Can I use Roboto font for print?

sim's picture

Sorry for the error. I posted in the wrong forum, here again the question.
http://typophile.com/node/99960

The basic question concerning the use of Roboto. Is this font is suited for print work or it's a font to use in Web only? The second issue is about the license, may I use it for print on corporate use (no object will be sale with the font on it, example: no tshirt, no poster…). Thanks

abattis's picture

If it is MORE socially just when the end-users (readers) benefit when the tool user (graphic designer) has equitable relationship with the tool maker (type designer) and the tool maker still got paid for their time, then I think its good to reach for that :)

hrant's picture

Agreed.

I just don't like seeing tool users take advantage of tool makers, especially when saving/making money -and not social justice- is what they're really after.

hhp

abattis's picture

Doesn't the OFL help with that? :)

hrant's picture

Indeed, but in some cases (like my case :-) Apache helps more.

hhp

hrant's picture

I just read the two comments from January here: http://code.google.com/p/noto/wiki/FontList

Dave, you'd previously said that virtually all designers are moving away from Apache and to OFL (or other resale-restrictive licenses). But why would "big daddy" Google switch Arimo, Cousine, and Tinos* from OFL to Apache? Coupled with Droid, Open Sans, and the telling recent Roboto and Noto being Apache, is it fair to say that Google itself prefers Apache?

* BTW who designed those?

hhp

Thomas Phinney's picture

The notable issue with OFL is the renaming clause. It interacts very badly with the realities of web fonts. Of course, OFL-licensed fonts don't have to use the reserved-name scheme, but they usually do.

T

hrant's picture

- If they don't use the reserved-name scheme, are they still officially OFL?
- Why do people usually opt to interact very badly with the realities of web fonts?
- Does Apache not have any naming issues?

hhp

Thomas Phinney's picture

The reserved name is an optional part of OFL.

People use it because they don't want wacky derivatives to come out with the same name, and they don't necessarily understand or care that a web font system (including Google's) must modify the font in a variety of ways, including subsetting. Not to mention that plenty of OFL fonts predate widespread use of web fonts. Some web font vendors chose to ignore any apparent issue and just use the OFL-licensed fonts anyway.

Not being really designed for fonts, Apache license does not have a renaming clause.

T

PabloImpallari's picture

In my particular case, I always use the reserved font name option.
And I have given explicit permission to Google to make changes/extensions/improvements/subsetting/etc.. and release under the same name.

abattis's picture

- If they don't use the reserved-name scheme, are they still officially OFL?

Yes

- Why do people usually opt to interact very badly with the realities of web fonts?

They don't think things through.

- Does Apache not have any naming issues?

This depends on your perspective. If you want name control, Apache has naming issues because it doesn't have a RFN-like option. If you do not want name control, Apache has naming issues because it doesn't include trademark usage, so if the font name is trademarked, you'll need a separate agreement to use the trademark.

quadibloc's picture

@abattis:
But to extend a libre font but keep the improvements proprietary diminishes the progress of the libre movement, I think.

And that would directly violate most open-source licenses, as they tend to resemble the GPL, which is specifically aimed at preventing that sort of thing.

hrant's picture

No two people see any "movement" the same way, and it's not healthy to try to force/trick people to conform to one's own particular vision. To repeat: if being able to sell a modified libre font is the only way some people can justify making that thing, and thus help society by providing something of value which would otherwise not exist, that is social justice. Nobody is forced to buy the thing; anybody can get a free one if it exists (and if it doesn't exist, there's often a good reason).

The only people who benefit from preventing money-making from modified libre fonts (and not in all ways, mind you, since they're part of society/culture too) are graphic designers -and their clients- who refuse to pay for fonts. Pardon me while I don't mind.

hhp

Thomas Phinney's picture

> But to extend a libre font but keep the improvements proprietary diminishes the progress of the libre movement, I think.

I agree. However, I would argue that the modifications done automatically by web font services are not improvements. Occasionally there will be rehinting, and that would be done specifically as an improvement. But it is not standard for most of them/us.

(Funny, the original text is no longer in the thread. I suspect Abattis edited the blurb that Quadibloc was responding to, probably to clarify. I have no disagreement with the edited version.)

abattis's picture

and thus help society by providing something of value which would otherwise not exist, that is social justice

While the something has utility value and that helps society, since it tramples the freedom of its users, it harms society. Depending on one's personal order of values, one may conclude social justice is being increased or decreased; and we seem to order our values differently. :-)

RyanClarke's picture

i don't think so

Pet caskets

hrant's picture

Just over a year ago I asked: "Can you cite actual cases of an Apache font being re-released under a stricter license?"

Well, there's one now: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fira_Sans
But luckily the old Apache version is still around... https://github.com/jenskutilek/free-fonts

hhp

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