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Thread: LEGAL QUESTION: Printing CUstom Tshirts that use commercial fonts

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    Donor sprocketty is on a distinguished road
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    LEGAL QUESTION: Printing CUstom Tshirts that use commercial fonts

    I have a small business that sells customized tshirts.

    One of my offerings is a "print any quote" on a tshirt.

    The customers can give me their quote (any quote), and choose a font (from a list of about 50 commercial fonts I have), and I'll print the tshirt for them.

    Question:
    1. Am I allowed to give my customers a "catalogue" of the fonts I have, so they can choose? I am thinking of making a brochure of my "custom tshirt" offering, which includes samples of all the fonts they can choose from.

    2. Do I pay once for the fonts, or do I have to pay every tshirt I print the tshirt for the customer?


    Apologies if this is a basic question. This is very new to me.


    Thanks!

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    PRC Member spider is a name known to all spider is a name known to all spider is a name known to all spider is a name known to all spider is a name known to all spider is a name known to all
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprocketty View Post
    I have a small business that sells customized tshirts.

    One of my offerings is a "print any quote" on a tshirt.

    The customers can give me their quote (any quote), and choose a font (from a list of about 50 commercial fonts I have), and I'll print the tshirt for them.

    Question:
    1. Am I allowed to give my customers a "catalogue" of the fonts I have, so they can choose? I am thinking of making a brochure of my "custom tshirt" offering, which includes samples of all the fonts they can choose from.

    2. Do I pay once for the fonts, or do I have to pay every tshirt I print the tshirt for the customer?


    Apologies if this is a basic question. This is very new to me.


    Thanks!
    first comment: think about legal issues BEFORE starting your business!

    second comment: read the license agreement for your fonts or ask the font company!

  3. #3
    Donor sprocketty is on a distinguished road
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    Thanks, my business is currently already running, but doing mainly photos and pictures.

    I'm doing research now on using fonts.

    I've looked at some of the font licenses, but they are a little confusing. Most of them talk about the "FONT" (ie. the actual software) being used by myself, or clients.

    But they don't talk about a single physical printed instance of it. For example, on myfonts (one of the font retailer), they have a few license types:
    "desktop"
    "webfont"
    "app"
    "server"
    "ebook"

    It is not apparent which I should use to use the font on a tshirt print.

    On another site (adobe typekit), there is this text in their FAQ:
    "Can I use desktop fonts for t-shirts, posters, and other printed merchandise that I’m going to sell commercially?

    Yes. You can use Typekit desktop fonts for any kind of project, whether you’re designing a t-shirt for a friend or a record cover for a client."


    Furthermore, I've read that in the US, copyright exists for the FONT file, but not the typeface (ie. the actual design of the characters).

    Hence, posting on this forum to seek advice.
    Last edited by sprocketty; 12-27-2014 at 02:36 AM.

  4. #4
    Banned torch511 is on a distinguished road
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    There should be nothing to stop you from using the commercial font in a product. No additional license is required.

    What you can't do is issue that FONT FILE to a client. We have clients ask us all the time for our font files and all we do is send them a link to where they can be purchased.

    Ironically, when I start coming to a site like this looking for a font, it's because a client has the font and is licensed, but don't know where in their company to get the actual font file. So we find alternate means to get the font because sometimes, waiting for them to track it down means lost revenue for us. :(

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