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I've just been approached to create some t-shirt designs for a tech company and I was just wondering whether I should expect anything from them besides their logo?

As an example, If they had a specific typeface they would want on the t-shirt would they have to supply me with that typeface?

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If they do have a logo with typography and you are expect to modify it I would expect that all fonts to be provided. The company should have multiple file formats of their logo so consult with them on possibly receiving a copy of all logo formats or request an EPS of the logo. You should also make sure what type of logo is produced in regards to full vector, half raster, full raster, are there any gradients, do you need halftones, etc. If anything in the logo is raster based you should expect a 4 color print job or a DTG job unless you can get away with printing halftones.

If the logo has a catch phrase they should provide it in an EPS or provide the font so you can adjust the type if needed. I would still ask for the font encase you want to add or modify to assist in the design.

If your designs are to include typography I would check the license and consult with the company on if they want to purchase it or if you are to purchase it. If you are to purchase the font I would convert all typography in the design to outlines.

  • Brilliant, just the answer I was after. Thanks Matt. – SaturnsEye Sep 11 '14 at 14:14
  • anytime man. just make sure that you have everything you need before you make promised on printing. If the logo is completely raster you may have to rebuild the file or may be expected to – DᴀʀᴛʜVᴀᴅᴇʀ Sep 11 '14 at 14:15
  • Luckily I've been provided EPS logos, it was more the typeface issue I was wondering about. – SaturnsEye Sep 11 '14 at 14:19
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This really depends upon the project and any scope definition discussion you have with the client.

I often indicate the need for a logo, specific product imagery, and a style guide (if one exists) as standard items. However I generally don't request any typefaces, even if there are specific requests for specific typefaces.

The reason I don't request fonts is due to licensing. If a client provides a font to me, then I can only use that font for that client. In order to use the font for any client, I need to own a license for the font. Therefore I prefer to go purchase font licenses myself. This removes most usage restrictions and allows me to freely use the typefaces I have without concern about who owns what.

In addition, I wish to remain legal with my software. Therefore I can't really verify or even tell if a client has the legal right to share any typefaces with me. Most clients have no clue about proper licensing and restrictions with sharing font files. And honestly, most don't care or are annoyed to discover font files are software with licenses. So they'll often simply hand over files without a second thought. But, if I'm caught with the font and no license, it's me who will end up in legal trouble for it, not the client who gave me the font.

The cost of font licenses, for me, is simply the cost of doing business and calculated properly for tax purposes. The same way I wouldn't expect any client to provide me with Photoshop to use and it's a tax deduction as part of operating expenses.

I'm not stating this is the absolute correct way to handle specific typeface requests. But it works well for me.

  • Cheers Scott, some great points in here – SaturnsEye Sep 12 '14 at 7:21
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To do any design project you should have a lot of info and assets:

  • the logo
  • any additional supporting brand assets
  • brand style guide
  • a problem statement
  • an audience definition
  • business objectives
  • a contract
  • a contact (who's in charge of approvals, etc?)
  • a vendor to implement (or a directive that you are handling that)
  • etc, etc.

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