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School of Visual Arts

Selling and Protecting Typefaces

School of Visual Arts via Kadenze


Selling and Protecting Typefaces addresses the many concerns of developing and marketing typefaces for the professional environment. The course also discusses the different roles of a type foundry, an aggregator, and the individual designer who wishes to license and sell a typeface.

The course covers all the issues involved in selecting and licensing typefaces for commercial use in all sectors of the design industry: e-commerce, direct sales, social media, traditional advertising, intellectual property, licensing models, and pricing. It includes start to finish instruction in creating design briefs for custom-type projects for clients of all sizes and budget levels. Fee scales for custom type design will be discussed in depth. Participants will be familiarized with professional industry standards for high-quality digital typefaces in contemporary markets, including language support, font file formats and technical concerns.


  • Marketing Your Typefaces
    • Expanding on the previous session's discussion of potential distribution channels for your work, we'll conclude the course with a look at approaches to building your brand and creating marketing materials. We'll pay special attention to the type specimen, one of the most important tools for promoting a typeface.
  • Guide To Typographic Usage Licenses and Licensing Fees
    • In this session, we will go over some of the types of licensing and licensing fee structures you might assign to your work, intellectual property rights from potential source material you might be working from, as well as IP protections you can assert over your own work. This always comes back to the most important document that you create to accompany your work: The End User License Agreement (or EULA). Finally, we'll discuss various distribution channels that you might consider for making your work available.
  • Developing Design Briefs For Typefaces
    • Our first session will focus on working with clients. We'll discuss the design brief, the document that should define the terms and scope of any custom type project. We'll also dig into some of the intellectual property and ownership issues that are very important to understand when beginning a design project with a client.


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