Im planning on using a font in part of a company logo, with this particular font i need to purchase a commercial license before it can use the in the final release of the logo.

Im designing the logo for a 3rd party, who do i make out the commercial font contract to - ourselves the graphic designers, or the client who the logo is for ?

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    The answer to this question depends on the terms of the font licence and your contract with your client. You need to consult a lawyer. – Andrew Leach Aug 29 '13 at 16:28
  • You traditionally can not use a copyrighted font in a logo if you wish to copyright the logo. You would need written release from the font designer. As Andrew commented - consult a copyright attorney, – Scott Aug 29 '13 at 16:29
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    @Scott I don't think that's true. For example, look at any number of logos based on Helvetica. – DA01 Aug 29 '13 at 16:38
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    @Scott no, that shouldn't be necessary. Unless the EULA explicitly states you CAN'T use the font for logos, it's a valid use of the font. At least in North America. – DA01 Aug 29 '13 at 16:42
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    I'm not against lawyers, of course, but let's not make this into something it's not. Any time you buy a font, it should have a license. Read the license. If you have questions, contact the type foundry. They can answer the question. No need to pay lawyers for this. – DA01 Aug 29 '13 at 16:43

Think of yourself as a carpenter and the client has hired you to trim out a house. You buy the tools, the client pays for the final product (the trim being installed). You walk away with the tools you bought as part of doing business.

This is the same with fonts. It's a tool that you as a graphic designer use to produce work for clients. Since the logo doesn't need to retain the font data (assuming you are converting it to outlines) there's no need for the client to have a license for that font.(*)

If the client needs to use the font for other purposes, then they'd need to get their own license of the font--in addition to yours.

(*) There are some exceptions in that some typefaces have special licenses that require an additional license if the typeface is being used as a logo for a rather large entity. This is rare, but read the EULA to be sure.

  • The converse is that the client buys the wallpaper and pays you to hang it. You don't keep the wallpaper, they just pay you for your effort. This is why the terms of the client contract are important here. – Andrew Leach Aug 29 '13 at 17:37
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    @AndrewLeach well, in that case the wallpaper is like the paper you print the logo on...and...uh...OK FINE, MY ANALOGY ISN'T PERFECT. :D – DA01 Aug 29 '13 at 17:45

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