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What is the legal perspective of using specific fonts for your company logo?

Which fonts CAN you use in your logo?

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"Which fonts CAN you use in your logo" is impossibly broad for us to answer. It depends on the license you have for the font. How did you obtain your copy of Helvetica Neue? –  JohnB Jan 24 at 20:44
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Always check your terms-of-use from where you got the font and there should be a copyright with it. Did your font come in a folder? If it did you should have a file called READ-ME. Sometimes it helps to read those actually. –  Gramps Jan 24 at 21:11
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1 Answer

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Every font should come with a EULA (End User License Agreement) that will outline what you can and can not do with the font.

In most every case, you having purchased a license for a font grants you the right to use the font for typesetting any work you are creating. In some cases, there may be some exceptions. Some common exceptions:

  • some fonts don't allow you to embed them in electronic files (software or PDFs)
  • some fonts don't let you use them for commercial work (typically an exclusion in freeware fonts)
  • some fonts require an additional license for usage as a logo for large corporations (this is restriction for some of House Industry's faces)
  • most fonts don't let you use the font as a primary element of a retail item (for instance, using the font to create big wooden letters and then selling the letters) without an additional license. Another example is some fonts require additional licenses for using it in clothing.
  • some fonts have moral clauses (for instance, not being allowed to use it to promote tobacco products)

In general, though, most fonts that you have paid a license for allow you to legally use them in logos. Just check to see if there are any exceptions in the license. If you're not sure, email the foundry and they'll be glad to answer the question for you.

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moral clauses! Wow. Go foundries. –  Lauren Ipsum Jan 25 at 1:19
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Great info! Turns out as Helvetica Neue is a system font for Mac OS X, it's free to use for commercial work. –  Tom Jan 25 at 14:56
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