|Should the designer or client buy the font?|
| 4:30 pm on Sep 12, 2009 (gmt 0)|
I've read several articles on the net re who should buy a font for on a client's logo posted on a web page (not in print).
I know that I need to buy the font being as it's installed on my computer in order to set up the logo.
However does the site owner also need to buy the font being as the logo will be placed on his website? He doesn't design graphics and will never use it himself.
| 6:31 pm on Sep 12, 2009 (gmt 0)|
The client should buy it and then delegate it to you for the term of development. You should then turn it back over to the client as part of your contract deliverables, and delete it from your computer. So, the client owns it, and can delegate it to another designer for future changes to the logo, etc., if he so chooses.
I'd also think that it might be a good idea to check with whoever you're buying the font from...
I haven't dealt with fonts specifically before, but I've found it best to avoid 'entanglements' with ownership issues; I have the client pay for and retain control of *everything* to do with his site -- domain, hosting account, scripts, everything. That way, if we part ways, he'll have no problems or legitimate reasons to complain about me on the Web (praise fades, but complaints last forever)...
| 8:34 pm on Sep 12, 2009 (gmt 0)|
My experience may reveal some gray areas . . . or cases of me just following company procedures that may or may not have been illegal. The following is my experience with three different companies.
I've worked in both DTP (traditional printing) and the web, and the design provider always "owned" the font faces, but produced work with them that was provided in the form of camera ready layouts or digital prepress files, in which case the font files were provided to the printer. I've never heard of an instance where ownership of the font is an issue for a client.
In digitally delivered files, we would temporarily load the designer's fonts, run the job, archive them to DAT (at that time,) but the font would never go into the company's font archives. That is, we used the designer's font to print the job, but never used it for company operations.
However, a year later the client decides to go with another printer and asks us to pull the archives. They were given them, complete, including the fonts. Which ones were ours? Which ones were the designers? How would you find out, and is it worth manpower to chase it?
Used in a logo puts a different slant on things; they will need to re-use the font for printing it from various applications, and may need it installed on their computer(s) for that purpose.
Many designers (ab?)use this aspect of projects to retain work, claiming ownership of the fonts, so if the client wants them for their own use, they have to buy their own license or pay the designer for them. Which is most likely illegal, but it happens all the time.
This is a very good Q, but without a lawyer's advice I think it would get down to the TOS license agreement when you buy it. A standard operating procedure (note: by observation, not fact) is the designer buys the fonts, produces the work, and that work is replicated as often as required without infringement.
| 10:22 pm on Sep 12, 2009 (gmt 0)|
Thanks for the input guys.
The problem with the owner buying the font and "lending" it to me is I work from a Mac and he from a PC, and not all fonts are designed for the Mac, so if I bought the Mac version and returned it to him, it would be useless to him.
|This is a very good Q, but without a lawyer's advice I think it would get down to the TOS license agreement when you buy it. A standard operating procedure (note: by observation, not fact) is the designer buys the fonts, produces the work, and that work is replicated as often as required without infringement. |
This is what I read on a few copyright/font sites. The owner already has a publisher for his hard copy printing using a slightly different font so that's not a problem.
I also understood that if I own the font then I can use the font on another client's logo, although how many times I can do that may be limited depending on the license TOS.