Cyberclinic: Is it worth actually buying a typeface?

Have you ever bought a font? Within minutes of this question being addressed on our blog this week, I received a stern dressing-down for misusing the word font, when I actually meant "typeface". (I blame both Windows and Mac OS for storing typefaces in a folder named "Fonts".) But the real issue is one of copyright; while the sharing of software applications, music and video receives untold publicity, few people consider humble fonts. The minuscule size of these font files means that they have been swapped with impunity for decades, with no copy protection, serial numbers or reminders that we haven't paid. The only thing stopping them being shared and copied is our sense of guilt.

Maybe for this reason, we've developed an appetite for collecting them – particularly when we've just embarked on a fun-filled relationship with a computer. This is mainly down to the misguided notion that having loads to choose from will suddenly add that missing flash of inspiration to our party invitations. The designer Jacob Cass has posted a blog entry [tinyurl.com/ 2epltc] detailing a mere 30 typefaces any designer should ever need; if you have a tendency to flip through colossal menus in a vain search for the right one, it's worth having a look.

There are several sources on the net for free typefaces. But they are largely amateurish efforts, and those that look professional are often commercial typefaces that have been repackaged; a recent study found that 70 per cent of fonts on one particular site have an absent copyright string (a code within the typeface). That's a typical indication of foul play.

"Most typeface design is done by individuals and small companies," posted Stephen Coles on our blog. "It's an esoteric skill and there are very few who can do it well. They should be paid for their work." Let's spare them a thought next time we effortlessly drag a folder full of font files on to our hard disk.

Diagnosis required

Email any technology gripes to cyberclinic@independent.co.uk, or join the discussions on the daily Cyberclinic blog at www.independent.co.uk/cyberclinic. Currently under discussion: Can I get Blackberry-style email alerts on my normal phone? Coming up this week: How can I password-protect my website?

Suggested Topics
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Recruitment Genius: Technical Support Analyst

    £20000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Managed IT Services Provid...

    Recruitment Genius: 1st / 2nd Line IT Support Engineer

    £20000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This specialist high tech compa...

    Recruitment Genius: Web Designer / Developer

    £12000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: New Full-time, Part-time and Fr...

    Recruitment Genius: Creative Web and UI Designer

    £30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An experienced creative web and...

    Day In a Page

    Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

    The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

    Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her in Latakia
    9 best women's festival waterproofs

    Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

    These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
    On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

    On your feet!

    Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
    With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

    The big NHS question

    Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
    Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Big knickers are back
    Thurston Moore interview

    Thurston Moore interview

    On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
    In full bloom

    In full bloom

    Floral print womenswear
    From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

    From leading man to Elephant Man

    Bradley Cooper is terrific
    In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

    In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

    Dame Colette Bowe - interview
    When do the creative juices dry up?

    When do the creative juices dry up?

    David Lodge thinks he knows
    The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

    Fashion's Cher moment

    Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
    Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

    Health fears over school cancer jab

    Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
    Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

    'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

    Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
    Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

    Weather warning

    Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report