Brick by Brick, the FontStruct Blog

New Licensing Options

News | | July 5th, 2013

We added three new licensing options to FontStruct today:

  1. The FontStruct License
  2. The FontStruct Non-Commercial License
  3. An All Rights Reserved “No Download” Option

The FontStruct Licenses: Control over distribution

We’re introducing two brand new licenses produced especially for FontStruct. Like the existing Creative Commons licenses these allow FontStructors to share their fonts as free downloads. Downloaders are free to use these fonts either commercially or non-commercially depending on which of the two is used. What’s new and different is that both FontStruct licenses prohibit redistribution of the downloads by anyone apart from the designing FontStructor. If you share your work using these licenses, people may not, for example, put your FontStruction on a CD of free fonts without your permission, or offer your FontStruction for download from their website without your permission.

Over the past five years, countless FontStructions have spread virally, appearing as downloads all over the web, especially as part of large font repositories such as or I know some users enjoy this viral spread and if you do, you should continue to use the appropriate Creative Commons licenses.

If however you want to exercise some control over how your designs are distributed, and if you want to ensure that people always come to your FontStruction page at to get the latest version of your design, then you should try the new FontStruct licenses. There are at least three strong arguments for asking people to come to the original source here at to download your designs:

  1. At FontStruct, they will always get the latest version rather than something outdated that somebody down- and uploaded 3 years ago.
  2. At FontStruct, they will have the opportunity to enter into dialog with you, the designer. They might tell you what they are using your font for, they might request some customization, or maybe just give you some feedback.
  3. It is always good for the FontStruct project to have more visitors coming to our site.

Note that the new FontStruct licenses do not prohibit other websites from offering FontStructions as downloads by linking back to the relevant FontStruct download page.

The new FontStruct licenses have been reviewed by a legal professional.

Have a look at examples of the non-commercial and the standard versions.

The All Rights Reserved “No Download” option

We know for some of you the two new FontStruct licenses don’t go far enough. You may enjoy showing your work and sharing it with the FontStruct community but you may not wish to share your FontStruction as a download. Maybe you sell a version of your work elsewhere, or plan to do so in the future, or perhaps you have made a FontStruction for a client who does not wish it to be shared as a download.

For this reason, we are also introducing a new “All Rights Reserved” licensing option which basically means others can look but can’t download.

I hope the majority of FontStructors will continue to share their work as downloads using the other licenses, but I also hope this new option will encourage some FontStructors to reveal some of their precious, hidden masterpieces by sharing them on the site. With almost 700,000 FontStructions in our database, only about 27,000 are shared. We’d like to see more of the iceberg.

I just want my font to be free for others to use

If you want to open-source your design, and make it free for all kinds of uses, you should choose one of the existing Creative Commons (CC) license options.

Choose one of the non-commercial licenses if you don’t want people using your designs for money-making projects without your permission. Choose one of the no-derivatives licenses to prevent other designers from cloning your work. Cloning is a wonderful way to share, teach and develop collaborative font designs, but occasionally people publish unaltered or minimally tweaked clones under new names. It’s difficult to stop this unethical practice, so think carefully before choosing a license which allows cloning.


Most FontStructors come here to have fun and create and share their designs, not to plough through pages of legalese. But when you reach a point where you see your designs maturing, your character sets growing, and you find your FontStructions being used in earnest by others, you may want to spend some time thinking about your choice of license.

I strongly encourage everyone to read the updated FAQ article on licensing.

Happy licensing FontStructing!

Edit  August 5th 2013: We’ve also since added support for the CC0 Public Domain Dedication “No Rights Reserved”.



  1. Abneurone Fluid Types

    WOW! That’s a thing ! HEY! Funk King we can have your hundreds (maybe now thousands) of fontstructs jewels back here with the new “NO DOWNLOAD” feature.

    Abneurone Fluid Types — July 5, 2013 #

  2. Isaiah Garcia

    This is great.

    Isaiah Garcia — July 5, 2013 #

  3. architaraz

    Great news, great! I hope we will hear soon from Funk King, DJ Nippa, Beate, William…
    P.S. And thanks for putting section symbol from Bonn :)

    architaraz — July 5, 2013 #

  4. minidonut

    Aaaaawesoooome! Now I don’t have to hide Schwarz again :D

    minidonut — July 5, 2013 #

  5. minidonut

    lol, happy licensing XD

    minidonut — July 5, 2013 #

  6. four

    bonn, bricklayer, ?, djangogh, deagol…

    four — July 5, 2013 #

  7. Rob Meek (meek)

    @four the third section symbol is from mf lanka. good spots for the others.

    Rob Meek (meek) — July 5, 2013 #

  8. MF-Lab

    All Rights Reserved “No Download” Option is a great feature. Especially for work in progress fonts. THX

    And: Ohh my Mf Lanka font is used in the pic above.;)

    MF-Lab — July 5, 2013 #

  9. will.i.ૐ

    Wow! These new licensing options are excellent additions to the FontStruct platform. Rob, thanks so much for ironing out the details with your legal team and including them for us. I am very excited to see the new (and maybe old) works that come out thanks to them. :~)

    will.i.ૐ — July 5, 2013 #

  10. winty5

    This is GREAT!!! All my work will now be under the Fontstruct License.

    winty5 — July 5, 2013 #

  11. ETHproductions

    Thanks for these great new options! I agree with winty, the Fontstruct License is my favorite.

    BTW, in the image in the FAQ article, shouldn’t ‘Commercial Use’ be checked for the Fontstruct Commercial License?

    ETHproductions — July 5, 2013 #

  12. 1saac

    That’s a good notice to professional fontstructors, but I think lots of people are going to make their fontstructions not downloadable. I’ll use the Fonstruct license.

    1saac — July 6, 2013 #

  13. cablecomputer

    Great! Wow, this make me think about serious (professional) fontstructing, then making money… :P

    cablecomputer — July 6, 2013 #

  14. p2pnut

    ‘No Download’ will make it possible for me to release some of my commercial fonts in a fuller way. I have tended to release only very limited versions of those that are for sale.

    @cablecomputer: – go for it! In the last two years I have made a few thousand dollars from sales. I’m never going to get rich from it, but it is good to know that people are prepared to pay for one’s work

    p2pnut — July 6, 2013 #

  15. will.i.ૐ

    @p2pnut: Wow, I’m impressed! You have many commercial releases in different styles, so I wonder if you would mind sharing a rough breakdown of your sales numbers. What styles seem to fare particularly well that began their lives as fontstructions?

    will.i.ૐ — July 6, 2013 #

  16. p2pnut

    OK Will – I’ll work on this soon. All my fonts have been born on FontStruct … I don’t have any other font software (can’t afford it!)

    p2pnut — July 6, 2013 #

  17. djnippa

    Yippee. I’ve been waiting for this for a while. Time to release the Kraken. Great work Rob.

    djnippa — July 6, 2013 #

  18. p2pnut

    @will.i.ૐ: The following figures are for sales through MyFonts. The Monotype ‘Vendor Portal’ rarely seeems to work so I can’t check those sales.

    Of the 18 fonts on MyFonts 4 stand out in terms of sales:
    ‘RM Celtic’ 19.5%
    ‘RM True To Type’ 15.2%
    ‘RM New Albion’ 13%
    ‘RM DECOr 10.8%

    Sales come from 18 different countries, with USA making up 68%

    In descending order (of sales) the countries are:

    New Zealand
    Hong Kong

    p2pnut — July 6, 2013 #

  19. funk_king

    Yes, this is a big wow and most definitely thanks Mr. Meek. This is just really great! @ AFT and arch – thanks for the encouragement and yes, i guess i will be bringing back some old friends soon. @p2p – you sound like you are doing great with your sales; i’ve made a few hundred, but no thousands – so really impressed, to second will. continued success to you and others. and don’t get frustrated, just keep doing your thing :)

    funk_king — July 6, 2013 #

  20. nanddonet

    Hello, I’m creating my own font, but I cannot download to my computer, it downloads a bad .zip.

    nanddonet — July 7, 2013 #

  21. Rob Meek (meek)

    @nanddonet I can see the problem. I’ll look into it.

    Rob Meek (meek) — July 7, 2013 #

  22. four

    @p2pnut: thanks for sharing!

    four — July 7, 2013 #

  23. Rob Meek (meek)

    @nanddonet problem fixed.

    Rob Meek (meek) — July 7, 2013 #

  24. will.i.ૐ

    @Ray: Many thanks for sharing these sales figures. It’s encouraging to see your specific display typefaces finding their receptive and paying, if niche, audiences via MyFonts. I appreciate the diverse positive attributes of your top-five sellers and am pondering how this translates into purchases and real-world use. Have you had the joy of receiving customer samples of your fontstructions in use? I don’t expect this is as common as would be nice for type designers.

    will.i.ૐ — July 7, 2013 #

  25. p2pnut

    @Will: Never once have I had any feedback from customers. I get to see their email addresses, but have always thought it might be a tad unprofessional to chase them up.

    p2pnut — July 8, 2013 #

  26. will.i.ૐ

    @Ray: Yeah, such requests from a type designer to their users might be buried in a readme file – or included as a footnote in a typeface’s online description prior to purchase. Hounding buyers directly for samples would be unprofessional. There are singularly few scenarios I can think of where it would be appropriate to use a paying-customer mailing list, and almost all of them have to do with notifying buyers about updates or corrections made to the typeface they purchased.

    Still, it would be quite interesting and satisfying to see representative works created using our type designs.

    will.i.ૐ — July 8, 2013 #

  27. NAL

    Great news, thank-you! :)

    To anyone considering elevating their FontStructions and making some money, I cannot recommend it enough. While I’ve not had much success in flat-out commercialising fonts, in approximately two years I’ve made around £7,500/US$11,000 so far from a mixture of donations and ad revenue from DaFont alone. I’m up to nearly two million downloads there (mostly from FontStruct-created fonts) and have seen them used on album covers, promotional material, I’ve even been sent pictures of someone who had one of them printed on their professional motorbike.

    And I’m not close to being as good as a lot of you guys!

    NAL — July 8, 2013 #

  28. geneus1

    Thanks, Rob. It’s been a long time coming.

    Also, a belated congratulations to the winners of the connected script contest, and all of the participants. Developing a connected script is one of the hardest challenges, so it was nice to see the diversity of excellent entries. Bravo! I wished I had time to enter.

    – geneus1 — July 8, 2013 #

  29. will.i.ૐ

    Gene, I can say without reservation we all wish you had time to enter the scriptcomp. Meanwhile, I’ll look forward to beholding some hidden jewels from your stash bag if they can be released here under the right license. :)

    will.i.ૐ — July 9, 2013 #

  30. Abneurone Fluid Types

    @NAL : Very impressive! And for you it’s the opposite of others; the more people freely download your fonts, the more you get money for a small (but consequent) part for them. It’s also true that your fonts are not only great your style is also precisely connected with today-fashion, it surely helps the amazing success you find.
    For an out of standards (fashion or not) unique approach as mine there’s absolutely not a chance.
    I recently relicenced all my TESTAMENTS prohibiting downloads. It’s not to protect them, but more to express a bitter feel that anyway almost no one downloads my fonts thinking they’re useless. The fact that in my 1500 pages Big Book project i use many of them in the layout, and often even mix them with professional fonts in perfect harmony proves the contrary. People don’t know what they miss…

    Abneurone Fluid Types — July 9, 2013 #

  31. opipik

    I can’t sign in.(I said it here because I can’t sign in)BTW, congratulations to all winners!

    – opipik — July 11, 2013 #

  32. mf-lab

    SOS … all my unpublished Fonts are lost!

    And when I try to do something (write a comment etc.) I am kicked out! Some others have problems too … right?
    Perhaps Mr. Meek (or other admin) can write a small notice what happens?

    – mf-lab — July 11, 2013 #