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I am looking for a way to start from a base font and create another font from it, that I could eventually resell. The edits would be rather heavy but the shape could remain.

I would like to know if simple roman fonts with upper and lowercase characters exist in the public domain, or with a licence that would allow me to modify and potentially resell (I would assume that there are right owners that have passed away long ago for their work to be in the public domain, and that their fonts could have been digitized by people with the goal of giving it for free...?)

I have looked on archive.org and also at this question that links to this website (great first step, but it seems a bit outdated and many links are dead), and I am wondering if there are other resources that can be used to find such fonts.

I would assume it could be useful for many people, from design students to font designers that are interested in collaborating on creative projects that share the same base.

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Yes, these types of font are called Open/Libre fonts (not to be confused with OpenType font file format).

The principles are the same as Free Software/Open Source Software.

Some of these fonts are distributed in many popular Linux distros, e.g.:

Note that many of these fonts are copyleft, you are required to license your modifications under the same or a compatible terms to your font users and you need to make the font available in editable form. Most Libre licenses do guarantee you the freedom to sell a Libre product in modified or unmodified form. Though the requirement to make the editable form available means that people don't necessarily have to pay you to use your font.

If that is a concern to you, you might want to look for a non-copyleft open licensed font (i.e. permissive licensed, like MIT licensed fonts). Permissive licenses usually do not require releasing in editable form, some may require attribution.

Some open license may also require you to rename the fonts if you plan to distribute your modified font, for trademark reasons.

You should read and understand the licenses of the fonts that you are going to use before you use them.

Note that at present, there are no true public domain digital fonts that entered public domain through copyright expiry, because digital computers with general purpose typesetting capability have only existed for lesser period than the copyright expiry time in most jurisdictions.

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I am looking for a way to start from a base font and create another font from it, that I could eventually resell. The edits would be rather heavy but the shape could remain.

Use historic, i.e. printed typefaces, which are old enough to have an expired copyright. There are no (or hardly any) digital fonts you can edit and then resell. This is obviously not legal with commercial fonts, but even the already mentioned open source fonts won’t work, because their licenses only allow a redistribution with the same (i.e. non-commercial) license.

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