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Font usage (=fonts embedded in Illustrator)for stock design (=commercial purpose)

Guest
Mar 12, 2014 Mar 12, 2014

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Hi,

I have a question concerning the commercial usage of the fonts incorporated in Illustrator. Is it legal to use  them (after converted into outlines) for creating stock vectors and then selling them on stockphotos/designs web pages? If I have purchased the product itself, do I have to purchse also the embedded fonts separately in order to create files for commercial purposes? I would be grateful if you could provide me a clear and concreate answer. I have been searching for a month to get a response and I haven't found it yet. Thank you very much for your precious help.

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Mar 14, 2014 Mar 14, 2014

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I will assume that by “fonts incorporated in Illustrator” you actually mean fonts that are installed by Adobe as part of the installation of Illustrator. My response also applies for any other fonts licensed from the Adobe Type Library directly from Adobe.

You may use and embed fonts using Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop PDF and EPS output file formats without any restriction. That includes embedding them in files that you license to others. You don't need to outline or rasterize the text to remain legal. In fact, outlining degrades output quality since you lose “intelligent scaling” provided by the font technology and font definitions with result of overly bold and blotchy looking text at low magnifications and resolutions. Rasterizing is even worse since the results are tied to a particular resolution.

What you may not do is to sell artwork in .AI (Illustrator), .INDD (InDesign), or any one of the Photoshop formats with layers preserving live text and include the fonts as separate files. (You obviously could distribute such source files without the fonts and point your customers to where to license them!)

Clearly, the best option in terms of output of your artwork and designs for resale would not outlining or rasterizing text and saving or exporting as PDF (either PDF/X-4 or High Quality Print options) maintaining color management and live transparency (if used).

          - Dov

PS:  This advice with regards to fonts may or may not apply to fonts sourced elsewhere. You must read the EULA (End User License Agreement) associated with the fonts you plan to license. Some may allow embedding but require royalties for the distributed PDF or EPS files that have the fonts embedded. Some prohibit outlining or treat outlining the same in terms of restrictions as embedding the font itself. And some have similar restrictions on rasterization. Check such terms before you license a font!!! Yes, you must read the licenses!

- Dov Isaacs, former Adobe Principal Scientist (April 30, 1990 - May 30, 2021)

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 14, 2014 Mar 14, 2014

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Dov,

Just to make sure: it is quite legal to use outlined fonts (with the inherent quality limitation) in vector artwork, including AI documents, is it not?

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Mar 14, 2014 Mar 14, 2014

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In terms of outlined fonts, for Adobe fonts, unless you need special artistic effects, such outlining buys you nothing except possibly a bloated file size and as you indicated, quality loss. Of course, if you want or need to send out .AI files for possible customization to recipients who haven't separately licensed the font or are unwilling to license the font, the outlining will “work” and there are no restrictions against it, again for Adobe fonts.

For non-Adobe fonts, read the EULA for any font you plan to license. They differ in terms of what they allow.

          - Dov

- Dov Isaacs, former Adobe Principal Scientist (April 30, 1990 - May 30, 2021)

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 14, 2014 Mar 14, 2014

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Thank you very much, Dov.

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Guest
Mar 17, 2014 Mar 17, 2014

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Dear Dov and Jacob,

I am really grateful for your help. Thank you very much. So, just to conclude, the answer would be yes for "fonts that are installed by Adobe as part of the installation of Illustrator"? Thank you once again. I wish you a great day.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 18, 2014 Mar 18, 2014

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Sophie,

the answer would be yes for "fonts that are installed by Adobe as part of the installation of Illustrator"?

Yes, it would be yes.

For my part you are welcome, and good luck with your using them.

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Guest
Mar 20, 2014 Mar 20, 2014

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Thank you!It is very very nice of you.:)All the best for you!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 21, 2014 Mar 21, 2014

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You are welcome, Sophie.

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