Jump to content

 
Photo

Purchase font to legally sell a map?

- - - - -

  • Please log in to reply
10 replies to this topic

#1
kpearson

kpearson

    Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPip
  • 26 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:North Carolina
  • Interests:Cartography & Bouldering!
  • United States

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.

#2
Hans van der Maarel

Hans van der Maarel

    CartoTalk Editor-in-Chief

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,868 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The Netherlands
  • Interests:Cartography, GIS, history, popular science, music.
  • Netherlands

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.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


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.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
Email: hans@redgeographics.com / Twitter: @redgeographics

#3
Dennis McClendon

Dennis McClendon

    Hall of Fame

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,083 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Chicago
  • Interests:map design, large-scale maps of cities
  • United States

Is this somewhere in Cindy Brewer's book? What page?

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."
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com

#4
JimBlakeslee

JimBlakeslee

    Key Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 50 posts
  • Location:Silver Spring, Maryland, USA
  • Interests:Interactive Map Applications: Flash, MySQL, PHP, etc.
  • United States

Fine point: Georgia is optimized for screen legibility, not necessarily print legibility.

#5
EcoGraphic

EcoGraphic

    Master Contributor

  • Links Moderator
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 241 posts
  • Location:Okanagan Valley, BC
  • Interests:landscape architecture,cartography,information architecture,wayfinding,landscape archaeology,cultural landscapes,sustainable design,visual journalism,travel writing,photography,illustration,languages
  • Canada

Fine point: Georgia is optimized for screen legibility, not necessarily print legibility.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



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.
Gillian Auld
EcoGraphic Design
www.EcoGraphic.ca

Design is the intermediary between information and understanding
Richard Grefe

#6
kpearson

kpearson

    Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPip
  • 26 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:North Carolina
  • Interests:Cartography &amp; Bouldering!
  • United States

Thanks for the responses. I will be making maps for people to use on their website which typically are in jpeg, etc format. So what kind of font can I use with out infringing on copyright laws?

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?
Thanks

#7
Dennis McClendon

Dennis McClendon

    Hall of Fame

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,083 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Chicago
  • Interests:map design, large-scale maps of cities
  • United States

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.
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com

#8
loximuthal

loximuthal

    Key Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 96 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Bowie, MD
  • United States

Where are the font 'Files' located?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


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.
Andy McIntire
US Census Bureau

#9
kpearson

kpearson

    Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPip
  • 26 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:North Carolina
  • Interests:Cartography &amp; Bouldering!
  • United States

chicarto: I am sooo SORRY!!!! I just wanted to be specific about what I was doing and if it was legal. When it comes down to legal issues there has to be specifics and I wanted to make sure everyone fully understood what I was doing. In response to your comment: "Third, in posting a raster (JPEG, GIF, PNG) file, you're not even including the vector information that the font company licensed to you" - I didn't know that. That's why I am asking so many questions.

#10
Unit Seven

Unit Seven

    Legendary Contributor

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 266 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:New Zealand
  • New Zealand

Ok?fonts are software, and like any other software (Photoshop or Firefox at two extremes) they are subject to copyright. Some freeware is also subject to copyright and licences.

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.
S a m B r o w n

U N I T S E V E N
unit.seven@gmail.com

Miramar, Wellington
N E W Z E A L A N D

#11
Dennis McClendon

Dennis McClendon

    Hall of Fame

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,083 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Chicago
  • Interests:map design, large-scale maps of cities
  • United States

OK, I found the passage in question, p. 46 of Cindy Brewer's book Designing Better Maps: A Guide for GIS Users.

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.
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

-->