Cyberclinic: Is it worth actually buying a typeface?
Wednesday 05 March 2008
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.
Email any technology gripes to email@example.com, 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?
Life & Style blogs
The high-powered dream team trying to create a stiletto shoe as comfy as a trainer
How Old Do I Look: Microsoft’s super advanced age-guessing app is terrible at guessing how old celebrities are, too
Apple MacBook review: preposterously thin and extravagantly attractive, this is the best-designed laptop Apple has ever made
What do the emoji on Snapchat mean?
The 12 most sexually satisfied countries in the world revealed
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
Indonesia executions live: 'Hysterical' families heard prisoners being shot dead by firing squad
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds
- 1 Which country would be hardest to invade?
- 2 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 3 Royal baby girl born: Duchess of Cambridge's second child will be a princess thanks to Queen
- 5 Teen suffers embarrassing wardrobe malfunction in front of deputy PM
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As your knowledge grows you wil...
£40000 - £48000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Engineer - Linux ...
£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of Cloud ...