Font licence?

Hey everyone, how do I know whether it’s legal to embed a font on my website?

I have a font in Photoshop called ITC Avant Garde Gothic Medium Condensed that I want to use on my website, but I have no idea what kind of license restrictions there are on it.

Any thoughts?

What do you mean by ‘embed’ it on your site? If you mean by using @font-face (where the user downloads the font along with the web page) then you can probably be 99.9% sure that it’s not allowed. You’d need to check with the font foundry to be sure, though.

One option that’s becoming available for some fonts is that you buy the font and host it on something like a TypeKit account, where the user get access to the font without being able to copy it.

Thanks, Ralph.

That’s kind of what I figured. I’ve been hunting for free, open licence fonts. I found a couple on Google and that the creator explicitly stated can be used for commercial purposes.

Do you know of any other font sites that may specialize in free, open, commercial fonts that can be embedded via @font-face?

I have these ones bookmarked currently, but I’m sure there are others:

Those should give you plenty of options. :slight_smile:

Wow, great. One final question if you don’t mind.

Whenever I use these fonts, they’re always badly aliased and have jagged edges, despite ClearType being on.

Normal system fonts such as Arial, or Verdana, don’t have this issue. Any suggestion on how to fix it for embedded fonts?

I’m not the best person to answer that, but I did see an interesting discussion recently that clarified how fonts need to be specially prepared to work well on the web. A lot of fonts are not yet set up for this. But besides that, the sad reality is that some browsers still don’t deal with @font-face fonts very well. And @font-face fonts can be very buggy on mobiles, even iPhones. So personally, I avoid them, unless the client insists on a particular font, in which case I make sure they’re aware of the deficiencies. Of course, it’s important to have fallback fonts as well.