Extensis Releases Findings on Font Usage

Extensis contacted us this week with not one but two items relating to designers' use of fonts. The first consisted of the results of a survey the firm recently conducted of more than 2,000 designers. Entitled The Hidden Risks of Font Misuse, the survey had as its focus the degree to which creatives understand and respect the requirements of font licensing. You can probably see what's coming: the results indicate that many designers still don't take the intellectual property aspect of fonts as seriously as they should. After all, they'd be the first to howl if someone reproduced their work without payment and yet according to the report 59% of the participants confess to having shared fonts. A few more of the highlights:

  • 50% of designers have brought outside fonts into the office
  • One third of designers “locate” copies of fonts online without the appropriate licensing
  • More than 80% of designers don’t regularly read font licenses, and 78% of designers who do read find them confusing
  • More than 60% of designers don’t have a clear understanding of what they can do with the fonts they license
  • 57% of designers are not clear on their organization’s font licensing policies

Extensis, of course, sells font management products that address these concerns but we'd have to agree that it's time the design community took font licensing provisions more seriously: perhaps as a New Year's resolution? The infographic below covers other aspects of the survey, including the average size of participant font libraries, a rather astounding 4,512. You can peruse the full report on the Extensis site, if you don't mind filing out a gateway form.

Extensis is also a supplier of web fonts, via its WebINK service, and we now know what the top 10 were for 2013. Rather a bland lot, as it turns out, with just one serif font among them. And it's hard to believe that Adobe's Myriad Pro tops the list for the third year in a row — perhaps its enduring popularity is due to the wide range of widths and heights available for it. Below you'll find the top 10 in all their glory, as well as a related video from Senior Product Manager Thomas Phinney. Details about each of the fonts is also available on the Extensis site.