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Creative Asset Compliance Is Everything

We all know the power of design details. Fonts and stock imagery can absolutely transform a creative asset, a campaign, even an entire brand.

However, failure to comply with licensing agreements can lead to hefty fines and litigation. It's crucial that you prioritize licensing compliance while crafting creative gold.

What Is Font Compliance?

It all starts with the EULA

Each font has an End User License Agreement (EULA), similar to when you install any other type of software. And just like many Terms & Conditions, human nature tends to skim that snooze-able text and just click “Agree.”

Here’s the issue. Not all EULAs are the same. Permissions can differ wildly. And designers are often so happy just to “have” a new font that they never think about that EULA again, and then use the font in countless unique projects.

For stock images, illustrations, and templates, licenses often restrict commercial use, so it’s important to carefully read the licensing permissions.

Right font, wrong license

These are the two most common ways that fonts are used without the appropriate licensing:

  • When the font is purchased, the buyer or first user does not comprehend and/or follow the EULA.

  • When a font is chosen from a pre-existing library, the user assumes that the font can be used however they want. They assume that since they “own” the font, they can do as they please with the font.

Increased scale, increased risk

Larger creative teams (both agency-side and in-house) tend to be more challenged with font compliance. That’s because these environments have tight deadlines, endless projects, and higher headcounts. Team members are constantly accessing fonts by quickly dipping into a shared current collection of rapidly purchased fonts. The sheer volume of fonts in use makes it more likely for a font to be used without appropriate licensing.

Mistakes count even if no one sees them. But, for top-level media professionals, those final deliverables are often high-profile once live and published. Type foundries are more likely to recognize a font out in the wild, and check licensing status.

Another issue of scale is that of web traffic. Certain fonts require different licensing for webpages that have higher traffic. If a font was licensed for use on a small, local business website, but is then repurposed by the agency for a big brand’s digital campaign, the disparity in traffic will cause that font use to be noncompliant.

A place for everything

If your font collection looks like a digital junk drawer, noncompliance is practically inevitable. By keeping fonts and their licensing information together, you will improve your team’s ability to choose appropriate fonts and reference EULAs as needed.


How Do Creative Teams Handle Compliance Now?

We surveyed creative operations folks across a range of industries to gauge how teams understand and manage their compliance risk. The results were surprising! Check out our State of Risk In Creative Operations Report to gain insight and fine-tune your own compliance policies. 


Centralize Your Font Collection With Licensing Information

No matter how organized your collection is, if your team needs to reference a separate licensing spreadsheet, human error comes into play—fast!

With Extensis Connect, you can organize fonts and creative assets any which way you like, and access font licensing information right within the tool to ensure your libraries are safe and secure. What’s more, Extensis Connect + Insight gives powerful reporting tools to nip font noncompliance in the bud at the most critical moment—when fonts are in use in a project that’s about to hit production.

Whew. Just talking about it makes us feel relieved for you.  


We’ve Got Your Back


Font licensing errors can lead to serious stuff like litigation. The more you know, the better prepared you’ll be at every stage of production.


The Future Of Font And Creative Asset Management

Organizing, activating, and sharing are the bare minimum. Empower your team to use more of what’s already licensed, collaborate effectively, and add some creative intelligence to their font and creative asset management game.