Arrr Ye a Font Pirate? Improper Font Management Could Have Companies Sleeping with the Fishes

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Unwitting font piracy is making pirates out of printers. Intellectual property laws and copyrights extend to typefaces used in letterhead, publications, and even logos. Fonts carry their own licensing and the use of unlicensed fonts, even unintentionally, is becoming a growing concern to copyright holders and businesses alike. Proper font management and training from can avoid costly copyright problems.

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Ahoy, captains of industry. Down in the murky depths, a great threat is growing: unwitting font piracy. Ask any old salt, what you don’t know can hurt you. However, proper font management and training can help companies traverse the great sea of opportunity without fear.

It seems seldom addressed, but international intellectual property laws and copyrights extend to typefaces used by companies everywhere. Whether in letterhead, publications, or even company logos, fonts carry their own licensing. However, the use of unlicensed fonts, even unintentionally, continues to be a rampant problem. In the process of day-to-day publishing, many fonts coagulate on hard drives and company networks. That is, until somebody thinks to look for them. Think of them as an unseen threat.

Author, expert software trainer, and Adobe vet Tim Plumer knows how font concerns are often swept under the rug: “Mostly, it’s an issue of lack of coordination and organization. Very few people even read the license, most simply submit a font with a print job with no regard to the legality of doing so.” Sound familiar? Hairy deadlines and day-to-day demands often force font licensing concerns into the brink.

International print companies are already feeling the effects of the unseen threat of improper font management. Upon a recent software audit, a successful London-based publishing company was found to be unwittingly housing over 11,000 unlicensed fonts, which resulted in steep fines. In the publishing world, even licensed fonts have a way of hanging around long after the project is printed and the license expired, effectively endangering the entire ship. Many companies, large and small, find solace in the successful application of font management.

While font management applications such as FontAgent Pro and Suitcase/Font Fusion are widely used by many companies, according to Plumer, “about 70% or more have some sort of font management software, yet fewer than 40% use it correctly.” A simple step to rid companies of unseen and costly dangers is proper education and training.

Even according to prepress professionals such as Richard Bowers, Prepress Manager for Indexx, “copyright laws seem a little blurry.” Companies can keep abreast of US copyright information at While you can’t exercise much control over ever-changing copyright law, you can control how well you utilize the tools you have. Expert software training has proven beneficial for companies big and small. Full control of font software can mean the difference between going down with the ship and traversing the seas with ease. See how a few quick, educational clicks can speed your crew to success by taking a free interactive tip ( on successful font management.

The Prepress Training Solution provides expert, interactive software training for the graphics and prepress field. Dedicated courses deliver low-cost, individualized online testing and training accessible anytime, anywhere via an Internet connection. The Prepress Training Solution's hands-on training helps create more productive, efficient, and therefore profitable employees and companies. Visit for more info.


John C. Evans, Media Director

Prepress Training Solution

812-355-3030 ext. 110

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