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717 Views 11 Replies Last post: May 9, 2018 1:36 PM by OmarCI RSS
Level 0 41 posts since
Jan 31, 2018
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May 8, 2018 10:06 AM

Hi! Free fonts that print well?

Hi there!

I would like to ask you if you know for your experience any free fonts, maybe from squirrel, that are safe, they print well in paper and if they have good kerning and not too narrow ...just like palatino that seems to me wider than caslon!
I appreciate! Thanks!

Level 5 12,995 posts since
Aug 22, 2008
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1. May 8, 2018 12:04 PM in response to: OmarCI
Re: Hi! Free fonts that print well?

If you're looking for a full family serif typeface for body text, then beyond those that come with Windows or Office applications, the only free fonts available on FontSquirrel that I might suggest are TeX Gyre Schola and Vollkorn. Because we have an extensive library of professional fonts, I've not actually tried either of those in a published book -- but they each have a lot of positive characteristics, so you might check them out and see if they'd work for you.

 

Also, as you probably know, the ability to access and use all the features provided within a quality font program are dependent on the software you're using for design and page layout.

Level 5 19,168 posts since
Sep 5, 2009
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2. May 8, 2018 1:26 PM in response to: OmarCI
Re: Hi! Free fonts that print well?

I have used over 6000 fonts with CS (most in several type specimen books).  I have had:

  • 1 font had to be removed it printed so badly
  • 6-12 that really could only be used for display text (titles, etc.) because they did not space properly and took lots of fiddling
  • 2000± or so additional fonts that I could not use because the ToU (terms of use), EULA (end user license agreement) or readme files forbid commercial use; or the embedding rights were set to prevent commercial use. 

95% of those fonts were free.

 

So most fonts that you get, 99% of those from FontSquirrel (often you'll find a few there that prohibit commercial use), work perfectly.

 

And I have had Times New Roman (in a PDF/X-1a file, where it passed all text related Acrobat preflight tests), not print correctly.

 

The only way you'll will know for sure how things print is to order a printed proof.

 

Here is my advice: excluding fonts that you cannot or should not use because of licensing issues that you are aware of, use the fonts of your choice.  Make you book look as good as you can (download my Type and Typography, link below).  When you book/PDF is as good as you can make it, upload it and order a printed proof.  Do not rely on the DigitalProofer or the PDF proof.  

 

Given the spam here, come on over to  selfpublishingforum.  It's free.  Many of us who answer questions here are active there.

 

Walton

 

Bleeds,  free, 91 page guide to bleeds, margins, covers, and annotated CreateSpace guidelines. Prepress Glossary: free, 79 page, fully illustrated prepress glossary with annotations for  CreateSpace users Type & Typography: free, 112 page illustrated guide to designing books, typography, with glossary, and type specimen pages  Free: list of free PDF downloads; selfpublishingforum: spam free forum. Contact  for graphics, design, and typesetting help.

 

 

Level 5 19,168 posts since
Sep 5, 2009
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4. May 9, 2018 9:52 AM in response to: OmarCI
Re: Hi! Free fonts that print well?

This is probably stuff you've already read, but the coffee this morning was good, so here goes, again . . .

 

All of this gets complicated because, generally, when we purchased our computers we must agree to the initial terms of use or we cannot start up our computers the first time. These initial agreements are unilateral contracts agreed to under economic duress: to use the product you must agree.  Further, this contract usually has language that you are also agreeing to all ToUs and EULAs within the entire system; for example, the licensing language associated with each font.  Obviously you are being forced (if you do not agree, you can't proceed; and you have no alternatives, e.g. switch from Dell to HP, or PC to Mac, etc.) to agree to terms that you do not have access to without agreeing to them first. The form of this contract is usually considered illegal.  I understand why these agreements are the way they are, and I have no idea what could be better.  But that is where we start.

 

Trying to find out the actual terms of use for a font that ships with a computer or piece of software is not easy.  Can you embed this font into a PDF for commercial use?  Print?  Kindle?

 

Adobe developed embeddabilty rights/recognition as a feature of PDF to address font licensing, etc. Every font designer knows they are there and has the option to select a level that prevents commercial use.  Is this a practical solution?  I'd say the argument is 50-50.

 

Most fonts say they are copyrighted.  Simplistically:

 

US Copyright law does not extend copyright to the design of fonts.  Arial as a typeface cannot be copyrighted; however the digital settings used to design each glyph are protected (Southern vs Adobe). You could copy each glyph of Palatino and create your own font (print out, scan, open in a font creation program)! However:

 

Adobe Systems, Inc. v. Southern Software, Inc. helped clear the distinction between intellectual property protection for a font versus a typeface. SSI had used the FontMonger program to copy and rename fonts from Adobe and others. They assumed safety from prosecution because, though they had directly copied the points that define the shapes from Adobe's fonts, they had made slight adjustments to all the points so they were not technically identical.[12] Nevertheless, it was determined that the computer code had been copied.

<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intellectual_property_protection_of_typefaces>

 

One thing to note is that Southern was reselling/bundling the fonts either by themselves or as part of other software (I'm not sure, or don't remember).  Whereas we are simply trying to print our books.

 

As a non-lawyer, I say, if we have acted reasonably and prudently to try to find out what the ToU are for a font(s) we want to use and we nonetheless do not know, and because the font designers have control over embedding rights, use the font(s).

 

Walton

Level 5 12,995 posts since
Aug 22, 2008
Currently Being Moderated
5. May 9, 2018 9:52 AM in response to: OmarCI
Re: Hi! Free fonts that print well?

Palatino Linotype is a terrific font. We've used it for a lot of non-fiction works in multiple languages. I've encountered no technical issues whatsoever. The only aesthetic issue I've heard is that some people find the "fin-shaped" quotation marks, apostrophe, and comma to be unattractive.

Level 5 12,995 posts since
Aug 22, 2008
Currently Being Moderated
10. May 9, 2018 12:56 PM in response to: OmarCI
Re: Hi! Free fonts that print well?

I don't know what you're looking at, plus we only have Palatino Linotype installed, so I can't comment. In general, however, if you're looking at font prices of each variant on the same website from the same provider, then the lower-priced one most likely supports considerably fewer languages and fewer OpenType features.

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