Purchase font to legally sell a map?
Posted 25 August 2006 - 02:54 PM
Posted 25 August 2006 - 03:07 PM
I was just reading an ESRI Press book concerning map design and it stated that "To legally produce a map with a customized design, you may need to purchase a font". Is this true? I have been using Georgia, becuase I read that it was one of three original fonts used when the web was created, so it would be most legible.
It's true. Some fonts are considered to be 'public domain' (Times, Arial, the dreaded Comic Sans), but others are only available at a price.
Check out the Type fonts discussion from a couple of months ago.
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Posted 25 August 2006 - 05:48 PM
I don't want you to be confused. If you have a font legally installed on your computer, you can use it to produce any map or illustration or document.
Arial and Times are NOT public domain: they are fonts licensed to you as part of another piece of software (such as Windows or Illustrator or a browser). Most of us are used to buying fonts separately, from Adobe or another "foundry." There are also a huge number of freeware and shareware fonts, and some undoubtedly have been released as "public domain."
Posted 26 August 2006 - 02:29 PM
Fine point: Georgia is optimized for screen legibility, not necessarily print legibility.
Not that this has anything to do with printed maps, but as an aside..........research has actually shown that people prefer sans-serif fonts on the web (ie. Verdana) as opposed to serif fonts like Georgia or Times. Easier to read online.
Just thought I would throw that in, in case you are contemplating any online projects.
If you are working in Adobe it will generally warn you if you have used any un-licensed fonts when you do a pre-flight before going to the print shop.
To get around this a lot of people just use "Create Outline" to convert their fonts to vectors before printing. I am NOT advocating this for major projects where you are planning on mass-producing a map to sell, and you also need to make sure you save your original file with editable fonts. Obvioulsy if you are planning on printing 10,000 copies of something you need to buy the font.
It is a useful trick for little one-off projects however, where you might decide to use a particular display font for a title or something like this.
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Posted 28 August 2006 - 07:36 AM
Also, I went to microsofts website and downloaded a font properties option that inables you to view each fonts' properties and if it is copyrighted. It states to right click on the font file and the properties will be viewable. Where are the font 'Files' located?
Posted 28 August 2006 - 08:34 AM
what kind of font can I use with out infringing on copyright laws?
You can use any font that you have (legally) installed on your system.
I don't know how to be any more clear about this. First, typefaces have no COPYRIGHT protection in the United States. Second, creating work to be viewed by others is the very purpose for which typefaces are sold. Third, in posting a raster (JPEG, GIF, PNG) file, you're not even including the vector information that the font company licensed to you.
So use your computer's fonts without worrying, and please tell me where you got this misinformation about font copyright.
Posted 28 August 2006 - 08:37 AM
Where are the font 'Files' located?
The fonts are stored in one of those "special" Windows folders (like "My Documents"), but you can find them by cliking on "Start" in the taskbar, then choosing "Settings" then "Control Panel" and finally "Fonts". That will show you every font installed on your Windows machine.
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Posted 28 August 2006 - 08:52 AM
Posted 29 August 2006 - 12:35 AM
By the sounds of what you are doing you are fine, fonts all came with software you have purchased, and fonts are being placed into a raster graphic should all be fine. This is what the fonts are given to you for.
Generally you can't pass fonts onto a third party as this is software piracy. A lot of font EULAs allow the font to be embedded in a pdf, but be careful, some don't. Some will even allow you to send the font file to a service provider such as pre-press or printer to output your job?I think most don't allow this though.
As far as legibility thats another story depending on font size orientation etc etc. But Vardana and Georgia are a good start.
Hope that at least clears up what you are wanting to do kpearson.
Posted 29 August 2006 - 11:57 AM
Though it may seem like fonts are free, because many are included in the purchase price of our computers and various software packages, you should know that fonts are intellectual property that are licensed when purchased. To legally produce a map with a customized design, you may need to purchase a font. If you give font files to other people so that they can see your design with the intended fonts, you may be breaking the license agreement you made when you or someone else purchased the font.
She goes on to write
you may not be able to share the exact digital version of your file if the same fonts are not installed on the computers to which you would like to transfer map files.
I think this illustrates the different paradigm used in GIS work as opposed to illustration mapping. Those of us who do illustration mapping think of a "map" as a collection of linework and labels, all in one file. We use the fonts we have licensed to make the map, and if we pass it along to someone it will usually be in some device-independent form, such as PDF or EPS (with fonts included) or as a raster file such as JPG or GIF (with fonts rendered and no longer needed). In the design world, there's also a lot of illicit fontswapping, as when the designer lends me a font I don't have so my map will match the finished book, or when I send fonts to the printer so they can run a job without substitutions. I make an effort to segregate "guest" fonts from the ones I've legally purchased, but a lot of people don't.
As I understand the GIS paradigm, a "map" is more like a recipe telling the computer how to combine several databases--which may be constantly changing--and display them the same way next time that it did last time. To cook that recipe on a different computer, you'll of course need to have the same fonts installed. Thus, there's nothing actually in error in what Cindy writes about fonts, but it could be a little misleading if you're a GIS user visiting the world of illustration mapping.
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