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A couple of days ago a friend IM'd me asking for a font recommendation. Then he asked me I had the font in a kinda off-hand 'can I have it?' kinda way. I said 'You are gonna buy it and not download it, right?'
He basically explained that they were pitching for some work (he works for a design agency) and one of the routes they were offering would contain this font but they didn't have a budget for a job they didn't yet have so usually he would 'borrow' a font of someone who already had it and then if the pitch was successful and the route chosen, they would then buy the font.
Initially I thought he meant he would download it from some dodgy site so I hassled him for this saying it supports piracy even if he's ultimately buying the font. He meant however borrowing the font off someone they knew, ie. Me in this case. That aside, I suggested that he should just contact the foundry as they often provide a limited license for test purposes or something. His main complaint about this was that it often took so long for foundries to get back to him in the past that they were usually presenting the pitch by that time and it was too late. His argument was that they ultimately bought the font if it worked. Mine was that as a company they should invest in a decent set of fonts that they will work with regularly, in the same way they would invest in legitimate software and so on.
But I guess the question this raised was; is there a solution to the problem of quick turnaround when you may not have a font, or the necessary budget to buy it yet?
I guess some people will say 'If you're not willing to pay for a font, then even if its only for a prospective job, don't use it.' But surely foundries will want people to use their fonts and maybe willing to 'lend' them out if there's a potential purchase down the line?