Selecting Fonts: Commercial Licensing

There are thousands of fonts out there to choose from. But did you know as a business, you need to have a commercial license to use a font?

If you are creating anything for your business – whether your logo, a business card, packaging, social media images and so many more examples – you need to use fonts with a commercial license. A lot of free font websites offer personal licenses only, which many unsuspecting people don’t realise. Of course it’s always hidden in the fine print!

So how can you be sure you are using fonts with a commercial license? If you can afford to use a graphic designer or a design studio, they should help you select fonts that have the correct licensing. If you’re choosing on your own, there’s a few websites that are great resources:

Google Fonts

Google Fonts is primarily for website design, but the fonts can be used both in print and online. All fonts are open-source, which means they all come with a commercial license. All fonts on Google Fonts are free to use, which can also be handy.

The joy of Google Fonts is really for websites. We used to be limited in website design to only about 5-10 fonts that were available on all computers, while now we have close to 1000 fonts to choose from. And for brand consistency, we can either choose a similar print font, or use the web fonts in print (where appropriate).

Adobe Typekit

Adobe Typekit is available with a Creative Cloud license, and all fonts come with commercial licenses. However, Creative Cloud is a paid subscription service. Most designers and studios use Creative Cloud (it’s an industry standard), so if you have a designer working on your project, you should be able to help select fonts from Typekit.

Typekit is primarily made up of fonts suitable for printing, but many also come with web licenses. This can be handy when you want your brand to look consistent both in print and online. Typekit fonts are generally a little more sophisticated than Google Fonts, and come with more weights/styles (eg. thin, light, regular, medium, semi-bold, bold, extra bold).

They are both very handy font services – and you can browse both for free to find what fonts you need for your business.