Thursday, December 29, 2011

My Top 5 Commercial Use Fonts

Here's a random question for you--if you've designed your own header, blog buttons, etc, do you have a commercial license to use any and all fonts involved? What about fonts used for free digital downloads or in your own Etsy shop?

Are you scratching your head right now?

If you're unfamiliar with how font licensing works, here's how it goes in a nutshell:
All fonts, digital scrapbook paper, stock photos, Photoshop actions (and much more) are typically licensed either for personal or commercial use. If they're licensed for personal use, you're being told that you can use them for exactly that--your own personal use. Not in your etsy shop. Not in blog designs for other people. Often times, the licensing agreement will say that the font/action/digital scrapbook paper/stock photo cannot be used for ANY commercial purpose, including free digital downloads, fliers for events and/or blog buttons.

In order to use any of these items for advertising purposes and especially for any circumstance that may earn you income, you generally need to make sure that you have a commercial license for using these items.

Yikes right? I don't know about you, but any number of my older blog layouts had fonts from here, there, and everywhere...and I didn't really have any idea whether I was legally allowed to use them or not (or even that it was an issue). However, over the past year I've been trying really hard to make sure that everything I use on this blog is legal (and ethical) for me to use. So, in looking at which fonts to transfer over from my old laptop to my new one, I realized that since I often didn't know whether a font was available for commercial use or not, I needed to start fresh, with only fonts that were free for commercial use.

Enter Font Squirrel (who I heard about from the wonderful John & Sherry at Young House Love awhile ago). I have no affiliation with Font Squirrel at all...other than the fact that I use them all the time now because they offer a HUGE selection of fonts that are all 100% free for commercial use.

Here are my Top 5 Favorite Font Squirrel fonts of the moment: 

Seriously guys....if you don't use fonts with a commercial license already, think about it! Sure, you probably won't get caught for using a font without a commercial license in your blog header, but it's just good practice, and one less thing to think about or worry about down the line!


  1. This is a GREAT posting! Though I'm not involved in anything commercial yet, I have done my own blog designing and helped some friends with theirs and I'm ALWAYS worried that I will accidentally use something I'm not supposed to. Since I'm not selling anything or using it in advertising, I'm not overly concerned yet, but it's nice to have this as a resource in the event it ever comes to that. Thanks!

  2. Love this post! I seriously had no idea about this, will have to look at what I've used and take a look.

  3. For the most part I use fonts that I've purchased thanks to the graphic design biz, but I have a feeling I probably use some that I shouldn't. I'll have to look into that, thanks for the tip!

  4. All my fonts thus far have come with Photoshop or Word, or the occasional Fonts for Peas from Amanda (who gives them away for free use, I thought)...those are good for commercial use right? I mean, I don't make any money so it shouldn't matter, but you never know...

    Shoot! Thanks for the info about Font Squirrel!

  5. Going to check that out!! I've always used what I have on my computer. Haven't really thought to go find new ones! Thanks!

  6. Yeah I had no clue.
    Really like your header now btw!


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