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New Trial Fonts & Font License Updates

Filed under: foundry updates

Today we’re making a few changes to our license agreement and typeface pricing — here’s a quick look at what’s changing, and why.

When we introduced our V2 license back in 2021, it was not without a few caveats: at the time, very few foundries were using a value-based pricing model, and there were some questions about whether it would even work for us. We were expecting we’d need to make some corrections to the model, or even roll back to the old license, by the end of that year.

It was a pleasant surprise, then, that not only did the new license work right away, it worked well enough that we’ve been able to leave it unchanged ever since. Today’s updates are a light touch, keeping the core model intact while further reducing the complexity of buying a font license.

The V2.1 license agreement

Trial Fonts

We understand the importance of testing fonts prior to licensing them. But the test fonts we’ve offered until now have been quite different from the fonts you actually get after purchasing: like most of the industry, our trials contained a limited character set, with no diacritics, and no extra OpenType features.

The more we thought about that, the less it made sense. Yes, it limits how easily people can steal our fonts — but while it doesn’t actually prevent font piracy outright, it does reduce how useful the trials are to most people (as well as disproportionately affecting non-English-speaking users).

From today, MD trial fonts now include the same character sets and OpenType features as the fully-licensed equivalents. You can use them for free, to test exactly how the commercial fonts will behave, or (if you’re a student) in educational projects.

Non-Commercial License

With trial fonts now feature-complete, the Non-Commercial license is no longer required in most of the cases it was used for. We’re therefore retiring this license type, to simplify the available options and make the licensing process a little easier.

If you have an existing Non-Commercial license, you can still upgrade it to a Commercial license at any time — please get in touch, and we’ll provide a discount on any future order equal to the amount you paid for the NC license.

Language Changes

From today, company size is now measured in ‘people’ rather than ‘employees’. The actual definition remains pretty much the same, but we think the new terminology is easier to understand.

Pricing Changes

Until now, we’ve priced ‘display’ typefaces slightly lower than ‘workhorse’ ones, with MD Nichrome and MD Polychrome starting at €36 per style rather than the usual €50. We’ve decided to reconsider that practice: going forward, all our fonts will start at €50 per style.

The logic here is that while display typefaces may well be used less extensively than designs meant for text (which was the original reason for the lower price), in practice they’re used more prominently, and can add just as much (if not more) value to a design.

We’ve also made some slight alterations to the pricing curve, to reflect a better understanding of the relationship between company size and font license value. This means that prices for companies with 5 or more people will have changed — we’ll continue to honour any quotes or price estimates issued recently (since May 1 2023) at either the originally quoted price or the new rate, whichever is lower.

You can read the new V2.1 License in full here. This article provides a summary of changes, but please ensure you’ve read the actual terms prior to making a purchase.

As always, if you have any questions about our licensing, feel free to email us any time.