A License to Font with Greg Mitchell
Intellectual property is something all brands recognize. And that protection extends to the typography. Fonts are integral to a brand and fall under the same copyright jurisdictions as photography, illustrations, music, and software. Therefore, creators must ensure the fonts they use are under a proper EULA (end-user license agreement.) Greg Mitchell, Founder & CEO of Font Shield, started his company to reduce the confusion around font licensing and governance. Mitchell wanted to protect advertising agencies and brands, and provide confidence that the fonts they use are properly licensed. He spoke with Extensis’ Chris Meyer about Font Shield’s mission.
Font Shield’s primary role is to mitigate any potential legal issues arising from font usage. And one of the reasons why Mitchell started Font Shield is because the business of font licensing can get confusing. “There’s a million-plus fonts, hundreds of type designers and font foundries, and each has their own unique EULA,” Mitchell said. “It’s completely erroneous to assume that all font foundries have the exact same licensing terms and conditions.”
Keeping up with these licensing rules can be tricky for agencies because end-user agreements are constantly changing. “Everybody has to be on their toes when trying to license fonts,” Mitchell said. “This confusion leads to a lack of confidence around whether brands and agencies are adequately licensed for what they are producing together.”
Mitchell said Font Shield provides the dedicated resources to stay current with font license agreements. Font Shield also does the legwork for agencies who work for brands and the brands themselves. Clients typically reach out to Font Shield via their website or through word of mouth. “They usually approach me because of the very confusion I previously mentioned about font licensing,” Mitchell said. “They want to make sure the fonts that they’re licensing are properly licensed for the projects they’re creating.”
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