I've recently bought the Karnak Pro font for usage on a freelancer flyer for a company, but after looking on the web I've found that there are some constrains on using fonts for that type of thing.

I had read the EULA but i could not understand it. It says:

Permitted Uses. This product is licensed only to the Licensee, and may not be transferred, sold, leased, rented, lent, shared, assigned, distributed or sublicensed to any third party at any time without the prior written consent of ITF.

Licensee may not modify, make error corrections, enhance, translate, adapt, alter, decompile, disassemble, decrypt, reverse engineer, change or alter the embedding bits, the font name, copyright or trademark information, nor any other proprietary or legal notices contained in the font software, nor seek to discover the source code of the font software, convert into another font format, create bitmaps, create Web fonts with third party tools or otherwise, add or subtract any glyphs, symbols or accents, or any other derivative works based on the electronic font software in this product in whole or in part, whatsoever.

Licensee may not supply, directly or indirectly, any ITF font software to any other firm, business, third party or individual for any type of modifications or updates whatsoever. If the Licensee needs to modify or update the font software in anyway in the future, ITF (Licensor) solely will perform and invoice this additional work at its normal prevailing rates.

Embedding Restrictions. PDF embedding of the font software into PDF documents is only permitted in a secured read-only mode that allows only printing and viewing, and prohibits editing, selecting, enhancing or modifying the text by means of obfuscation or encryption. Licensee must ensure that recipients of PDF documents cannot extract the ITF font software from such PDF documents or use the embedded font software for editing purposes or for the creation of new documents.

So can i use this for my freelancer projects like sending PDFs with the partial fonts embedded and send static images without problem?

  • From what I can see, it looks like you can't embed the font file itself in the pdf, but you can use it if you convert to outlines. I'm no legal expert!
    – johnp
    Commented Oct 29, 2015 at 1:00

1 Answer 1


From what I understand by reading their license, you should add security to your PDF so they cannot be edited. The funny thing is: Usually, if someone edits your text in your PDF and doesn't have THAT font installed, the software will change that part of the text for another default font... So what they probably want is that you don't create some kind of dynamic templates that can be filled using their font and resell them. That would probably require you to buy another type of license. But for print-ready files it's probably ok.

You're also supposed to protect your PDF so the font cannot be extracted; now, maybe it's just me but I don't know any method to extract a full font from a PDF to use it on another software. One way to protect yourself from this is to simply add security on your PDF or even better, vectorize the text. But keep in mind that you can put all the security or password you want on a PDF, if someone somewhere wants to get something out of it, a motivated designer could always find a way to bypass the security.

You should be alright if you use rasterized formats since the text cannot be edited on these files if they're flattened.

And regarding the 3 first paragraphs of the license, it's simple: Don't send the font to anyone, don't resell it as part of template or alone, and don't modify it with any software (modifying the font using a font creation software or converting it from Postscript to TrueType for example.)

  • In this case, should the company itself be the one paying for the font license? It's something I've always been wary of when it comes to branding.
    – johnp
    Commented Oct 29, 2015 at 1:04
  • 1
    So the general rule for that font is, everything with un-editable text is good? And also don't send the file as you stated Commented Oct 29, 2015 at 1:09
  • 2
    @GuilhermeWR Yeah, and that's pretty much the same for all paid fonts, they just mention it in a different way in their license. There's a limit to how much you can protect your files too, so as long you're not negligent, you'll be alright! Anyway, protecting the fonts is also good to protect your work from being used by... other designers :)
    – go-junta
    Commented Oct 29, 2015 at 1:12
  • I got it, thanks go-meek! I will search on the ways to better protect PDFs, to avoid any problems. Commented Oct 29, 2015 at 1:17
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    @johnpharrell I think the company should pay for this but that also depends on the situation. If they require a specific font, they should pay for it and have the freedom to use it on their every element of their brand. Otherwise it's to the discretion of the designer; using the font on a layout comes with "using" the designer who owns the license. In a way, the font the designer uses is part of the package deal when he's/she's hired for a project, but the font's license always belong to the designer. I'm not a lawyer, but I guess that's how it works.
    – go-junta
    Commented Oct 29, 2015 at 1:18

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