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I've just started off being a freelance graphic designer (wooo adventure), but I've a question about using texts when making logos. From what I understand, Typefaces don't have copyright; so I want to know if I can just use any ol' font on my PC; make an outline of it, then edit it to make a typeface for a logo. Will that do? Or do I really need to start from scratch?

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Typefaces do have a copyright, even the ones preinstalled on your PC. This is a bit broad since you did not mention which font you are planning to use. Different fonts come with different legal do's and don'ts. Try looking for fonts which allow personal and/or commercial usage. A good place to find these is Google Fonts or see questions 280 and 16658.

  • I see, so it really depends on the font I intend to use. Thank you for the helpful links Lucian. I guess I'll start collecting fonts that fall under creative commons. I will browse google fonts too.. <3 – Daryl Caberte Aug 23 '17 at 9:14
  • Thank you for being so helpful Lucian... already clicked the check mark :) – Daryl Caberte Aug 23 '17 at 9:21
  • Lucian this depends on your locale – joojaa Aug 23 '17 at 13:36
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    @DarylCaberte be aware that some Creative Commons licenses have other restrictions like making derivatives, using them for commercial purposes or attribution. Make sure you understand the licence of the typeface. Do not assume Creative Commons means you can do what you aked. – Luke Aug 24 '17 at 4:53
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You can probably* use all of the fonts that were pre-installed on your PC/Mac for any purpose - commercial or otherwise. These pre-installed fonts are licensed by Microsoft/Apple for use on computers for any purpose. However, fonts are certainly copyrightable, but that means you can't redistribute the font files in most cases. It doesn't mean you can't use them for a project.

I would go so far as to say you can use any commercially available/purchased font for any purpose you want. Whether a commercial logo, print job, for use in graphics on the web, etc. If this were not the case, there would be no point in buying any fonts. Note that just because you may have bought a font doesn't mean you can redistribute or share the font files. Converting text to outlines is a common way to avoid such problems.

*Note: That said, some fonts (particularly free ones that you downloaded elsewhere) might have licences which prohibit commercial use. Ultimately you should really check the individual font licences to check what you can or can't use them for.

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