11 Replies Latest reply on Jul 12, 2017 9:30 AM by AnneMarie Concepcion

    Sharing typekit fonts


      I am guessing the answer to this question may be a simple "too bad," but I wanted to ask and get a clear answer. I am a graphic designer and I like using Typekit fonts for my projects, but the issue is this:


      We produce magazines and usually package the native files to send to the printers. Sometimes there might be a minor adjustment that the printer needs to make, such as a misspelled word or something to the body text. Note that if we were to outline the fonts they would not be able to edit the text and it would negate the idea of sending them the native files. Only one of our printers has Typekit access, so it creates an issue with any printer that doesn't have that as we are not able to package the fonts for them. Normally, with any font installed on the computer, it isn't a problem. Now, I know there are licensing laws preventing the sharing of fonts, but it is my understanding that there is some leeway when sharing with a party such as a printer for the purpose I am proposing in this scenario. My question is:


      Is there some way to share fonts from Typekit with printers that don't have access? Is Adobe working on something on the horizon that will address this issue of sharing fonts, assuming that it is within legal reason? Or is it just a matter of everyone eventually getting on the Adobe CC train, which I'm hoping they will, but for now some printers don't seem to have a need for it and I am stuck not being able to use Typekit fonts. Any info would be greatly appreciated, thanks!

        • 1. Re: Sharing typekit fonts
          KanikaS Adobe Employee

          Moving to Typekit

          • 2. Re: Sharing typekit fonts
            Steve Werner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            "Is there some way to share fonts from Typekit with printers that don't have access?"


            Of course, this isn't a new issue at all. For more than fifteen years, knowledgeable printers have encouraged their users to create a digital master by making a PDF file of the publication. It's called a digital master becasue it includes everything the printer needs to output the job. It includes the fonts (yes, Typekit fonts can be embedded in a PDF file!) as well as all the graphics in the publication. Most of the printers I'm familiar with in my area encourage customers to send files in this way.


            I'm assuming you probably output your jobs from InDesign CC. If you have questions about the process, ask them in the InDesign forum.



            • 3. Re: Sharing typekit fonts
              Dave Merchant MVP & Adobe Community Professional

              Steve, doing that will be illegal. Read the  Adobe - Typekit Services Agreement


              You can embed font glyphs in a document (e.g. in a PDF) but not for the purposes of editing. To answer the original question, the printer needs their own license. Adobe makes no exceptions for printers, publishers or agencies.

              • 4. Re: Sharing typekit fonts
                MrMcQuillen Level 1

                Thanks Steve. Yes, I have advocated for that among my colleagues, but they are locked into sending the InDesign files as native files, and I think I see why. I can see your point here, but I don't think it resolves the issue that the printers aren't able to edit the body text on the other end. Even if the fonts are embedded into the .pdf, they wouldn't have the ability to change the text without having those fonts installed would they? To be clear, the issue is:


                We need printers to be able to edit our native files, some of which use Typekit fonts that they do not have. I don't think creating a .pdf solves this problem, unless I'm missing something? Any other ideas? Thanks!

                • 5. Re: Sharing typekit fonts
                  MrMcQuillen Level 1

                  OK, thanks Dave, I thought that was the case but thought I remembered reading some language from Adobe regarding the sharing of fonts for some limited purposes, not sure where/when I read that but will read the link you posted. I dunno, hopefully all of our printers will get on board in the near future, but it's frustrating having these fonts that I pay for that I cannot use because of the workflow I am in where I work. Ideally we would send .pdfs for printing, but we're on tight deadlines with magazines and sometimes the printer needs to have access to edit last-minute changes on-the-fly and quickly. I gather that technically it is illegal to package and send a font that the end user doesn't own a license to if they want to use it for editing, but it is done all the time, and the industry would be sluggish if that weren't the case. I just wanted to see if I was missing something, or if possibly there is something on the horizon where we can share access to typekit fonts with printers -- especially those of us working in large institutions who work with numerous printers, and they're not going to buy every font we use ya know?

                  • 6. Re: Sharing typekit fonts
                    Dave Merchant MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                    Printers have been buying their own shop fonts ever since the days of woodcut - the 'exception' to use client-licensed type was never universal even at the major foundries. If they are acting as a printer, they just take a PDF/X and paint it on a dead tree. If they are editing the file, they are not a printer anymore, so they pay for the same things as their clients. Nothing unusual in that.


                    Typekit if anything makes this easier, as if they are editing your InDesign file and they subscribe to Creative Cloud to get the software, of course they also get access to Typekit just as you do. When they open your document, CC will install the 'missing' fonts direct from their account. No need to share anything.

                    • 7. Re: Sharing typekit fonts
                      MrMcQuillen Level 1

                      Couldn't agree more Dave -- I know how Typekit works btw haha. Just asking if anyone else has run into this issue. I think it's a matter of convincing my organization to make all edits on our end so we can use Typekit, but like I said, that's not always possible given deadlines etc. Only one of our printers has Typekit, which seems strange I know but true nonetheless. So, for now, I can't use Typekit fonts in our magazine publications because they will not have access on the other end. Maybe I should try to convince them to get an account, it's almost primitive at this point not to have one. Thanks for the input!

                      • 8. Re: Sharing typekit fonts
                        Steve Werner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        To be clearer, I was talking about outputting a PDF, NOT editing it. I don't think it's the printer's responsibility to do edits, in general. Clearly, you're right, editing the PDF for output is clearly not allowed.

                        • 9. Re: Sharing typekit fonts

                          Type Kit is just another way for greedy Adobe to extract more money from the masses.  Adobe has a monopoly on the design business.  As a printer, I loath Adobe, but have no choice but to deal with them.  Fonts have always been a royal pain in the arse. 


                          Completely disagree with your mentality here Dave.  Clearly you have no clue.


                          "Printers have been buying their own shop fonts ever since the days of woodcut - the 'exception' to use client-licensed type was never universal even at the major foundries. If they are acting as a printer, they just take a PDF/X and paint it on a dead tree. If they are editing the file, they are not a printer anymore, so they pay for the same things as their clients. Nothing unusual in that."


                          When you drop your car off at the mechanic, do you lock the doors and take your keys with you?  Of course not.


                          It is completely unrealistic to expect printers to buy every font Adobe (or anyone else) has to offer on the off chance we might need it someday.  Manufacturing fonts today is a much different process than it was decades ago.  A company could whip out dozens, if not 100's of fonts per week.  Adobe is always building the library.  There are 1000's of fonts now, costing upward $500 per set.  To say we're no longer printers because we have to edit a file is an absolutely ridiculous statement, based solely on ignorance.  We have an entire department dedicated to fixing files.  It's called prepress.  That entire department was decimated with the advent of digital workflows.  Prepress workers had to become Digital Prepress technicians, or retire from printing.  They were obsoleted in a single decade.   1000's of people were forced out of the business.  We even offer proofreading services.  Every printer in the world fixes files as terms of the job.  We have no choice.  Fixing files is part of the manufacturing process.  We're good at it. 


                          Printers do not buy fonts Dave.  Clearly you have no idea what you're talking about, and have never actually worked in a print shop.  Our shop fonts are the free ones that come with the computer, or other open source freebies from TT or some other source.        


                          Sure, we can sync Adobe and all that nonsense.  And we can certainly use a PDF workflow, but nearly all printers have B2B websites as well.  We still need the fonts for the clients B2B website.  Adobe makes things SOOOO difficult for printers, and the costs just keep going up and up and up.  We're now paying close to $500 a month in subscription fees.  I have 6 full business licenses, the least they can do is come off the damn fonts for printers.     


                          And as one poster stated, we can't edit PDF's without the font.  It is a requirement in the non-adobe PDF editing world.  You can't even edit PDF's in Acrobat Pro, even with the fonts.  It screws up the files.  We use PitStop Pro to edit PDF's, or Apogee, or SpeedFlow. 


                          We aren't selling fonts, we're selling printing.  We need all the original pieces available to us for manufacturing.  Do you remove the tires, battery, or engine, before you turn your car over to a mechanic?  Yes, Dave, we need the keys too.  It's your car, not ours.  We aren't trying to sell your car to someone else, or build our own from scratch.  We're just selling you time on our printing equipment, and fixing what won't work in the manufacturing process, because we know our equipment and the processes involved.     

                          • 10. Re: Sharing typekit fonts
                            Dov Isaacs Adobe Employee

                            There is something very inconsistent in your arguments.


                            If you indeed have six full business licenses (I assume to the Adobe Creative Cloud), then that would include access to Typekit and all the fonts made available by that service for the systems using those licenses. Prior to Typekit, you would have had to license any of the fonts available now through Typekit individually at extra cost. Thus, I assume your issue is with any font families not available via Typekit?!?


                            If you want/need access to the complete Adobe Font Library, we do license Adobe Font Folio 11.1 which provides access to all those fonts for either 5, 10, or 20 users simultaneously. Similar libraries of fonts are available from other font foundries. Assuming that your prepress / creative group consists of 5 users, one such license covers that whole department. Their output should be press-ready PDF/X-4 files for your RIPs and DFEs in which the fonts are embedded.


                            In terms of your comments that “a company could whip out dozens, if not 100's of fonts per week” – unless you are referring to the time it takes to e-mail someone a font file, you are clearly uninformed. It can easily take a full year or more to research, design, test, and refine a full font family such as Adobe Garamond involving not only one or more type designers, but test and production engineers. There is not only the design of the base glyphs (often including not only Western Latin, but Cyrillic, Greek, etc. glyphs), but the extra glyphs, detailed font metrics (including pair kerning) and extensive features that go into OpenType fonts including support for small caps, old style figures, ligatures, swashes, superscripts, subscripts, fractions, etc. The fonts must be tested with both Windows and MacOS as well as popular applications and hold up to the scrutiny of very particular graphic designers! Yes, the marginal cost of “shipping” a font may be effectively $0, but the fixed cost of creating the font family may be exceptionally high! And the cost of developing fonts for the Asian market, often with tens of thousands of glyphs is even more expensive.


                            There are no “free fonts that come with the computer.” The cost of licensing the fonts bundled with Windows, MacOS, or Microsoft Office, for example are included in the cost of licensing the software or in the case of a new computer, in the cost of the computer itself (which includes the cost of licensing the operating system).


                            Yes, there are “free fonts” on the internet. Some are excellent and some are pure rubbish. And many posted fonts are actually pirated fonts.


                            Your comparisons of your business to that of a car mechanic ring quite hollow. Other than the price of a nth thousand mile checkup and service bundle that might include a fixed set of diagnostic services and fluid changes, my mechanics charge individually for parts and labor for anything and everything else. If your company is charging the same for a job regardless of whether you receive a press-ready PDF/X file or some amateur-hour Word file with out-of-gamut colors, use of oddball non-standard fonts, etc., you probably should seriously revisit your own business model. Most professional printers I know charge very differently depending upon what work they need to put into a job beyond simple imposition of a press-ready PDF/X file!


                            Finally, it is easy to mouth off against “greedy Adobe” but we are no more “greedy” than your press suppliers, ink/toner suppliers, and paper suppliers (or for that matter, your customers). Yes, gear and supplies are more tangible and easy to salivate over compared to the ethereal nature of software, but software is just as essential to your business as the gear and supplies and there are considerable costs involved in developing, supporting, and updating software just as there is with the gear and supplies!


                                      - Dov

                            • 11. Re: Sharing typekit fonts
                              AnneMarie Concepcion Adobe Community Professional

                              Here's what I would do: buy your Typekit-less printers a subscription to Typekit. It's $49.95/year for the same access to fonts as InDesign CCx ("Portfolio" plan). This is what I do for clients and freelancers who don't have Typekit but need to edit my INDD files.




                              Assuming they don't have InDesign CC (otherwise they'd have the Typekit sub automatically), they would need to sync (download) the Typekit fonts you're using manually, by logging into their account on the Typekit website and locating and syncing the fonts; but that's the only obstacle. IDCC offers to sync missing fonts when you open the file, as you know.


                              But I am curious: How do your printers edit your native INDD files if they don't have CC?


                              If the answer is "they're opening the IDML files, converting to CS6 (or whatever) and editing there, then re-exporting to PDF" then I'd be very worried about losing some CC-only features when the IDML file is opened and saved in their older version. For example, paragraph shading. Or even subtle type engine edits which would result in a new line break or two as soon as the type tool activates a story frame.


                              I'm also curious why you're using print vendors who aren't keeping up with file formats, if they insist on editing native files. Is it an in-house printing dept? I've run into that before.