Updated Apr 22,2024
Graphic Design

The Law of Fonts and Typefaces in Graphic Design and Marketing

law of fonts and typefaces in design and marketing

Indeed, stunning and proper typography works and can be mind-triggering for the target audience in the design and marketing industries! Today — we aim to evolve the proper use of fonts and typefaces in design and marketing. This post will help you to remove the misinformation and confusion of the law of fonts and typefaces in design!

Understanding the law of typefaces and fonts can help you run a quality race in the digital marketing premises. But the truth will shock you! Many marketers don’t know the law of using typefaces and fonts in design. The significance of using the proper typeface in design or marketing means a lot. It helps to develop a solid Brand Identity and develop pretty-designed websites, nice-looking brochures, and top-notch marketing stances.

Ideal fonts and typefaces facilitate legibility, intensify the tone of a design piece, and make your silent words loud in design. This post will unfold everything about the law of fonts and typefaces in design and marketing. So, are you ready to dig into more words? Read on.

What Are Fonts?

Most probably, you already have ABC of fonts! But when we talk about fonts in design, it means a lot. We say you'll need to understand the difference between fonts and typefaces. Basically, a font is a particular style of a typeface.

Look — Arial Black is a font. It comes from the Arial Typeface family. In the same way, Comfortaa Normal is a font. It comes from the Comforta family. We hope you have already got a better idea of fonts.

Fonts are displayable or printable typography (characters of text)! They come out with unique styles and sizes. Also, you can use the styles and sizes of the fonts in both digital and print text.

What Are Typefaces?

typeface design

Indeed, typefaces are sets of typographic design pieces that characterize a set of glyphs or letters. The typographic features possess stroke weight, serifs, ligatures, ascenders, descenders, balance, and more. The typeface encompasses one set of letters from any other set of letters!

You already have prior knowledge of typefaces.

Yes, you know them!

The most common typefaces include Times New Roman, Roboto, Helvetica, and Arial. Do you think these are fonts? No, These are typefaces. We hope you have already obtained a more precise idea of fonts and typefaces! Let's discuss the importance of fonts and typefaces in the design industry.

The Origins of Typography

The history of typography is a beggar description! It doesn’t come overnight in the design world!

Typography was born in the 11th century in China during the Song Dynasty. Bi Sheng was the inventor of typography. He developed his movable type using porcelain between 1039 and 1048.

On the wood, it was easier to replace the letter or character. After that, the metal portable type came out around 1230 in Korea during the Goryeo Dynasty. Metal proved the solid tone of typography at that time.

The Importance of Typography In Design

typography design

Typography is the beauty of putting type! And it is an essential feature in design! Indeed, typography plays a vital and significant role in the design world. It helps communicate your design to its message and set up a mind-blowing posture for your brand!

No doubt, typography is a powerful element of design that can have a fantastic impact on user experience, the design's readability, and the positive enticement of the design. Typography has multi-factors importance in the design and marketing industry! A better understanding of typography can be a key to developing highly influential and mind-triggering designs.

Communication and Readability

Typography encompasses the core communication of design! The first duty of a design piece is to fetch a message and how the text appears to present the readability of the design. Quality typography can enhance the level of readability of a design piece! Also, it makes the design effortless for the audience to transfer the information.

On the other hand, poor typography can make text complex to read and also the message of the design piece carries. That's why the designers carefully pick fonts, spacing, line length, and alignment to ensure that their typography can convey the inner messages of the design more effectively!

Establishing the Tone That Conveys Brand Identity

Mind it — typography can better the tone and posture of the design. It can gear up exact emotions or responses from the audience panel! Yes, it's true different fonts and styles convey different personalities - from formal to informal.

Undoubtedly, appropriate typography is the core element in expressing your brand identity. Using specific typography helps your brand establish and recall the brand values and nature. Quality typography can establish an authentic tone and it assists in taking your brand's identity to the next level. Keep in mind that poor-quality typography can do the opposite thing for your brand for sure! So, be cautious of using the proper typography to nurture your brand identity!

Hierarchical Structure and User Navigation

In digital platforms like apps and websites, typography demands a detailed eye for producing a transparent hierarchical structure in the design world! It helps trigger the user's attention! Also, it delivers essential information first and then proposes related information.

The headlines, subheadings, body text, and even call-to-action elements can be distinguished through color, size, weight, and typeface to produce a more visual hierarchy that fosters navigation and enhances user venture.

Impressive Appeal and Fantastic Visual Harmony

Typography plays a key role in creating the distinctive appeal of a design piece!  Many things cooperate to develop a fantastic visual harmony of a design piece. The prevailing visual harmony of a design relies on the exceptional preference of typefaces and the performance on a screen or a page. 

It can elevate your design piece to a top-notch level when you pick typography by doing in-depth research. The right typography can make your design fascinating and visually engaging! Pro designers can play with typography to bring balance and contrast by adding visual interest to their design pieces!

Accessibility and Inclusivity

Good typography always matters in every corner of the design industry! Top-quality typography is fundamental for accessibility and inclusivity. Of course, a Pro—graphic designer considers how the typography choice defines the design and how people respond to its optic impairments! Veteran graphic designers dive into font size, color contrast, and spacing to ensure the text is easy to read for a vast range of audiences.

Therefore, typography comes with two basic purposes in the graphic design. The first one is to facilitate legibility! The second purpose is to assist in conveying the messaging, tone, and emotion of a design piece. One more thing to remember, typography rotates around aesthetics.

How Is a Font Different From a Typeface?

In the digital world, a font is a computer file program. It communicates with your printer and displays how a character of letters shows in design. In the meantime, a typeface is a set of symbols, numbers, and letters! 

The typeface can create a particular piece of design that you can use to organize text or other combinations of characters. Many of us call Helvetica a font. Nope! It's a typeface. Fonts are variations of Helvetica typefaces. Like, Helvetica Regular, Helvetica Bold, Helvetica Italic, etc. 

Make it simple with an example! The software tells your printer or display to pick a letter in Helvetica as the font.

How Do You Obtain a License For a Font?

You can get fonts both free and licensed. You can get free fonts for commercial use. Whether you get the fonts free or paid, they all come with a license. The license manual will explain how you can use the fonts. You will find the rights and obligations of using the fonts from the End User License Agreement (EULA). One thing to remind you is that those license agreements vary among the font makers and fonts. You should read their explanation carefully to learn their license policies.

Some agreements restrict the number of computers where you install the fonts. At the same time, some of them prohibit the ways how you use the fonts. Before you go with your favorite fonts, read the license explanation carefully.

What Is Copyright?

Maybe you know it. But let's dive into it to get a better idea of copyright! Copyright is a state of legal protection for those who produce original works. According to the 1976 Copyright Act (US) —  the copyright owner can adapt, reproduce, perform, distribute, and publicly display the work!

As a copyright owner,  you can license, sell copyright ownership, or donate it wherever you want.

Does Copyright Law Protect Typefaces And Fonts?

The U.S. copyright law does not protect typefaces! Fonts can get protection as most fonts are software or program files. Bitmapped fonts are the computerized representation of a typeface, but copyright law doesn't protect the fonts. On the other hand, copyright law protects scalable fonts as they are integral parts of a program or software.

The copyright law only protects those fonts that belong to software or program files. However, the 1976 Copyright Law doesn't protect the creative design of the typeface. Regardless, copyright law can be different for different countries. Also, the law is negotiable for different typefaces and fonts.

The U.S. is the only country in the Western world they don't acknowledge intellectual property rights in typeface design. By the 1976 Copyright Act, the U.S. Copyright Office has noted that fonts are unsubjected to protection like artistic works.

On the contrary, in 1981, Germany declared that typeface designs would get protection by copyright law as original works. After a few years, England has protected typeface designs under the Copyright Law since 1989.

Therefore, different country has different copyright laws. That's why you should keep a keen eye on copyright law to understand where Copyright law protects typefaces and fonts.

Does the U.S. Have To Follow the Copyright Law of Other Countries Under International Treaties?

The straightforward answer will be Yes and No. Indeed, all of the principal copyright treaties follow the Berne Convention. There is a common principle named ‘national treatment.’ It holds that a country must treat equally locals and foreigners. It means the U.S. is not bound to provide outlandish magnificent protection to the works from other countries. However, the U.S. evaluates more what the U.S. produces than works from different countries.

Can You Copy Typefaces Without Worrying About Copyright Law?

If you copy a font by recreating it yourself, it doesn't mean you're violating the law (in the U.S.) as you don't copy the computer program, right?

It was violating the law if you could copy the computer programs. You can legally print every glyph on a printer. After that, you should scan the image. Then, draft each image on your computer. Mind it- this copy does not involve a coping program or software that conveys fonts.  

If you want to use that font in a larger design, it will not be a wise idea for sure. A typeface is customizable, and you can use it as a part of a logo design. When the typeface is not subject to copyright protection, the logo design can come with protection as an artistic piece. 

Then, it needs to dig into the arrangement of letters, colors, use of space, and other inventive aspects of the design. Sure, you can copy typefaces without worrying about Copyright Law, but it can result in your design with poor quality!

Does Patent Law Protect Typefaces?

Yup, it happens sometimes.

The reality is — the typeface designs abide by the parent law, but generally, they are not! Why? In the typeface designs, those followed by parent law, most of the patents have expired.

Additionally, typeface and font designs are suitable for design patents! Many of the computer system providers deliver their unique fonts and typeface designs. All of these are subject to this additional intellectual property protection!

Does Trademark Law Protect Typefaces?

Trademark law only protects the name of a typeface. It does not protect the design of the typeface at all. In the meantime, Trademark law already protects some fonts and typefaces.

Trademarks protect a font's name and its relationship with a particular designer! If you think you have developed unique font software or characters, sure, it’s good news! you can think of registration of your work with the ideal copyright office.

Using Fonts In Commercial Design And Marketing Projects

Using the Open Font License, graphic designers can use fonts in diverse projects. The project varies from desktop publishing in Adobe to web design! You can leave the worries about additional pricing or page view issues. 

Candidly, open-source fonts are highly beneficial for projects with fixed budgets. No matter if they require massive font customization!

Can You Use Free Fonts Without Worrying About the Law?

Sometimes, you can use free fonts with no worries about the law. There are many free fonts you can use with no restrictions. But these free fonts, you can get them for commercial use. Keep in mind that all the free fonts are illegal to copy.

But here is a trick to use free fonts! You can use the free fonts that come from a trusted source. After that, you must understand the rights and obligations of the fonts.

Should You Use Free Fonts?

It depends on you! There are many more outstanding free fonts. Pro designers and marketers are also using these free fonts. Remember one thing- all the free fonts are not equal. Among them, some do not have lowercase and uppercase letters. Some of the fonts have symbols missing. At the same time, some fonts do not have enough variations of styles and sizes like bold, heavy, italic, dark, light, etc front versions.

Can You Give a Font To a Client?

The answer is No. If you create a font, you can give it to your client. Or, if you have the right to a font, you can share this. On the contrary, we appreciate never doing this. We hope you have got the point.

Can You License a Font To a Client?

Generally, you cannot do this. Yes, the EULA has control over your rights to sub-license a font. It is illegal to send a font to your client if the EULA does not permit you. 

You can send a font to your client when the EULA permits you. Your client needs the font. What to do then? Your client must purchase their license to use the font. Most logo designers skip this issue related to font licensing. They convert their logo to an outline in programs like Adobe Illustrator and then send a vectorized outline instead of a font to their client. Remember, when you send a vectorized logo to your client, they do not need to purchase the font. But, if your client wants to use the same fonts for their website, stationary, or marketing purposes, it will be a good idea to own a proper license for the fonts so they can use them for different purposes.

What Fonts Are Used In Contracts?

Make it simple. You can use any font in a lawful contract. Before you use a font, be sure that the font you use is readable to your contract. If we think about formal fonts for legal documents, Times New Roman (Of course, along with Helvetica and Arial) is the most popular and commonly used font.

Can You Use a Font As a Logo?

Sure, you can. But proper license for that font you must have. It's a good idea to pinch the font in a small way to stand out from a simple logo shape. Otherwise, your logo will be of average quality instead of a good quality one. 

We appreciate your zest for stunning logo needs! If you’re looking for a top-class logo for your brand or business, we suggest going to a trustworthy graphic design company to get exactly what you desire. 

What Is the Most Popular Font?

Helvetica — formerly addressed as Neue Haas Grotesk, is the most popular font. The most significant point of Helvetica font is its specific crisp lines! It makes this font easy and convenient to read. Max Miedinger was the Swiss typeface designer who designed this Helvetica font. Its typeface consists of 22 fonts.

What Font Is Best?

Holding on a second, to tell the best font’s name is not so simple. Choosing the best fonts is difficult.

There are thousands of fonts out there. Picking one among the crowd takes time. Finding an excellent style and perfect size font can be challenging. Now we share for you 10 popular as well as beautiful fonts to inspire you.

You will be glad to know that all of the fonts are licensed-free! You can use them for commercial purposes on stunning Google fonts.

  • Playfair
  • Roboto
  • Raleway
  • Pacifico
  • Quicksand
  • Oswald
  • Lato
  • Dosis
  • Modak
  • Open Sans

Should You Use a Serif Or Sans-serif Font?

Of course. Indeed, the fonts are excellent enough! You should use a serif or sans-serif font to express stability and tradition. These fonts are fantastic for their inviting appeal and nice-looking poses. You can see the usage of fonts all around fashion, finance, journalism, and other demanding and prestigious industries. The aristocracy of the fonts adds a unique and conversational dimension to the design. They are mind-triggering fonts and can have an impressive effect on the audience. 

Sans-serif fonts have become popular since 1800, while modernism time has taken off. The fonts come out with a pretty style and focus on inner beauty. Indeed, the Sans-serif typefaces have concluded the traditional letterforms and brought the taste of aesthetic appeal. 

Sans-serif typefaces are everywhere on the web as they fit precisely with modern aesthetics like other popular fonts- Helvetica or Arial. Undoubtedly, Sans-serif is the best choice for all types of needs and can be a stellar choice for promoting a brand, quality marketing and keeping an inspiring presence on the web. If you want to spend time with creative fonts and elevate your choice to the next class, Sans-serif will appreciate your choice!

Can Microsoft Word Fonts Be Used Commercially?

Why not. Sure, you can use it.  You can use Microsoft Word Fonts commercially. But you can not resell Microsoft Word fonts according to your will. So, you can make the best use of MS Word fonts for commercial purposes.


We are at the end of today's discussion! Have you enjoyed what we have shared above?

Probably, your answer is Yes! And you have learned many things that nobody told you before. In the above, we have tried to explain the law of fonts and typefaces in design in detail. From our brainstorming research, we have put our brain—efforts into sharing 'head-to-toe' of fonts and typefaces in the design world!

With the evaluation of fonts and typefaces in the design world, top-notch graphic design service plays a vital role in developing an original and masterpiece design. Even a perfect typeface can stand out as a design from the crowd.  

In every corner of the graphic design world, fonts and typefaces play a significant role! As the design is a world of creativity, exploring new tastes of innovation, ideal fonts and typefaces can bring fresh and unique identity to each design piece!  

The readability of a design is the most significant feature of a typeface! Also, it ensures the legibility of a design by which you can distinguish letterforms within a font in your design art. 

So, how do you feel after completing this article? Don't worry, still if you have any questions in your mind. Feel free to share with us what's going on in your mind. We appreciate hearing anything from you! We’ll reach out to you as soon as possible. 

Cheers! 🙂

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