I was drafting a survey that would ask type designers about their policy regarding font embedding for Web content and included something like "we allow embedding in Web content but only when the mechanism is considered secure eg. Flash." and got feedback that Flash can't be considered secure because of all the 3rd party SWF decompilers.

The 'secure' restriction has always bothered me as it's a moving target. I doubt this will ever be tested in court, but it makes life harder for people like Tiffany who try to live their lives totally within the EULA.


John Nolan's picture

Storm's EULA is silent on embedding, and I've always been afraid to ask, but what about Metron?

I'm also a big champion of FF Unit. It's very useful.

dezcom's picture

Tiff, how about Helvetica? :-)


Si_Daniels's picture

>Storm’s EULA is silent on embedding,

If you view embedding as a form of font redistribution, in some cases involving format conversion, then I think you have to take the position that this EULA doesn't allow embedding.

For OpenType and TrueType files you could look at the embedding permissions encoded within the font files for further guidance, but if the permissions contradict the EULA then I think the only option is to ask.

Miss Tiffany's picture

FF Fago is good. Nice variation too.

FF Unit doesn't have enough variation, but I do like it. I need at least condensed/compressed and regular.

Helvetica was actually the company's corporate family when I was first brought on board. We are SLOWLY moving away from it.

Versa is a great design, but the condensed doesn't stay condensed enough in the heavier weights.

Fresco is nice. I'll show this one as well.

Thanks, guys!

Miss Tiffany's picture

@ Stephen: Am I blind? Is there not a place to simply click on the entire family for Fresco Sans?

Miguel Sousa's picture

But, what means to be 'secure' after all? I know of commercial tools that simply wipe PDF restrictions (e.g. printing), and a few low-profile ones that dig deep enough to get some font data. Surely, no one will ever get an intact font file straight out of a PDF file (and probably neither from an SWF), so I fail to see why foundries are so concerned.*

* With security, I mean. I understand that allowing embedding might mean less licences sold, but that's a different topic.

Si_Daniels's picture

Here's exactly what I put into the off-list thread regarding this. Hope it's okay to quote myself ;-) ...

There's a complex and changing relationship between font maker's perceptions about the security of font embedding technologies and what they do about it.

Perhaps, for any given technology the equation is something like...

Fear factor = perceived ease of extraction X ubiquity of use / uselessness of extracted data.

John Nolan's picture

"If you view embedding as a form of font redistribution"...

Well, that's a 72 point "if", but I agree that asking is the best way to find out.

BTW, checking in Fontlab, the version of Storm's Sebastian OT I have (from last summer, I think) is set to "print and preview", but the more recent Elektra (since renamed Etelka) is set to "everything is allowed (installable mode)".

I think average users might be excused for thinking they were allowed to embed these fonts.

Si_Daniels's picture

> I think average users might be excused for thinking they were allowed to embed these fonts.

True, that's likely a very valid argument. But the fact that they set a commercial font to installable suggests they may not be totally on the ball when it comes to this stuff.

John Nolan's picture

>The fact that they set a commercial font to installable suggests they may not be totally on the ball when it comes to this stuff.

Perhaps, but that setting appears in the more recent font. I also note that OurType's fonts have the same settings, and I'm pretty sure it's intentional there.

Again, I don't think it would be the user's responsibility to second guess the foundry's intentions, but the prudent or pious should probably check first.

Stephen Coles's picture

"Stephen: Am I blind? Is there not a place to simply click on the entire family for Fresco Sans?"

Clicked my link? Yeah, no single page for all the fonts in the family. The packages are OurType's decision. The limitation to show the contents of only one package at a time is's limitation. You can check it out on too. Each site has its strengths.

John Nolan's picture

Do check out OurType's site for the new Fresco Plus.

Mark Simonson's picture

I personally think that embedding in things like Flash or PDF is okay. Sure, there are ways to extract some possibly useful font data, but the same can be said of output from a printer.

In the case of Flash, the data is not super useful--each character is stored as a shape symbol using Flash's internal graphic format. This is why Flash is not a great format for font samples--the shapes it creates are approximations optimized to take up as little space as possible. At actual size it usually looks okay, but if you zoom in, you can see that it's not an exact copy. I've played around with some of these Flash decompilers and what you get is these shape symbols, not fonts.

Another way to think about it: Every time a font is reproduced on paper is an opportunity for piracy. A magazine has a new exclusive custom typeface. If someone really badly wanted to use it, they could clip up issues of the magazine until they had all the characters, make high-res scans, piece together words... you get the idea. The only way to prevent this kind of piracy is to not allow the font to be used at all by anyone. Font development is not a good career for the paranoid.

In my opinion, terms of usage should allow anything that doesn't directly interfere with the font developer's means of support--the big one for me is redistribution. The risks associated with embedding are tiny and almost academic compared with, say, casual sharing and borrowing of fonts. I really think that overly restrictive licenses hurt efforts to get people to take EULAs seriously.

Si_Daniels's picture


Stephen Coles's picture


Miguel Sousa's picture

Bravo! (This is indeed community service)

jupiterboy's picture

You know, I've had luck asking. A foundry not to be mentioned allowed me to embed for a style/usage guide PDF, even though the EULA says no.

Tiffany, would DynaG be a candidate? I'm still trying to make friends with the ampersand.

Miss Tiffany's picture

Dyna has a bit too much character for this project.

raph's picture

Mark: your description of Flash font embedding is accurate for Flash 7, but as of Flash 8 they now do FlashType, which is based on Saffron, and that's an entirely different ball of wax. For one, it's a real font, not just shapes, largely because they want to be able to support editable text in it. As such, it's got stuff like kerning data included.

Even for Flash 7, it's important to distinguish the file format from the tool. And Macromedia's conversion to (Flash 7 and earlier) outlines is quite lossy. I'm sure you're right that they're much more concerned with file size than quality (they've never seen Flash as a print format).

Technical quibbles aside, I entirely agree with your argument about paranoia.

One last point. If people are wanting to be careful about coloring inside the lines, and need to do things that would not be allowed by an ordinary EULA, maybe take a look at one of the Good Libre Fonts, released under a free software license. That said, in particular there aren't very many superfamilies out there. Yet :)

buddhaboy's picture

Sorry to resurrect this one, and I don't know i Im talking bobbins here, but if you want to distribute a PDF with Whitney, then just convert the type to outlines before outputing the final distributable PDF... that way the font is not embedded. I'm presuming this would not infringe the license?


Miss Tiffany's picture

Hi Steve, the problem with that would have been two-fold. 1. The application I'm using doesn't turn type to outlines (Keynote) and 2. Too many words into outlines becomes a hugely slow PDF. This was for a presentation and I didn't want to make the file any slower than it already was at the time.

dberlow's picture

"Too bad about Font Bureau. Amplitude would be a nice substitute."
Since Amplitude is in no way a "nice substitute" for Whitney, I took the first sentence to as a queue to respond. :)

If anyone is confused by Stephen Coles FB licensing remark, here is what we say in our EULA: "If you wish to publish documents created by the embedding of the Font Software on the Internet or wish to otherwise distribute or make such documents available for downloading to parties not licensed under this Agreement you must contact the Font Bureau to purchase the appropriate license upgrade."

Read it twice, and if you still don't understand not only what it says, but why, then you'll know what to do.

"there are ways to extract some possibly useful font data, the same can be said of output from a printer."
Amen? I may be a bit behind in my alchemy, but how does one get from printer output to useful data again without spending more than a license'd cost? Hmmmmm?

"Every time a font is reproduced on paper is an opportunity for piracy."
I think you mean "opportunity for revival" there generally is not protection of fonts on paper. Is there now?

"Helvetica was [...] the company’s corporate family...[]. We are SLOWLY moving away from it."
I don't feel the boohoo here Tiffany, sorry: whoever the client is, they have been getting an infinitely embeddable Corp ID "for free" via Helvetica. This should have been as plain (to all), as the nose on a logical not's face.

If the designer chooses to move the ID to one of the most expensive faces on the planet (e.g. Whitney), how exactly does that make the EULA "bad", as opposed, (spill gasoline here), to saying a designer should manage a type specification according the client's economic abilities, and not their own font fancies?

"I understand that allowing embedding might mean less licenses sold, but that’s a different topic."
It is? Huh.


buddhaboy's picture

Huge sigh - You make your bed etc.

Pirated fonts are crap - no doubt. If I was the kind of person who really wanted to use a copy of Whitney or any other high value font for my little website project or whatever, then I will simply fire up bittorrent or similar and find a genuine copy. I am certainly not going to pratt about trying to reverse engineer a typeface from a PDF file, where I'll probably loose all tracking, hinting and every other metric necessary for the font to work properly.

Font vendors usually don't have the monopolistic luxury of sitting back and making demands - Or maybe they do? Either way, their causes in policy will simply produce effects in their income. Their sales are obviously healthy enough.

Would a font vendor sue me for using a pirated font? Yes.
Would a font vendor sue me for overlooking their EULA and releasing a naughty PDF? Yes.

Therefore, if you buy a font, comply with the EULA or don't bother buying it in the first place.

As a freelancer with very limited time, do I want the worry of complying with restrictive EULAs? No. Not a boohoo, just the way I see the world.

I don't restrict people who buy my photographs from putting them in PDFs and they are far more open to being copied than an entire font. Granted I wouldn't want them to put the image on a website at high resolution - that's like simply offering a font for free download.

Anyway - I am about to buy Apex New due to it's sensible licensing, super friendly author, and upgrading policy. Oh, and I think it's a great Sans!

I was all set to buy Whitney too, but it now turns out to be too expensive to comply fully with the EULA for the output of PDF brochures that would be downloadable from my clients' websites.

Miss Tiffany's picture

I don't think the EULA that is part of licensing fonts from Hoefler & Frere-Jones is bad or wrong. It is, after all, their EULA, and I knew what was in the EULA when I originally licensed Whitney. I knew I could only use it on certain projects, just as I know that I can only use Font Bureau's fonts on certain projects without needing to extend my license. I don't begrudge either foundry, but I don't want to be seen as a cheapskate if I go looking for a font that has a EULA which does allow for what I need without needing extensive licensing. If the client had the budget I would've just used Whitney because it really was perfect as I experimented with it. But at the end of the day I knew I couldn't use it because of budgetary constraints so I had to move on. I found a font that is working, and is close in design, and pleases the client.

People who don't calculate the worth of their own time are the people who waste the time hacking into a PDF to get the font. People who go looking for fonts in the same way or visit illicit shareware sites and/or torrents should also not be angry when their own work gets ripped off.

Therefore, if you buy a font, comply with the EULA or don’t bother buying it in the first place.

I'm not sure if you are directing this remark at me or not, Steve. Is it?

buddhaboy's picture

Certainly not patronising you Miss T, I know you essentially feel the same way I do. I guess we're simply lamenting our inability at this time to afford extended licenses for these lovely faces - and hoping against hope someone at HFJ has a change of heart!

As you say, the EULA policy is up to the vendor - it's their business decision. In a recession I daresay special offers might appear. Business is business.

My comment was more about the way "I" view font purchases. Unless I can comply with the EULA, it's not worth buying it, because by breaking the EULA I open myself up to damages in the same way as if I had simply ripped the font off period.

I'll probably buy Whitney before the year is out, simply to use on some print only jobs, or converted to curves on small PDF downloads. It's just too nice not to own in some shape or form.

Argh, Font Snobbery is great isn't it... Maybe one day I'll have the kinds of clients who will pay the sums that allow me to fork out for Whitney fully :-) Keep on trucking in the meantime.

In closing, licensing models can make a real difference to you income... Just ask any photographer who used to sell Rights Managed images. To keep food on the table, the vast majority of stock photographer now have to sell Royalty Free. But then the photographer population is prolific, whereas good typographers are a rarer beast - and there lies the nub of this issue!

pattyfab's picture

For fear of fanning the flames...

Overly restrictive EULAs help no one. PDF embedding is part of graphic design workflow and to require an additional license just in order to show the client the job is overly restrictive. So everybody loses - the foundry doesn't make the sale, the designer has to find another font.

Reasonable EULAs benefit everyone. The font gets bought, the font gets used, the font gets seen, the font gets bought by someone else, the designer gets more work, you see my point.

I suppose if your bread and butter comes from selling fonts for use in major identities or custom work for magazines then it really doesn't matter if a few indy designers can afford to buy your font or not... but it would be nice if there were some flexibility to the pricing structure.

buddhaboy's picture

Amen to that!

One day my design empire will spread from one corner of the world to the other, and HFJ will not have sold a single license to me because they didn't help me whle I was the little guy... muharharhar!!! MUHARHARHAR!!!

Incidentlly Miss T, which font did you go with in the end as a Whitney stand-in?

Gary Long's picture

Some foundries really need to wake up to the reality that a basic commercial font licence needs to allow how a font is typically used in the design, printing and publishing industry---and that includes sending font files to a printer with a job, and embedding fonts in a pdf in order to show clients a document, send a job to a printer, or distribute or sell the document (whether it be an downloadable informational brochure or an ebook). Perhaps fonts will cost more with these uses explicitly allowed, but better to have the real cost up front and fully transparent without having to wade through fine print. It reminds me of the moving truck rental industry, where they advertise a great daily rental price, but when you go to pick up the truck you find you also have to pay mileage, collision damage waiver, etc., if you actually want to use the vehicle.

pattyfab's picture

and that includes sending font files to a printer with a job

Amen to that!

Plus I'll add to your list, archiving a copy with the job.

dberlow's picture

"...a basic commercial font licence needs to allow how a font is typically used in the design, printing and publishing industry—-"
Agreed. The only thing left to accomplish it seems, is for graphic designers to be encouraged to embrace the use of basic commercial fonts.

"I don’t restrict people who buy my photographs from putting them in PDFs"
Good fr u! Spend ten years taking a photo, publish it for free, let me know how it works out for you economically.

"Font Snobbery is great isn’t it..."
Perhaps. it's just a part of a business that's well appreciated here aesthetically, but commercially. . . no so much,


aluminum's picture

"but if you want to distribute a PDF with Whitney, then just convert the type to outlines before outputing the final distributable PDF"

Note that this makes the PDF less than useful, as it destroys any actual text content within the PDF...making it impossible for a site indexer, google, or a screen reader to make heads or tails out of the content.

buddhaboy's picture

wohooooo!!! someone put my ass out - it's on fire!

Font prices are what they are. We pay or we don't based on our own judgement. The font company either thrives or struggles and modifies it's prices and licensing accordingly. These are the causes and effects in action here.

Aluminium, what you say is obviously correct. The same problem as many ill-conceived websites encounter when they rasterise whole swathes of text.

The most value I hav read in this whole thread so far is the notion that font licensing should be more transparent, with prices clearly qualified with common restrictions... maybe with supermarket "healthy eating" style labels to let yuu know what you're really paying for!

dberlow's picture

You mean, wohooooo!!! someone put my ass out - it’s on fire!..?
I didn't mean anything in that direction. I was aiming for your brain though ;)

I just think it's hard for both sides, and I understand. Users see other users buying type, and they want to do the same. But those purchases are equal to the entire effort required to make them= fonts, plus a little. Licenses in our area of computer software can only, and must legally, cover the use of the product from the time a copy is supplied to the user, until rendering. As long as it's in outline form, we're bound to keep control, no choice.

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