Sunday, September 24, 2006

Why would a typeface designer want to give a font away?

1. To make a selfless gift to humanity.
2. To raise global awareness of typographic excellence.
3. To create a visual resource that will be used by students, citizens, amateurs, and professionals all over the world.
4. To contribute to a global design vocabulary.
5. To seed the world with a visual idea that could be built on and enriched by other designers serving smaller linguistic communities.

Who needs free fonts?

The lack of access to high-quality free fonts encourages students to engage in criminal behavior. Such behavior also is endemic in the developing world, where the idea of paying for typeface licenses is often counter-intuitive. If typeface designers worked to populate a small but rich domain of high-quality typefaces that could be freely used by anyone on earth, they would help improve the accessibility of communications worldwide, while also raising the standards for typographic excellence.

Open Letter to John Warnock

Andrei Michael Herasimchuk recently posted a letter asking Adobe to release five great fonts into the wild. But why just five fonts? And why just Adobe? Shouldn't every typeface designer have the opportunity to make a gift to humanity?

How should a free font be licensed?

Just like commercially distributed fonts, free fonts should be protected under licenses. SIL has developed an Open Font Licence that helps defend the integrity of the original design while encouraging other designers to expand the typeface in new ways. It also also prohibits others from repackaging the typeface or any derivatives of it as a commercial product.