Why pay for fonts?


The Daily Digi My Life in Print bonus collab kit. Rockwell font.


With all the free fonts out there, you might wonder why a digital scrapbooker would ever choose to pay for a font? Well, there are plenty of reasons and I knew that Steph would be my best resource to go to for this topic since she is a self-proclaimed “font geek”. I decided to ask her some questions about this topic.


Why is it worth paying for some fonts?

The biggest differences between most free fonts and paid fonts is the kerning! The spacing between key letters like AV, Av, F and any vowel, T and any vowel, etc. You can see it explained a little in this post the fontographers that create paid fonts usually spend many, many hours manipulating the space between all letter pairs, not just key ligatures (some free fonts may have key ligatures done).

Another big difference in paid fonts (especially the very expensive ones) are super smooth around the edges (unless it is a grunge style font). Most of the characters have are hand drawn in a vector based program (like Illustrator). The fontographers creating these fonts will spend weeks and months on ONE character. Each glyph really is a unique work of art (this is one of the reasons I love looking at the character maps at My Fonts and studying each glyph and the differences and similarities ***NERD ALERT***)

The last big difference between paid fonts and free fonts is the alternate characters. Sigh! I love them! This is how two people can have the same font, create the same word, and have a completely different look, because of all the additional swashes and swoops included! You do have to have the full version of Photoshop, Illustrator, or another program that can access these characters in order to use them, but they are so FUN!


How do you find CU ok fonts?

The first thing to know is there is a difference between commercial use and what digital designers do. Many, many typographers are not okay with their fonts being used in digital scrapbook design. Just because something means CU doesn’t mean that OUR version of CU is covered. Most CU licenses allow for a font to be included in design work for print, or web, or other things the terms of use spells out. Some fonts specifically say they CAN be used for digital scrapbook design; others say specifically that they may not. Sometimes, it is left up to interpretation and in these cases, I usually email to ask if how I will be using it is okay.  I emailed the designer of Samantha because I wanted to use it for a project on The Daily Digi and she let me purchase a commercial license through her that would let me use the font for the purpose I had in mind. The only way to know for sure is to read the terms and if you are still in doubt, email the designer or foundry.

Another  item worth noting is that many commercial licenses come with licenses for multiple computers, but here again, you have to read the terms. Most of the time it is a license for multiple computers within the same business. Other times it might be multiple computers within the same location (so if you have people working for you, but offsite, that wouldn’t fly). I have also seen multiple licenses for designers doing work for the company the font is licensed to.


What are some of your favorite paid fonts?

I kind of have an expensive font habit…meaning I like to buy expensive fonts. Here are few of the paid fonts I love:

  • Licious Script: it’s one I used in the Digital Scrapbooking Manual and is similar to one often seen at California Adventure (which I didn’t notice until after I created the manual, but maybe my subconscious was influenced.
  • Samantha Script: is sentimental to me (my daughter’s name) and that’s the reason I bought it, but I love it too.
  • Paradise Script

I tend to find foundries that I love and follow for long periods of time:

  • P22 was a favorite of mine for many years when I first started digital scrapbooking.
  • Typodermic is a popular on among digital designers because he lets designers use his fonts in digital design.
  • If you’ve been in digital scrapbooking for a long time, you might remember Ronna Penner who was a fontographer first, then a digital designer for a while. She was one of my very first digital purchases (if not THE first). One of the very first fonts she made won a lot of awards. It’s been really fun to watch her career.
  • I had been buying up Sudtipos fonts for a while before I realized they were from the same foundry (remember when you could always see this one in The Digi Files graphics?) I seem to like everything they do.
  • Ed’s fonts are the ones I’ve been studying and drooling over for the past several months. One of these days, I will buy some!


How do you organize your fonts?

How do I keep it all straight? I have folders in my font folder where I put verified CU fonts, verified digital design fonts, etc. I would never remember otherwise!

What paid fonts do the Daily Digi team members love?

We’ve shared a lot of great free fonts in previous posts and we love a great font for free just as much as anyone, but we are also willing to pay for beautiful fonts that we know will give our digital creations the perfect touch. There are some great font designers in digiland and plenty of amazing resources for really high quality fonts all over the web. I asked our team to share some of their favorite paid fonts that they love. Here’s our list:

Other premium fonts


Many of the fonts that come packaged with word processing programs are also great fonts so don’t forget about those either!

katie big

PS. Congratulations to this week’s reader, Kathy, who has won $10 to Maya de Groot. Thanks for commenting!